Monday, December 28, 2009

A Word About the 2009 Sales

A confession: I'm not a very good sale shopper. I like the well displayed, the uncrowded store, the sense of leisure only non-sale shopping can provide. But I also have to face facts: stuff is overpriced, you have unwanted holiday gifts to exchange, and you often get more bang for your buck during a sale.

Except, perhaps, this year. Last year's end of year shopping was insanely good; even if you were on a tiny budget (or no budget at all) there were still things you probably wanted regular price that were suddenly doable on sale. This year, however, is a whole new ball game. Lacking funds, many of the larger department stores under rather than over-ordered. So, there's simply less on sale, and thus far less that you might want. And there's absolutely no order, display effort or anything else, even at the better stores. I went to Saks (yeah, a shopping masochist never learns) just to see what their huge sale was like, and I was shocked. All the shoe sizes jumbled together. Normally well-heeled and presumably civilized women snarling like wild beasts (ok, this is normal Beverly Hills sale behavior, but when combined with the merchandise chaos it's particularly awful).

Psychologically, this is very bad for the consumer who cares about aesthetics and the shopping experience (and we're the ones who will pay out a little extra for something really great). Look at it this way: one pair of Christian Louboutins, set on a pedestal under a spotlight looks perfectly luxe; fifteen pairs of identical Christian Louboutins in different sizes lined up haphazardly on a shelf looks like Loehman's. And if I wanted to shop at Loehman's (and pay the even lower non-sale Loehman's prices) I'd just shop there and screw the premium stores.

So what's worth it? Neiman Marcus in the lower end designer section isn't bad; there's Theory and Vince and all the usual suspects at an extra 33% off (a nice surprise if you're not expecting it at the register). Barney's has some good clothing on sale, but you should skip the shoes and bags. Nordstrom is a disaster, but that's to be expected. Just wear body armor and a warrior face and you should be fine. And by all means, support your local boutiques in their sales. They really need the cash and still make an effort.

Finally, ask yourself: would I buy this regular price? If not, skip it and move on. Sales encourage purchasing based on the idea of a good deal, not a good item. And that doesn't fit with the Find A Toad shopping philosophy at all. I say this after watching wealthy woman after wealthy woman try and jam their tootsies into sky-high whore heels that seem like "too good a deal" to pass up. They will never wear these whore heels. They will sit in the closet, a sad reminder of bad sale shopping.

1 comment:

sue ann said...

wealthy women do not wear whore heels?
not even to bed?
At that point who cares if they are purple, a sound investment indeed!