The Lure of the Sales

Ahh it’s that time of year, post boxing day sale and the final markdowns are happening. ‘Take an extra 20% off already reduced items” or “No item over $20” are splashed all over television ads and social media. The lure of discounts is enticing as items up are up to 95% off are often too tempting to resist at times. Or are they?

I recall a scene in the movie ‘The Grinch’ where a shopkeeper comes out into the street and says “for the next five minutes only, 99% off’. This statement is immediately followed by a stampede of shoppers racing towards the sale.  Yes, I use the word stampede, perfect to associate with the sale period as I justify that as appropriate. Heavily discounted items seem to change most peoples’ normal and calm persona. This is also frequently depicted during the Black Friday sales in the USA.

The post Christmas sales are designed to be alluring and designed to make you part with your hard earned dollars. It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of the chase for the best discounts, the last items in stock and thinking that you might actually need something, or many things. But do you? Are you buying just for the sake of it? If something is 75% off and you don’t actually need it, it’s not a bargain. You’ve just spent money on something you didn’t need and it still cost you 25% of the price. I don’t know about you but I’d rather have the whole 100% in my pocket.

By spending money you didn’t need to, now you are also stuck with items that create unnecessary clutter around your home. Have you undone any of the good work you’ve done recently? Has the lure of the sales been too strong? Just because it’s a good deal in the store, does not make something a good deal for your home. It’s cheap initially from a dollar value, but expensive long term in relation to the amount of time and effort you need to give up in order to store, organise and clean your new found ‘bargains’.

I have several rules to help combat this consumer phenomenon of the so called ‘final clearance’.

1.I tell myself I don’t need anything

Which is true, most things aren’t necessary, sometimes I think I need something until I stop myself and give it some real thought.

2. I make a list and stick to it

Before the sales even start I sit down and make a list of anything I may need for the coming year and if it’s something I can get on sale. Even though I call myself a minimalist, I don’t see the need to pay full price if I don’t have to. This year I needed a new winter pyjama top as my old one was very thin and full of holes, it no longer kept me warm and definitely needed replacing. I managed to find exactly what I wanted in the sales marked down from $70 to $9.50. This was an excellent saving for me because it’s something I would have bought anyway. Either by paying $70 or buying a cheaper version at a different store which may not have been of the same warmth, comfort or quality.

Don’t get caught up in the thrill or be distracted by items you don’t need. if you don’t need it, it’s not a bargain.

How do you shop the sales as a minimalist?