I feel like I’ve come a long way as a bargain shopper. Once upon a time, I’d happily snap up ill-fitting clothing in colors I didn’t like and styles I’d never wear simply because they were such fantastic deals. How could I pass up an $8 sweater at J.Crew? Even if it was a shade of chartreuse that made me look like a flu victim. How could I leave that $12 silk skirt behind on the Banana Republic sale rack? Perhaps because it made me look like a family of otters had settled in my nether regions. I am more discerning now, and shop knowing my needs, my wants, and my favorite styles. But the lure of stupendous bargains still beckons on occasion, and I am forced to pull out this mantra:
Know who taught me that one? Husband Mike. And not because he monitors MY shopping habits, but because he is prone to flights of bargain-shopping fancy himself. He learned the hard way that cheap items are not always great deals, and that buyer’s remorse hits hardest on final sale clearance items. So he has taught me to be present and mindful when I peruse the racks.
Because our instincts tell us that what we’re holding in our hot little hands IS the last great deal in the world! By gum, if we don’t snap up this amazing deal, someone else will and there will NEVER AGAIN be a deal so sweet! We will rue the day we passed it up, dream endlessly about the sweater that got away, kick ourselves again and again. This deal must be ours. MUST.
And non-buyer’s remorse is a real phenomenon. We can all name the got-aways, and we all rue the days we passed on them. But those items can generally be counted on one hand, while most of us have a shelf or two brimming with “last great deal in the world” items … many of them unworn. So next time you find yourself scouring the sale offerings for anything under $10, next time you decide you absolutely cannot pass up such a mind-blowing bargain, try reminding yourself: This is not the last great deal in the world.
Image courtesy Daniel E. O’Neil