Some will shop until they drop, others would rather drop than shop


Lately the news has been filled with stories about Christmas shopping and the hopes of the stores for the January sales.


It made me think back to times at work when one of my colleagues would start and finish his Christmas shopping on the afternoon of Christmas Eve in Selfridges when the prices had been marked down ready for the sales and how the office would suddenly fill up with Americans at the time of the sales.


How differently people view shopping.


As a working class boy the only thing that bothered me when shopping was price.  The consequence was that I bought a lot of things that were not necessarily very good quality but cheap. 


I learned far too late in life was that the reason things are cheap is because they are crap (this is also true of most things that fall off the back of a lorry).  I've got a little wiser and I learned the saying 'buy cheap buy twice'. 


It has become clear as I've got older that when you are buying fashion buying cheap is quite a good idea because fashion changes so quickly it is not worth spending much on it, I am so glad that I am no longer a teenager and need to wear designer clothing.  It is so much easier now I am older and reasonably financially secure that I can choose what I want rather than what I can afford.


Haggling is something that I am not equipped for, the English have been conditioned to accept that the price offered is a fair one and it is up to you to accept it or not, never to complain only moan about it later.



My aunt Gert used to spend ages buying bargains and then selling them to other members of the family telling everybody that they were really good value.  The main problem was they were very good value only if you wanted them.  The adage that "nobody saves money by spending money” seems to have passed her by completely.


Another wonderful thing I was taught was never buy the first item that you like - wait until you see the others, there might be something better down the road.  A very good sentiment but it has no end, when do you stop looking?  What happens if you decide the first item is the best and it has now been sold?


My sister had this problem at the start of her visit to Walthamstow market. In the first shop she visited she found an item that she liked.

“Why don't you buy it then” said her boyfriend

"but I've got to check the other shops there might be something I like more"


A very good question to my mind.


Another very useful saying that I was told

 "once you have bought something, stop looking."

 (or you will see it cheaper somewhere else)


Shopping Malls are a curse - they all have the same shops or variations of them, how many shops selling the same items are required?  Once in a Shopping Mall you could be anywhere on earth… Is it all a part of a fiendish plan to totally disorientate people of the western world.



I am a very lucky person, I am married to a lovely lady who doesn't like shopping for long periods (she loves spending though ) .  Together we have found the joys of Internet shopping, the only problem is that you need to see the items sometimes.  The only way around this is to find what you want on the Internet and go and buy it in a proper shop where the assistants actually know about the products, and if they haven’t got it in stock, will order it.


I think I have discovered some truths about shopping.  A shopping trip to buy shoes does not mean that you actually go to a shoe shop first, oh no!  If you spend the whole day and make loads of purchases but no shoes so what! and if you have dragged your partner with you even better. If by some fluke you find a pair of shoes that you like, one must buy a complete outfit to match the shoes, a new matching handbag and make up, thus a simple purchase can be made to last a whole day.


Why is it that wherever some people go in the world the first thing they want to do is go shopping? (even if the shops are the same as at home), and for some reason they want to take their partners with them. I have had terrible experiences shopping with previous partners, the victim will be dragged from shop to shop where their partner tries on various different outfits, the victim will not be shown the outfits but just required to stand outside the changing room, their opinion is not required and of no importance.  Why are they required?  What is the purpose of their existence on these trips?


We really cracked it this year, we found a charity where our money goes directly to the people that need it.  They got all the money we would have spent; we told our friends that we were not buying presents this year, told them why and most of them added to our pot.


Ralph ' screw the economy ' Edmunds