As an individual who loves to shop (I am going to stay away from labels right now) I take the act of shopping seriously. I view it as a contact sport, and to be honest, it’s probably the greatest amount of exercise I get. I jest…maybe. In any event I have a few rules that I play by, and throughout the years I have revised them. Lately my thinking is to have a stricter review policy before acquisition. So here are my rules:
- Always buy the best quality you can afford. Now this does not mean you have to buy a luxury brand, but rather you should put aside the name and look at how well it was made, how long it will last and how much you have budgeted for it. Reviews are great, but try to check it out in person if you can. You can avoid a lot of heartache that way and it can help you make your final decision.
- Stalk your purchase. This works best for larger purchases. Where the in-stock status is pretty safe and you don’t need it right away. Wait for the right price, Black Fridays (the Friday after Thanksgiving in November) are great for electronic purchases as well as Cyber Mondays (the Monday after Thanksgiving), or any other great holiday sales. Research your prey, know it’s location, quantity available, MSRP (manufacturer resale price), inventory price (if available), any additional costs involved, additional details (hard to transport, rebates & requirements) and mating habits (just checking to see if you were paying attention :D).
- Time may be of the essence. If you need the prospective purchase immediately you are going to pay whatever price is listed. Another danger moment is to buy something when quantities are limited. If you’re at TJ Maxx/TK Maxx or some other sort of sale-ish place, remember it’s like the old west you have to be the quickest draw. If you don’t get it while you’re there it may sell out, and then it’s gone. If you change your mind at home, you can normally return it. While there’s buyer’s regret, there’s also nonbuyer’s regret (OK, so I made up the term, but you know what I mean).
- Delayed gratification can add to the satisfaction of your purchase. I have gone on shopping binges, and like any other drug the purchasing high has a declining quality. The purchases end up being just more stuff (aka junk) and not a great fun purchase. So now I try to plot out purchase, the planning part builds up the anticipation and helps to ensure that I am getting the right product.
- Do you really need it? I have so much stuff. It is to the point that I feel like I am staying in my home at the will of my belongings. In the end I have to give a lot of it away. What I do now is ask myself if I really need it, if there is room for it, and is it replacing something that I have to get rid of as well as any other questions that may lead from this line of questioning. Going through this process has helped me with inventory control. Also I have learned to go back into my arsenal to find that I already have a version of the new acquisition (we are creatures of habit), it may even still have the price tag on. Sometimes I find a forgotten gem. It turns out I can shop my own inventory.
I think I go through shopping phases. Sometimes I just want a bit of fun light shopping, other times I want to invest in something, and there are periods when I just couldn’t be bothered (I know, gasp). It depends on what my life entails at the moment. I think my shopping jaunts are a bit more regulated, it’s to the point that it’s not even intentional. I now have the habit of critically analyzing my consumption to make sure that my decision is sound.
So my dear friends, that was a bit of my shopping rule book. Do you have any shopping rules or regiments?
Hugs and Love,