October 23, 2009

The Value of a Bargain

Yesterday I was looking at a little set-up in our bathroom.

As I began nearing 3-0 this year, I realized I should probably start taking additional steps to keep my face looking young and fresh-including washing and using night cream on my face. I went so far as to place said night creams and face wash right near the sink, where I'd be sure to remember. Sadly, I was good for a week or two, and then it trailed off to Tuesdays and Thursdays after I worked out.

Thing is, I really love the nightcream, the way it smells and makes my skin feel. But it isn't cheap. Would I use it more if I had gotten a deal on it? Searched out the lowest cost? Don't know, but that got me thinking about the value of a deal/bargain. The equation of your time + the bargain + the amount of satisfaction and joy the bargain gives you.

I love a bargain. But not all bargains make me feel the same. Let's explore, rated on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being a sense of happiness, elation and excitement about the product or purchase.
  • Spending under $10 on an item of clothing you didn't know you wanted or would look good, but you find yourself wearing all the time = 9, 10 if found at an unexpected source or in less than 10 minutes
  • Finding an item online at the lowest price, preferably with less than 3 minutes spent searching = 8
  • Buying something you think will have one or two uses, but ends up becoming one of your favorite things = 8
  • Anything bought with online coupons and free shipping = 8
  • Stalking an item until it goes on sale and you end up using it all the time = 7 (I think the amount of time spent looking diminishes the return on happiness)
  • Buying something off-season and loving it = 7
  • Cheap doo-dads, fabric remnants or odds and ends that add a finishing touch = 8
  • Good bargain, but you spend weeks and months searching for it = 6, lower because of the amount of personal time spent
  • Sale at the grocery store on something you like and use = 5, because groceries just aren't sexy
  • Stalking an item until it goes on sale or clearance and you don't end up loving it as much as you hoped =2, plus that sinking feeling in your stomach
  • Anything bought full price at Gap, Banana Republic or J Crew = 1, everything always goes on sale

What else, what am I missing?

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