Sunday, December 27, 2009
Sale Shopping, Strategically
Now that the Christmas crush is over, we have one thing to look forward to - sales galore! Yes, right now you can find just about everything at a discount (except the Wii and Zsu Zsu pets) and prices are being slashed so low it's enough to make your pulse quicken and your judgment to wane. But before you go and get yourself deeper into trouble (remember, you did just buy a whole heap of Christmas presents that you may still be paying for), read my tips for avoiding impulse purchases and buyer's remorse.
1/ Make a List and Check it Twice: Before you jump in the car and rush to the mall just because everyone else is doing it, take a deep breath. Now take out a pencil and paper and make a list of what you're actually shopping for. Have you been waiting for the sales to buy your winter coat? Or have you recently had the need for snow boots? Whatever it is, write it down!
2/ Do Your Homework: Now, hop on the internet and find out who has the best deals. Some stores offer online coupons so make sure you print those out to take with you. Or, save yourself the hassle and just shop online. Many stores are offering free shipping.
3/ Plan Your Attack: If you're hitting the mall, this is where you need to be very strategic because it will be crowded. Plan to get there early for best selection and stick to your list.
4/ Eat!: Some of the worst purchasing decisions have been fueled by low-blood sugar, so ensure you eat a good breakfast, plan for a lunch break and bring granola bars, fruit leather or trail mix with you.
5/ Don't be a Label Whore: What I mean by this is don't buy something just because it's Juicy Couture and it's 90% off if it's not your color, not your style and 3 sizes too small. Sure, Juicy Couture is chic, and sure, it's a high-end label that you'd be scoring for a bargain. But it wouldn't look good on you, it wouldn't fit you and it would just end up taking space in your closet. A little tough love on this topic is necessary. Enough said.
6/ Choose Wisely: First, see above. Once you've determined that an item is in your color and does indeed fit, think about what you'd wear it with. Ideally, an item should go with 3 items already in your closet. More is better. Determine if the look is really you. If your style is classic and you're tempted by a very girly/romantic looking blouse, think long and hard about whether you could see yourself wearing it. Stick to tried and true and go for what works for you.
7/ Go Alone: Yes, I know shopping with friends is fun, and shopping with kids is sometimes unavoidable. But to make the best decisions you need to go it alone. As boring as that sounds, it does give you time to reflect on whether items really fit your lifestyle without getting home to find that brown dress was more your friend's style, or the placemats would have been a better fit for your sister.
Take advantage of the great deals and offers now, but beware clever marketing tactics or impluse purchasing. If you find yourself wanting something just because your friend/sister/mom got one, wait 24 hours and see how you feel. If you still really want it, look at the real reasons why: because you want to keep up with your peers is not good enough to plunk down hard earned cash. Because it fits your lifestyle and your budget is. Know the difference. Happy shopping!