Saturday, 29 November 2014

I don't understand the love affair

some people seem to have with "the sales". I certainly don't understand "Black Friday" or the "Boxing Day" sales. I don't understand why people will queue for hours to try and get "the bargain" they might not get. 
Our central shopping district in the CBD used to have a row of department stores and each would have a "sale". Prices would magically drop - on some items. It would appear that real bargains were to be had. You just had to be there - and be there fast. Popular items like sheets, towels, clothing and footwear would disappear quickly.
The crowds were immense. I imagine that shoplifting was immense too.
My maternal grandmother used to go to "the sales". She was a large woman who could battle her way through the crowds with, apparently, no difficulty. She would have read the advertising in the paper and decided that she needed something or other. She would "book it up" at one of two major department stores on her "card".
Did she also "impulse" buy? I suppose she must have - at least her kitchen was filled with "gadgets". My mother kept some of those gadgets but gave others away. I got rid of the rest. I simply did not need them - even if they had been bought as a "bargain".
I suppose the Senior Cat and I have our own "bargain hunting" gene in that we have, in the past, been to book sales. We have bought books but we have also read them. Many of my "bargains" have not been financial but practical. I have found dictionaries in languages I needed to know something about. They have been, still are, useful. (Yes, I have used that Melanesian Pidgin dictionary!)
There used to be a "dress shop" in our local shopping centre. It sold fairly conservative clothing for women. I knew the manager, indeed would mind the shop for a few minutes while she rushed to the bank or the toilet.  I bought very little there but she would never let me buy anything full price. She would tell me, "Wait. Everything will be on sale in...." I would tell her "I hate sales..." and she would nod understandingly and say, "I know but you don't want to pay full price. It isn't worth it. And, it is only a bargain then if you need it."
She would shake her head over women who bought things she felt did not suit them.
"She won't wear that," she would tell me as someone left the shop with something she felt was the wrong colour or fit. I suspect she was right.
It bothered her even more at "sale" time when people would buy simply because it was cheap. It is not cheap if you are not going to wear it.
I bought a new jacket in the opportunity shop last week. It is brand new - the tags were still on it. Someone obviously decided it did not fit or something else was wrong. It is white denim. I would not normally buy white for a jacket of that sort but I talked it over with the volunteer who was serving that day. We know each other well. She made me put it on and said, "Yes, it fits you well."
It can be washed in the machine. I just want it to cover my arms when I am out on the trike. It cost me $10.
Later, out of curiosity, I looked the price up. If I had bought it from the on-line company in question it would have cost me close to $70.
I call that a "bargain". I can live with the colour and the little extra effort to keep it clean is a reminder that you get what you pay for - if you need it.


Judy Edmonds said...

I only really go to sales if I actually need something and know it is likely to be cheaper then. I got my wonderful Kenwood Chef mixer 20 years ago in a Boxing Day sale - it is still used regularly, has never needed mending, and was an absolute bargain! Same with sewing machines - over the last 35 years I have owned five machines at various stages, two old and very second hand, upgrades as I got older and had my own income. Each one was acquired in a sale and earned its keep. (And the ones I stopped using have all gone to further good homes)

catdownunder said...

Yes, if you go with something specific in mind (and don't get side-tracked) the an item at sale-price is undoubtedly a good thing. It's the idea of going to "see what I can get" that alarms me!