I never quite grasped the concept of this Sales thing.

I have a fairly simple set of rules for buying stuff.

The most important starter is do I want it or do I need it.

If I want it but don't need it, then it is mentally shelved, maybe as a suggestion for a birthday present or until some rich relative dies and leaves me a fortune.

If I need it then the next question is can I afford it.

If the cash is there then off I go and make my purchase.  If the cupboard is bare then I either save for it or forget it.  The last time I borrowed money for anything must be about thirty years ago and I'm not going down that path again, unless it's an extreme emergency.

So I am trying to see where this Sales thing fits into the pattern.  The only time I could see myself partaking is if I need something, but can't afford it unless I get up at silly o'clock, haul myself into Dublin and then queue in the vague hope that whatever it is I am trying to buy is actually on sale or not snapped up by the time I get to the shop.  That seems like one hell of a gamble and not one I would like to take.

Of course a lot of people are hoping to buy some frightfully expensive designer shit that has a few bob knocked off its price.  This is another phenomenon I fail to grasp.  Why on earth lash out hundreds of yoyos on something just because it has a name on it?  That is the height of insanity.  If you can buy a pair of shoes, a coat or whatever that fulfills its function, why on earth pay quadruple the price just because it is branded?

A point most people seem to overlook is that buying something for €150 when it's normally €350 is not a bargain.  They haven't saved €200, they have spent €150 [unless that item was something they really needed at the time].  When I was a kid, a friend's mother used to get the bus into Dublin at the crack of dawn to visit the fruit market.  She used to come home laden with crates of oranges or tomatoes or whatever and would be delighted with herself as she got them at bargain prices.  When it was pointed out to her that the fruit or vegetable concerned would gently rot away as no one was eating it, she would shrug and point out how much she had saved by buying in bulk.

So as per usual, I won't be torturing myself by traveling long distances to buy a load of junk that I don't need.

Sure haven't I got all I need right here?

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Offloading the junk — 9 Comments

  1. I've just bought a bottle of L'Oreal men's shampoo, which will last me about 6 months of hair washing, for 2.99 clamshells, marked down from the usual 5.99 – a saving of three clamshells, almost the price of a measure of whiskey, which costs 3.5 clamshells a tot at my local. That's enough sales fever for me.

  2. I suffer from "it's bright and shiny and I must have it" syndrome, usually at it's worst with timepieces, Swiss Army pen-knives, or lighters. The affliction is decreasing with age, though, based on the philosophy that it's not a bargain if I don't need it, and that to want what I don't have is to waste what I already have. I see why this is a wise viewpoint intellectually but it is hard to see it as fact.

    It's time for a car-boot sale and general clear-out or I'll end up like Mr Trebus, but attempts to whittle down my stuff usually ends up in mere re-arranging of it in various boxes. There's a process called the 100 thing challenge which is designed to remove non-essential or duplicated stuff, and hopefully stops people acting like magpies collecting shiny junk, but what if I need it? Or want to do up those old bikes rusting in the shed, or re-read all those books in the attic? Eh? What then? 



    • I discovered the secret is to move house to a smaller place.  Now I realise this may seem a little drastic and not to be undertaken on a weekly basis but it worked for me.  At the time of the move I threw out an industrial sized skip worth of pure rubbish I had collected over the years.  The current house has ideal living space but is somewhat lacking in large scale storage so I have to be damn careful what comes in.  I got another skip last year to clear the garage and am having a real struggle to keep the space relatively clear since.  The space on top of the flat roof is gradually filling up though……….  😐

  3. Heh! Same as that, GD, although if I see a bargain that I need / want and I can afford it, I'll get it.. As for borrowing, I got out of that a long time ago (not 30 years, but a while). When I was in UK I had a wallet full of credit cards – I could have bought a small house with the facility I had on them. But credit cards make it too easy to spend money you don't have, and leaves you paying usurious interest rates. When I came to Greece 15 odd years ago, I paid off all my cards and cancelled them. I now have several debit cards (I have bank accounts in three countries), but I can only spend what I have. It tends to focus the mind when you don't have credit facilities, and spending is directed at what is needed rather than what is wanted. And I don't buy 'branded' clothes, either. Why the fuck pay a fortune for a little logo? I just don't understand it.

    • The last time I had a loan was from the Credit Union towards buying a car.  I can't remember how long ago that was but I haven't borrowed since.  I ike to keep myself debt free and that applies to credit cards too.  I have one but clear it every time as in the past I used to run up large debts [+ interest of course] and never want to get into that place again.

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