Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Beware the Retail Store

Sometimes you can't find what you're looking for at the thrift store. Some things you need to buy from a traditional store. In our house socks, undies, bras, bathing suits and Jim's jeans (in all my years of thrift store shopping I have seen only one pair of Jim's size.) Yesterday, after much dawdling, I went to the store with my daughters to get all of those things.

Bathing suit shopping with two teenage daughters is a nightmarish undertaking. Its not for the faint hearted. There is much bartering and negotiation. It's exhausting process. However, my time waiting for the them to find and try on suits allowed me to make a few observations.

First of all, it was a Tuesday evening and the store was busy. Surely after a day at work, people had something better to do than shop. I seemed to be the only one who was dragged kicking and screaming by her daughters. Most of the women my age seemed to be enjoying the shopping process.

Secondly, the store was open until 10pm (remember its a Tuesday). Who needs to shop for clothes or housewares that late?

Thirdly, the people who shopped in this particular store were slobs. The bathing suit section was strewn with suits. They were on the racks, under the racks, on the floor and laying across the racks. I pity the staff person who has to clean that mess up.

Fourthly, every store has its own credit card now and they offer them to you like after dinner mints at the diner. Am I the only one who understands that the extra 15% off today and the future special offers are all designed to make you want to purchase more not to save you money?

We stuck to our list, didn't apply for the credit card and made it out of the store with our sanity and budget intact. I'm glad that it will probably be another year before I have to set foot in the store again.


Kali said...

Don't you hate retail shopping? I was drug into the mall last weekend to get a kid's bathing suit (on sale for $10 which is less than the evil empire aka walmart). I spent the time rediscovering sticker shock! Can you imagine paying $5 for a ponytail holder with beads on it?

Katie said...

I know exactly what you mean. I walked through aisles of tank tops that were $18.99 and all I could think was, I could get these for under $2.99 at the thrift store.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh yes. When I must shop retail, I go during work hours. Everybody shops after work and on weekends! Sunday is the worst at the grocery store. I just don't do it unless I *have* to, which luckily is not often.

I always get horrible sticker shock at retail stores too!

Electronic Goose said...

If you have any friends who work in retail, ask them if their store has employee-only damaged sales. If a sock has a hole in it or a suit is missing its other half, the items get thrown in the damaged section. Oftentimes, the store will mark the item down to cost and sell it back to their employees. The savings is worth the time to mend it!

Katie said...

Thanks for the idea. I agree that a bit of mending is worth the savings.