Many women talk about instant gratification through shopping, which makes it hard to have patience. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to setting your shopping goals and knowing when to walk away.
1. First and foremost, ask yourself, “Why am I buying this?” Did you see it in a magazine and thought it looked cute? Do you really need it for work? Asking yourself such questions can help you realize if you’re shopping out of boredom, sadness or impulse.
2. Next, set your limits. How much are you willing to spend on the item you are looking for? Is it $25 to $50? What’s realistic for your budget? Once you have your number in mind, stick to it and do not go over it by any means. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in your price range, consider trying discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Ross. You might even have some luck on eBay or another site depending on what you’re looking for and how flexible you are.
Browse the full priced section, shop the sales. When I enter a store, I always glance over full priced items with one goal in mind: Eye up items that will eventually go on sale. After I briefly look through this section of the store, I do my actual shopping in the sales rack. If you can resist temptation, try on some full priced items to see if you truly like it enough to wait for it to go on sale. However, if you cannot do this, just wait.
4. Join email alerts to learn about upcoming sales. This works especially well with specialty stores like American Apparel that do not have many in store sales. As I mentioned in my previous post, I snagged one of my favorite dresses ever for 50% off through a secret sale advertised via email. To be honest, I end up deleting many of the store emails I sign up for, but, every now and then, there’s one worth reading.
5. Shop second hand. I am a HUGE believer in buying clothes second hand through the Salvation Army, Goodwill or local thrift shop. You may also be able to find local charities in your area that have clothing. As a college student, I loved economics. I firmly believe that when you buy brand new clothes, you put a strain on the market to creat more, which increases the cycle of basically needless consumption of new goods. PEOPLE! The clothes are out there already–you just have to find them.
Shopping second hand also increases the variety of brands available to you. I often buy labels like Ralph Lauren, New York and Company and Anne Taylor for a traction of the full retail cost. This also works the other way on the spectrum. I’ll just put it out there that I hate Wal-Mart. I don’t agree with the way they treat their employees or how they demolish local business. Will I try on a Wal-Mart brand shirt at Goodwill? Sure. Why? Because I did not give money directly to their business. My money is going to support a charity, not a corporate conglamorate.
These are all principles to how I live my life. As an American, consumption of goods can say a lot about you. What and how will you choose to buy?