Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Sales Siren

I am not a shopaholic like Sophie Kinsella’s heroine and do have some ability to resist the temptation to buy every pretty thing I come across.  Nonetheless, I really, really love shopping. And season-end sales just give me a reason to go out and shop.

Devious things – these end-of-season sales. They advertise in big, bold words – 50% off, upto 90% off, flat 60% discount. And lured by these sirens, I step into these stores, confident of buying great stuff at bargain prices. I start fantasizing about when and where I am going to show-off that oh-so-chic top or those really sexy heels.

Alas, the feeling lasts only until the time when I start browsing through the stuff on sale. If I have managed to visit the store at the start of the sale, I might be lucky enough to snatch some good things but woebegone any shopper who goes towards the end. All you are left with are – well, leftovers. In every sense of the term. The stock is near depleted and whatever is left, is well-nigh revolting.

Any sensible person in such situations would walk out of the store with minimal lightening of the bank account. Not me. I feel obliged to buy something since I have graced the shop with my presence. So, what do I do? I begin to wander among the fresh arrivals. And sure enough there’s that cool peasant blouse that I ought to buy (never mind, that my near zero-active social life does not provide me with enough opportunities to wear it) or that knee-length skirt that would look great with the red top that I have. Down come the items from their shelves and a quick swipe of my card ensures that I am several thousands poorer. Like today. The culprit? Westside 50% sale.

I am not even counting the nail-polishes and lipsticks and junk jewellery that I buy at every turn. I am not too bad about shoes – possibly because I generally want strappy, skinny heels which are not so easily available nowadays, except in some exclusive stores.

Anyway, this flatter-to-deceive nature of sales is not just limited to fashion. As I have said so many times before – I love books. So, any kind of bookstore sale (even a measly 10%) is bound to catch my eye and I feel it is my duty to take advantage of it. I waltz into the bookshop dreaming of all the beautiful, lovely books I am going to feast on and at such affordable prices! I am brought down to earth when I see that most books on discount are the ones that I do not really fancy buying – cookbooks, political treatises, Shobhaa Des and Chetan Bhagats. The latest Archer or Grisham have no discounts marked. Neither do the classics or Wodehouses. Or if they do, they are inconsequential. Yet, I succumb and buy the ones that I want and at their full prices.

This has happened to me so many times that I should have learnt my lesson. But of course not. There is no such thing as a reformed shopper or a wise shopper. Or if there is, it sure ain’t me.

Until the next sale call, ciao.

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