“SALE, No longer a four letter word”
Since when did it become all right to admit that you did not pay full price for an item? When did the sale trend begin? Sure we can say that it is a sign of the times, a post 9/11 crunch on our economy, White House filled with oil whores, tightening of our purse strings – but when did it go from “shopping on the down low” to a trendy strategy?
When there are television shows, websites and magazines about this very topic you know that things are a changing. When Katie Couric jumps up and down and says she loves to shop at Tar-jay, it’s not down low anymore. We have become sale freaks and sure it can be a good thing, but too much of a good thing is well, a closet full of orange cashmere sweaters.
I will be the first person to admit that there is nothing wrong with discounts. Heck, if it weren’t for sales, I would have never passed math in the 7th grade. This is when it all started, Montreal shopping trips with my mother who made me do math exercises to figure out which item was cheaper. I was born to yuppies but we still shopped discount on the down low. Think about it, before the last 2 years or so you couldn’t get discount anywhere but known discount shops. You would have fainted if you saw a clearance tag at a J.Crew or an Abercrombie. Clearance racks at Anthropologie would have put you completely over the edge. But now, they are the norm and you are scoring. But here is the conundrum; do you need it because you got it on sale? Take a good hard look at your closet and tell me, did you need that orange cashmere sweater? Are you ever going to wear it? Honey, just because it was $15 doesn’t make it okay.
As the founder of a popular Web site all about scoring discounts on coveted designer apparel, this article may sound crass but it has taken me 15+ years and many trips to the Salvation Army donation bin to realize that a sale doesn’t mean I have to have it. I can look back and think good thoughts about people scoring brand new, tag on tweed pants or barely worn too high leather boots at the Goodwill, but what did I get out of it? Credit card debt, that’s what. Buying items at a discount with the thought in my head “someday I will wear this.” Before I get too Dr. Phil on you, I will let you out easy. Think about it this way, sure designer apparel for less is great but you can have ten orange cashmere sweaters at $15 each, or one black cashmere sweater that takes you through the next 10 years in timeless elegance. Just try to remember in this day of “The Look for Less to ask yourself if you really need an item. Hmmm, now that would make a great television show!
Liz Sorensen is an online marketing specialist and all around style snob. As principal of 32FlavorsPR, owned by eMerchantConsulting.com,Inc., she has been working with online merchants and gaining publicity for their shops over the past 4 years. You can visit her site at www.thedailystroll.com