The Shopping "Fake News" vs. Your Shopping Truth

18 December 2017

Journalism is a segregated landscape these days… particularly when the content is political. Full disclosure: this post is not political. But. The journalism in the realm of consumerism is equally segregated. What to believe?!

I have noticed a tendency (in both myself and others) to flock towards publications already aligned with my own beliefs. Midge Decter captured this phenomenon perfectly when she said,

“There comes a time to join the side you’re on.”

After all, it’s easier to immediately write off something that makes us ask ourselves tough questions. Taking things personally is a sure-fire recipe for a closed mind. It’s easier to buy into a philosophy that doesn’t challenge us at all. This not-so-cool tendency actually has an official name: confirmation bias. It is the  predisposition to search for things that confirm our preexisting beliefs.

I started ruminating on this topic after reading two articles about—you guessed it—shopping. The first is one of a string of similar articles in New York Magazine, entitled “43 Things on Sale You’ll Actually Want to Buy.” I am a bargain connoisseur, so no doubt my heart skipped a beat when reading those words. I read the article, but stopped before I clicked. I didn’t act on my preloaded, devotional belief in bargain hunting. Instead, I let my prefrontal cortex kick into action. It felt good. I reminded myself that New York Magazine most likely has an affiliated program and that the article was likely written with one motive in mind: to lure me to click and buy. Sure enough, I clicked just to confirm my theory and I was promptly redirected via an affiliated link to Moda Operandi.

With some hesitation and doubt, I moved on to read The New York Times article on how not to shop for a whole year. As predicted, the article encourages us to take a break from consumerism. It goes on to recommend that we commit to the no shopping experiment as a New Year’s resolution. I have to admit the article had some interesting points. Still, I could very well start a debate in response on the large-scale effect this experiment could have, and what that might do to the economy and our beloved fashion and retail industries.

Instead, I’ll make another point. Every publication is still in the business of selling. They don’t know you, and they don’t know what’s good for you. You do. And if you don’t know quite yet, then you find out by reading both sides of the story and fishing out your truth from probably somewhere in the middle. Unless you have a shopping addiction that’s harmful to yourself or your family, you don’t need to stop shopping cold-turkey. Why so extreme?! You also don’t need to buy all 43 items listed on sale for the sake of bargain hunting.

All you need to do is shop responsibly.
What better way to do that than at a NYC sample sale?

It’s the last week before Christmas—A.K.A. Unofficial Procrastinators’ Shopping Week. Are you one such procrastinator?

If you left your shopping to the last minute and missed the online shopping cut off, here are some options to responsibly spend your money while still keeping the holiday spirit alive.

You can buy women’s apparel at up to 60% off at the Eileen Fisher Sample Sale and feel good about it as 100% off the sales will be donated this year to Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute.

You can buy the perfect gift—fragrances or candles—at up to 80% off retail prices at the TOCCA Sample Sale.

You can find Santa-worthy presents for kids at the Desigual Sample Sale.

For more options, check out the complete list of NYC Sample Sales.

And hey… I think it was Descartes who wisely said, “I think, therefore I shop.”

Make up your own mind when it comes to consumerism. Happy shopping!

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Posted by Staff Writer at 12:55 AM
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