Lately I’ve found myself scrounging along the sales racks of stores looking for bargains. When I head to Target I look along the end of the isle for the clearance items. In the grocery store I search through the table of dented cans and in the department store I head directly to the back of the store. The problem: I often don’t need the items in the bargain bins. Yesterday is a perfect example. I went to Macy’s to return a damaged item. When I got to the checkout line there were already four people waiting in line in front of me. So rather than waste time standing around I decided to stroll about the store looking for bargains.
In the Macy’s near my home the dress department and the children’s department are right next to each other. So after looking through the sale items in the dress department I ventured over to the clearance rack in the children’s section. I don’t have children of my own but I figured it couldn’t hurt to look for items for my niece and nephew. I’ve gotten my niece some adorable outfits on sale at Macy’s. I didn’t see anything worth purchasing in the children’s section but a shopper in the baby section beckoned me over. “Which one of these do you think is cuter?”, she asked, holding up two baby outfits. The woman was holding a blue outfit in one hand and a pink outfit in the other. I thought she might be color blind so I asked who the gift was intended for. “No one,” she told me, “but someone is always having a baby and this deal is too good to resist.” As I reached the parking lot a few minutes later I bumped into the woman again. She pulled the baby outfits out of the shopping bag. “I couldn’t resist,” she said, “I bought the one you liked plus four other outfits.”
In this case the woman purchased five outfits for $25. The retail price was originally $20 per outfit. So she purchased five outfits for a little over the price of one. But does it make sense for someone without children or any planned baby showers to purchase five baby outfits? If you were in the same situation would you have purchased the baby clothes? Is it a bargain to purchase something for which there is no foreseeable need?
I will admit that I have purchased bargain items on far too many occasions. In fact, when a Toys-R-Us store went out of business in our area I bought a whole host of items that were marked down 80%. The same occurred when a Hallmark store went out of business in our area. But on both of those occasions I bought items to give as gifts for known family members. On one hand it seems silly to purchase items without a foreseeable need on the other hand it’s difficult to resist the bargain.