Over the past few weeks, an event that has been celebrated worldwide is…the winter sale. A time where bleary eyed mothers, fathers, teenagers and children make their pilgrimage to the shops in the early hours of the morning or stay up late to catch the moment a sale starts on their favourite website. Mayhem and madness.
However, it can be an oh so exciting and tempting madness so how do you go your way around avoiding it all? Well the most simple solution is to avoid the sale altogether and for me that was quite easy as I did not have the energy to battle my way through hordes of people whilst I search desperately for the right size of the jacket I want to buy. Another reason why I didn’t venture out into the sales is I hate window shopping and when you are a student on a budget, window shopping is probably the only thing you can do even when it comes to sales. Not exciting in the least right? I don’t consider shopping fun if it means a trip to the shopping centre or mall results in only buying one or two things. I mean, just what would be the point of such an annoying trip!
This brings me to the second mode of shopping which is online. Now, these websites can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you use them because on one hand you can avoid the queues (although some websites literally had online queues) and you can browse the specific items you want but on the other hand, your eyes fall upon all these other things on sale that you had no intention of buying. My friend told me how he spent a ridiculous amount of money on things simply because they were branded and on sale. It is a trap we can all fall into at times but we have to remind ourselves that just because something is on offer, it does not make it worth the item. Let me give you an example: a student who is saving up or any adult who has a tight budget would not spend £70 on jeans, right? So if he or she sees a pair of DKNY jeans at half price where the original price was £140, this does not make the jeans a good deal. It may be a good deal in terms of the brand name but in terms of a pair of jeans, is it really worth it?
I had to remind myself of this when I was browsing Moss Bros for a suit. Now I don’t normally wear one but as I will hopefully be doing work experience in Easter, I thought now may be a good time to check out the sale for suits. The outlet section on the website was amazing. Four hundred pound suits down to two hundred or in some cases even a hundred. French Connection or DKNY ones for £110. Such amazing deals that I began to consider buying two. It would give me an extra 15% off after all.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Do I normally buy suits for these prices? Nope, not yet and maybe never so why was I going quite mad over the sale? Because it was a combination of the brand names and the supposed discounts which were flashing before my eyes. Was I really going to spend money which could be better spent elsewhere on suits that I did not need? Even if they were on amazing discount prices and of the best quality?
The reason why I say supposed discounts is because whilst some websites may have genuine sales, there are others which do not. Take Amazon for example. Their much publicised ‘Lightning Deals’ can at times be utter rubbish. A trend I noticed this year was that products which were due to go on sale the next day would have their original prices increased beforehand to make the discount seem much larger. A 32gb micro sd card which was of a general make was priced at £16 whereas Samsung and Lexar ones were priced at £9.50-£12. Why? Because the memory card was due to go on sale for £9 which only seems like a great deal if its original price was £16.
Watch out friends. Learn to navigate your way through the sale. I don’t hate sales, I realise they are inevitable and can be quite useful but I think it is important you don’t allow yourself to be deluded by them. Else you will end up spending more in the sale than you would have done if you had bought your essential items at full price.
What have your experiences with sales been? Do you browse for items or make a list of things to look out for? Online or at the actual shop? Hate sales or love them?
Until Next Time
A Worried Student