The Trap of the Sale Sign By Cheyenne Coleman

8340848-Big-sale-rubber-stamp--Stock-Vector-discountSo, last week I told you I would let you know why I keep far away from those stinkin’ sale prices. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Just because it is on sale, 1) doesn’t mean it is a good deal and 2) doesn’t mean you need to buy it.

Let’s address the first issue: Just because it is on sale doesn’t mean it is a good deal. There are even two parts to this issue. Maybe a sign shows 50%, but what if they just marked up all their prices and then stuck that sign on the rack. Many retail stores do this. Seriously, they do. Black Friday sales are coming up, right? Well, one of the ways they get people into the stores is to offer one item that is at an extremely low price, most typically this is an item that no one actually NEEDS. Once you are in the store, it is game over. They advertise that their prices are up to 75% off but in reality you are paying what you would pay any other day. It is black Friday however, the biggest shopping day of the year, and they get you to think everything in the store will be gone by 2pm that day. It’s not. There should be no sense of urgency on things that really matter, the iPhone 6 or whatever is not one of them. The things you really need will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next month. It’s okay not to buy it right then and there. Do not get caught up in the sale. And the next problem arises when you get something on sale, it may not be the best quality. I have even seen people buy ripped shirts just because they loved it and it only costs $5. A little mending doesn’t always go a long way because if that shirt is already ripping before it leaves stores, imagine how long that will really last when you wear it. We might get 3 wears out of it. Not the greatest. That means you are paying over $1.66. Say we could buy a shirt for $70 and it lasts three years. You approximately wear it once a week (because we have a lovely limited wardrobe), or 156 times in the life of the shirt. That is less than $0.45 per time you wear the shirt, a significant difference from that $5 shirt. Buying quality and doing your research can really pay off. It may mean we have fewer outfits in our closets, but it makes it easier to find outfits and less money spent overall.

The more pressing matter should be that just because it is on sale doesn’t mean we need it. I totally used to be this way. If I could find something for 95% off, I would buy it. No matter what it was, it had to be a good purchase. I mean it’s a heck of a deal, right? WRONG! If I don’t need it, that is more money spent on something I might never use. Being a minimalist has really made me question my reason for purchasing items. Before, I didn’t care. If I loved it, I bought it. Even if I liked it, I bought it. Heck — just because it was a good deal, I bought it! Don’t fall in the same traps I did. Let’s say we found a shirt for $40 that was marked down to $3. That is a 92.5% discount! Why not buy it? You are practically saving $37. Well, you could save $40 if you just walked right out that department store door and didn’t buy anything. I am sure there are 4 other shirts that are similar to this one in our closets.

My advice, only buy something when you truly need it. Even then, research it first 1) for quality to ensure it will last a long time and 2) this will help you evaluate your purchases. Maybe what you thought you needed, you really didn’t. Especially with the holiday season coming up, I encourage you to buy at full list price. This helps you avoid the misleading’s and traps of buying items you don’t need and throwing your money in your closet. I mean, no one even sees the inside of your closet, unless you can fit a whole football team in there, then maybe. But who am I kidding? No one needs that big of a closet. My closet currently consists of 31 items. Even at that number, I still want to pare down my belongings. Remember, minimalism is a never ending journey. There is no end goal and no stopping point. We want to keep evaluating who is important, as opposed to what is important. Happy living!

I’ll leave you with one question to ask yourself, “If this item was triple the price, would it be worth it?”

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