Discounting is just not what it used to be. According to new consumer research from First Insight Inc., product quality is more important than price. The technology firm said the results show that price as an influence of discounts on purchase decision has declined.
Posted by Staff Writer at 09:52 AM
News: Fashion, Beauty and Retail , Shopping like a Pro |
Compulsive Shopping. Buyer’s remorse. Shopper’s guilt.
These are terms, and feelings, that many consumer are all too familiar with. Raise your hand if you’ve ever walked out of a store — or clicked the “commit to buy” button — not quite sure why you bought every item in your bag. Or if, days or weeks later, you regretted a purchase and kicked yourself for spending all that money on an item you didn’t really need or want in the first place.
The truth is that we live in a culture that tells us to buy, buy, buy. A culture in which competing with or impressing your “neighbor” is high on the priority list. And when I say neighbor, I’m not just talking about the person who lives down the hall or on your cul de sac. I’m referring to coworkers, friends, family members and basically everyone who passes you on the street.
Over shopping and the resulting guilt is a real issue. Here are three ways to shop smarter and prevent any post-spree remorse.
3 Ways to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse
Don’t Get Swept Up in the Clearance Rack Frenzy
As shoppers, we often fall prey to clearance racks and big sales events. It’s why Black Friday is such a success year in and year out. “Clearance merchandise isn’t called ‘an irresistible bargain’ for nothing. Giant reductions and the way they’re presented in stores and online tap into some primal psychological impulses,” writes Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., on Psychology Today.
Dr. Yarrow says we subconsciously experience several things when we see a “big sale” sign go up. First, we fear we may miss out on something. Second, we have an innate desire to compete with others and missing out on a deal makes us feel like we’re “losing” in our minds.
Before you get wrapped up in the clearance rack, ask yourself these questions:
1. Would I buy this even if it weren’t on sale? (In other words, is this something you really need?)
2. When and where will I wear this item? (Basically, do you have a place to wear the item? And do you already own pieces that the item will go with, or will you have to buy more?
3. What is my true desire for wanting this item and is my reason valid?
Save Receipts, Tags and Know the Return Policy
It’s in your best interest to only shop at retailers who allow returns. Should you decide to return something, you’ll be able to get your money back and no financial harm has been done. Plus, the guilt associated with unworn/unused items hanging in your closet is immediately replaced with a sense of self control and glee.
My husband finds my shopping habits bizarre, as I tend to return a decent chunk of the items I buy. I simply let the item set for a few weeks in the original shopping bag and, if I find myself not loving it as much as I did at the store, I’ll return it. This has saved me lots of money in the long run. And if I don’t want to keep it in the bag and decide to wear it right away? That’s a good purchase and one I don’t regret.
Trust me. You may think that running back to the store to return an item is a hassle, but that extra errand is completely worth your time.
Tally Up How Much You’ve Spent Over the Years
Debbie Roes from the “Recovering Shopaholic” blog tallied up how much she’s spent on clothes and accessories over the last 10 years. Her figure? Close to 50k. Then she asked herself: “If I had that money in my hands right now, would I spend it on clothes and the like?”
Her answer?: “Absolutely not! I don’t even need a split second to consider my response. I feel that I have very little to show for my exorbitant expenditures of the past ten years. One might think I’d have an amazing wardrobe by this point and be one of the best dressed people around, but I don’t think so. My wardrobe isn’t awful by any means, but it’s not exactly extraordinary, either.”
To prevent the sort of buyer’s remorse that bubbles up months and years down the road, evaluate your purchases right now. Roes has some great advice, which includes setting and sticking to a clothing budget, only buying for your current body and lifestyle, wait several hours or even days before actually purchasing the item and return anything you haven’t worn in a month since buying. My most favorite piece of advice she offers, though?
“Wear your favorite clothes when shopping and don’t buy anything you don’t like at least as much as what you’re wearing.”
By Wendy Rose Gould
Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 08:00 AM
Opinions , Saving Tips , SHOPPING |
Hitting the clearance rack is one easy way to save money, but you can save even more by planning ahead and shopping strategically throughout the year. Obviously, items are discounted when they go out of season. For example, winter apparel goes on sale just before spring to make room for new merchandise.
Knowing when other items go on sale may not be as easy to figure out, though.To help shoppers save, Lifehacker put together a chart they dubbed, “The Best Time to Buy Anything in 2013.” For every month of the year, they’ve included a short list of items that are discounted.
According to Lifehacker, January is the best time of year to get discounts on clothing, broadway tickets, furniture and linens/bedding, among other items. Broadway tickets go on sale because winter and fall are the slowest months for ticket sales, furniture is discounted because furniture companies release new products in February and linens/bedding go on sale thanks to traditional “white sales.”
For February, you’ll still be able to find discounted Broadway tickets since it’s the slow season. In addition, cellphones, televisions and home theaters systems are cheaper than they are the rest of the year. Lifehacker says that cellphones are promoted as Valentine’s Day gifts and, as a result, are part of “buy one get one” sales. Televisions and home theater systems are more likely to go on sale during February as part of pre-Superbowl sales.
The month of March is a great time to buy chocolate (post Valentine’s day sales), golf clubs (new models are introduced just before summer, so old models are put on sale) and luggage (March is between travel seasons so demand goes down). Additionally, frozen foods go on sale thanks to “National Frozen Food Month,” so look for coupons and special deals at your local grocery store.
If it’s something you absolutely need right away, then by all means, buy now. For example, perhaps you need new luggage for an international trip you’re taking next week and can’t wait for suitcases to go on sale in March. However, planning your purchases in advance will help you save money in the long run.
By Wendy Rose Gould
Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 12:00 AM
Opinions , Points of View , Saving Tips , SHOPPING , STYLE |
We know that even women who don nothing but designer labels and the season’s hottest trends love finding a good bargain on their duds. But now, it is The New York Times writing about. They followed the footsteps of a handful of fashion savvy women who hunt product/clothing sales the way a hound hunts raccoons: ferociously and with determined, focused eyes. After all, an in season Alexander McQueen frock priced down 40 percent is like a trendy gift from the style gods. Only it’s not a gift that’s handed to them randomly. It takes real work — and plenty of time shifting through racks — to find these kinds of brag-worthy steals.
Says Annelise Peterson, a fashion consultant, “I fare-track for fashion.” However, instead of getting alerts in her e-box a la flash travel sales, she’s built a human network consisting of salesclerks who call and text her when the price and product are right. “It’s important to find a great source, a salesperson to point you to pieces that match your taste,” she noted.
The New York Times also interviewed affluent shopper and society figure Natalie Leeds Leventhal, who’s no stranger to Barneys sales racks. While inarguably wealthy, Leventhal still adheres to a strict set of buying rules when shopping. In fact, she says she refuses to pay full price on anything unless the item is so hard to come by it’ll disappear in the blink of an eye. Any other time, though, she scouts out a good bargain.
Like Peterson, Leventhal also has a network of salespeople who contact her if they get a product in she’ll appreciate. Read more about the steps fashionable women take when seeking designer goods at a fraction of their MSRP. We’ve said it for a long time, but now that The New York Times wrote it, you have to believe us.
By Wendy Rose Gould
Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 06:00 AM
bargain news , Opinions , STYLE |