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Friday, November 7, 2014

Succumbing and Not Succumbing to Sale Temptations

It's that time of year. When all the things you rejected as too expensive are now 40% off.  Sometimes more.

For me, the true tempters are simple basics. Usually--and here I reveal  my age, socioeconomic whatever, and aesthetic (not to mention my lack of a waistline)--I crave Eileen Fisher. The crepe pants, the plain skirts, the long tanks. These are not show stoppers, but workhorses. Last year, I decided to get over my tooooo cheap ways, and buy a few pieces. I eventually found them all at an acceptable price (for me) and they went a long way towards making getting dressed easier.

Within the last few days, most every blog in the universe announced the arrival of a Nordstroms 40% off sale. I did what I always do. Put a whole bunch of EF items into my shopping cart. Then--in an effort at prophylactic shopping--I headed over to the Food Bank Thrift. There I found a forlorn and filthy looking long cashmere cardi of a brand I like as well as EF. I bought it. I washed it. It is nice! I saved it from an ignominious fate!

I checked back at Nordstroms and was relieved to see that several items had sold out. Phew. I was till tempted by one skirt: the long EF foldover waist skirt. I got one last year and wore it at least 30 times in Europe. It is rather raglike at this point. I found one even cheaper at Saks, so I had Nordies match the price.

Love: price matching, free returns, free ship, no deadlines.

Today I'm tempted by another EF item at another place. Always another temptation. I try to counter this with my knowledge that there is always another bargain.

How do you resist temptation? (No pictures of the things that are tempting me. I don't want to tempt you. Plus, I'm lazy. Win-Win)


Diane said...

Ah, FS, thank you for your cautionary words and a reminder that there's always something wonderful in a thrift store. Like you, I have sticker shock in non-thrift retail stores. I caved in and bought an absolutely lovely silk shirt at Everlane -- only to have it destroyed by the cleaner, who removed some dye then left a big greasy splotch trying to repair it. Like you, I found solace in my favorite thrift store: a perfect N. Peal cashmere sweater (319 pounds on the N. Peal website) for $4.99. The thrift universe speaks.
Love your blog.

The Frugal Shrink said...

Ah, I do the prophylactic shopping, too! It works. If it's online shopping I put everything in my cart and then close it out and think on it for a day or so to make sure I really want it. If it's in-store shopping, I just limit how often I go. And I just at this moment realized that I am much more likely to spend online than in-store. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

I am a big researcher and comparison shopper, and like you, that leads to a lot of delays - which is a good thing! Sometimes the temptation passes, the deals are not available any more, or I find an even better deal, or something I can "live with" at a lower price. But when I look back over my purchases, the better-quality items always win out, whether it is a thrifted cashmere sweater (I bought two this year) or a new parka like the non-Canada Goose one I just bought!

Atlantic said...

Of course I recently, thanks to your blog, had the epiphany that I am actually Not Really Frugal...but I feel that the time to spend money is:

1) when it is exactly what you want and not a compromise in fit/colour/fabric/style

2) it is good quality, well made and will last

3) you know for a fact that you will use it many times

4) it will demonstrably make your life better (you can get dressed easily in the morning and feel good in your clothes)

5) it is not very likely that you will find the same thing for 50-90% less than you are spending...and if you do, you will simply joyously scoop up the same item and use both

The fact that most of your things are thrifted would suggest that you can buy a few very nice things at 40-50% off. This seems to be being sensible rather than succumbing to temptation.

Shelley said...

I suppose I have a 'Don't call us, we'll call you' mentality that helps me ignore outside catalysts such as 'sales'. Just because the salesman knocks on my door doesn't mean I have to hand over my money. 'Sale' doesn't push any buttons for me, other than to remind me it was all over-priced to start with. I think I am less tempted by online shopping, too, because I'm picky about fit and things often don't. I'm too lazy and too mean to bother with shipping return packages, so I shop in person most of the time.

Being retired I need remarkably few clothes. I have a couple of 'nice' outfits (smart casual) for when I go where my peers will be relatively well dressed. Though I notice how they look on the night, I can't for the life of me remember what they wore by the next meeting, so I figure they won't care if I wear the same outfits, maybe with a different top, if I think of it.

If you LONG for EF outfits, I think you should decide how many of what would 'make you happy' and then plan how you're going to obtain those. If that means paying full price, so be it; if you can get them on sale, why feel guilty? For me the whole point of being frugal over all is to be able to afford the things I REALLY want. Several outfits that are 'just right' are infinitely more satisfying to me than endless tat. I still love my thrift store finds, but I only go when there is something specific I want. Otherwise the money just flows out and the 'stuff' piles up. You've managed to make a 'business' of re-selling your 'stuff' but that's just not my thing and re-sellable items are not that common around here, just usable ones.

Duchesse said...

I keep a list of things I need, tuck the list in my wallet and desk (as I do most shopping online), and 85% of the time, only buy those things.

If your skirt looks ratty, replace it! Overworn clothes look sad, no matter what the label.

Frugal Scholar said...

@diane--Yes, thrift store karma! Everlane gets a lot of press on blogs--are the items (before ruination) as nice as everyone says?
@Frugalshrink--Online shopping is a curse for a comparison shopper (like me). I only go to "real" stores once or twice a year--and then it is to keep my mother company.
@Exacting--The money you save on sweaters paid for the parka.
@Atlantic--You are ahead of me. I never know if I will use something a lot or not. That's why it's easier and less stressful (for me) to get something at a thrift or otherwise reduced and wait and see.
@Shelley--You are WAY WAY ahead of me. I am still working, so I have that excuse...not really. It's not really a "business," I'm afraid. If it were, I would have an excuse. (As is, it's a way to help my daughter get some funds to support her art efforts)
@Duchesse--You too are way ahead of me (but I knew that). I have a list's a question of sticking to it. I am pretty undisciplined--except in budgeting (thank heavens!)

Gam Kau said...

I pretty much want to own as little as possible, yet still am routinely tempted by clothing and the lure of sales. I attempt to practice one in one out or even one in two out to alleviate too many items coming in.

Diane said...

@FS -- Yes, the Everlane silk shirt was wonderful. Nice, small, even stitches; good, soft, unshiny silk; good fit, not voluminous, which I like. The workmanship and materials are good, definitely as nice as an Equipment shirt I have that doesn't get as much wear because it's too billowy for me. I haven't seen any other Everlane pieces.