July. November. December. Three dates marked on many a shoppers’ calendar. And why not? There is honestly so much bold and CAPS happening. On mailed flyers. In emails. On websites. In storefronts. It’s like retailers collectively decide to work together to tell you: “GO SHOPPING. PLEASE.”
And like many Canadians, I have not been immune to the whims of retailers. A few year’s back, my father and I thought it was a great idea to line up outside of a Walmart at 6:00AM to get an iPad for my mother. It was freezing. I wasn’t even first in line. And they sold out before I made it into the store (the store stocked only two iPads… I mean… c’mon…).
Since that experience I’ve done my best to neglect the Black Friday / Boxing Day extravaganzas.
Sale Mania = Emotional Purchasing.
The year I convinced my sisters to pool with me to buy a Nintendo Wii, it was because it was on a massive discount and people were desperate to get them. We had never tried a Wii. We never even once owned a game system in our lives. We took the dive out of emotion.
After a heavy usage period of about 3 months, the device sat idle, also due in large part to not having the funds to invest in additional games. Talk about dumb.
Need versus Want.
We’ve seen the videos. I mean, a $2 waffle maker. Great. Cool. But do you need it?
I’ve made countless mistakes seeing something, like clothes or gizmos on sale and saying “MINE!” only to realize many moons later that it has found a lovely home nestled at the bottom of my closet. Or that the device is actually diminishing my quality of life.
Take the PS4. I would love a PS4. It has VR capabilities, a gigantic library of games, and a incredible graphics. If I got one, I would probably play it non-stop for a good 3-4 months. And that’s precisely the problem.
As much as I want a PS4, I don’t need one and it would diminish my ability to remain physically active and healthy. If anything, I’d rather buy a PlayStation when I’m old and infirm because by then, it’s not like I’m going anywhere.
There will always be another sale.
Obviously this is not an all-encompassing statement. I bought an Instant Pot for $50 this past Black Friday, which usually retails for over $100. I took the dive because I’m a terrible cook and I’m hoping steam and buttons will make it easier for me to eat healthy home-cooked meals.
But despite the incredible deal, this is not the last time this Instant Pot will go on sale. Nor that sweater. Or that smartphone.
There are always sales. I realized this when I once bought an insane amount of bulk toilet paper. It was $10 for a massive case of that Charmin stuff. I must have spent over $100 that day raiding the Walmart pile.
Fast forward over a year later, and there was still tons of toilet paper left at home. I realized had I just bought $20 worth, I could have kept my other $80, put it to work and made money on it. Instead, I had this inventory of toiletry taking up valuable storage space.
And guess what? Charmin went on sale again.
Stores are very good at making you believe you need to buy this thing “NOW!” They prey on our fears out of missing out on a great deal. A great deal today may disappear tomorrow, but trust me, it’ll be back soon enough. Patience is key. If you can wait, wait.
There is one exception though…
if you’re storing things for the next Apocalypse, it’s a completely different story. Canned goods and toiletries will be the only relevant currency, I’m sure.