Last week I received the sad news that one of my favorite stores - a scrapbooking store - is going out of business. They sent me a mailer and emails with really slick offers. This store happens to carry some items that aren't available from the big crafting retailers, so I decided on New Years Day to make the 30 minute trek down to the store to stock up on these items at 25% off.
When we pulled into the parking lot, there was no warning of what awaited us. I got a lovely parking spot and Diva and I headed in. I quickly selected the items I wanted, and got in the very long line to wait to check out. And I waited, and waited. At 30 minutes into the wait, I briefly considered leaving. After all, I could order this stuff online later. But no, I had already invested over an hour of my time, so I continued to wait. For a total of 2 hours. And forget saving any money, I had to take Diva out to dinner and buy her something to make up for the fact that we stood in line for 2 hours.
So the net effect was - I spent $70 on stuff I don't need right now, but might need in the future. It was on sale, so I probably saved $30 over what I could purchase it for in the future should I really need it. For this, I invested almost 4 hours of my time (counting the drive there and back) and spent an additional $40 or so on dinner and a consolation prize for my ten year old. What on earth was I thinking?
Well, I'm reading a really interesting book right now - Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, that addresses the 'what was I thinking.' It seems I never had a chance at a rational decision because of the way our brains are wired. And good marketers, including the really slick one running this going out of business sale, know this and exploit it.
I'm hoping after I read this book, I can at least cut back on:
~ buying things I don't need
~ rushing out to get something 'free' that isn't really
~ accepting 'free' stuff that I really don't want
~ paying too much for something because it seems like a bargain
So, if you can relate to the above, head to your local library and check out this book. At least you will know you are in good company!