I love a bargain, don’t you? That feeling of success at obtaining something at a knock-down price can give us a bit of an adrenalin rush - as though we’ve won a victory over the seller. Many of us love that. But do you ever really stop to think whether that special offer you have just snapped up for yourself really is – objectively speaking – a bargain?
Impulse shopping can work out to be expensive
When we buy a non-essential item, we’re usually motivated more by emotion than logic. We love the shape, design, feel or colour of an item and start to covet it. Add that to the excitement of a bargain and, well, we just have to have it!
Our emotions certainly rule our heads when it comes to clothes shopping. We find ourselves wandering through the many sales at this time of year and rarely stop to examine our NEED of a beautiful dress, a great coloured shirt, or well-cut trousers.
Nor do we go shopping to fill the GAPS in our wardrobes so that the sales fulfil a definite need in our outfit planning. Of course, if you know your colours and personal style, your impulse purchases won’t be made in a vacuum; you will have your eyes open for those items which fit in with your wardrobe and personality, so it is money well spent.
What happens to your impulse buy when you’ve got it home?
Buying new clothes or makeup in the sales can feel like a real pick-me-up, particularly on cold, dark winter days. Until you get it home – and find that it doesn’t really work with the rest of your wardrobe… however fabulous an item it may be.
There it hangs, unworn - a forlorn reminder of another failed shopping trip. You thought you had a bargain, but actually find that you wasted your money. Because it is only ever worth buying a bargain item if you know that you would have happily paid full price for it; because you know that it suits you, fits you at the size you are now, the colour is right and it fulfils a definite need.
Think about the cost per wear
Here’s my own example of when buying in the sales really worked …. and I wasn’t even looking for a bargain at the time. On the way home from Scotland last month we stopped at Tebay service station for lunch. My husband spotted a great cardigan in White Stuff. It was the right colour, weight and style for me, and even better, it was in an autumn navy blue which is almost impossible to track down.
At less than half price this really is a bargain; it fills a gap in my winter wardrobe and is a neutral colour that can be worn with the rest of my clothes. Plus it’s very warm, so will earn its keep this winter. The cost per wear will be very low, which is the financial equation I always look for.
Before you spend hard-earned money on that item of clothing, think of the impact of your purchase on your wallet, your existing wardrobe and your confidence. Think about how much wear you will get from it, and if you would happily have paid full price for it. Ask yourself if you really LOVE it; if you don’t, leave it where you found it.
Follow these simple tips next time you’re shopping, and you’ll have snagged yourself a real bargain. And if you want to make sure you know the right colours and styles before you start shopping, get in touch – I can help you to hone your signature style that will work for the rest of your life.
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