The Season We’re In

Tis’ the season of giving buying. Sometime shortly after school supply madness in July-September, we roll into the holiday season of buying all the things. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and Christmas is on the list for all of October through December.

I’ve realized over the years that one of the most helpful solutions to declutter my home is to buy less. That doesn’t mean buy nothing, but rather, buy intentionally.

The selling and purchasing of goods and services is the basis for a healthy economy. We need things. We want things. Those things are available for us to purchase. All of which is good, and advertising plays a part in how we find and decide what we will purchase. Companies want us to buy their products. We live in a world that tells us to buy more, but it’s not good enough to only buy more, instead we are encouraged to buy frivolously without regard for what it’s doing to our homes (and landfills).

Two weeks ago we were at the store and I’ve played this over and over again in my mind since. My daughter wants a Princess Jasmine costume for Christmas. Being the first week in November, Halloween costumes were on sale – 90% off! I told her if she found one we could get it. After all, NINETY percent off!!!

But then it occurred to me that the cost of production of the items on sale must be so small that it would make more sense to practically give them away than it would be to have returned them to a warehouse and placed back in inventory for next year. There were a lot of items, none with expiration dates, nothing biodegradable and most weren’t even trendy. Things like cat ear headbands and generic mermaid costumes or pumpkin shaped door hangers that 7 days earlier were bought for 100% of the price.

The only measurable value of worth for these things was the time of year which they were sold. Think about that. It had nothing to do with how well they were made. Strictly, supply and demand came into play here. Now that the time of value (demand) was over, it was easier and probably more cost-efficient for the store to cut the price down so low that these items will end up dispersed amongst our homes, adding to the multitude of things we already own; rather than paying for the labor, shipping, and storage until the demand rises once again next year. I don’t even know if there is any room for profit at 90% off. The original retail price could have even been decided to absorb the loss of profit at the marked down price. The only benefit to the company at this point must be to clear space for the next thing to come along.

We fall hook, line, and sinker because it’s passed off as a super deal and it will happen again after Thanksgiving and again after Christmas. We usually wait until the first week in January to buy Christmas decorations for the next year. Perhaps you do the same, but even when the sale seems phenomenal, I still need to remind myself to shop intentionally.

My daughter was looking for a Princess Jasmine costume, which they didn’t have. We bought a set of dragon ears and a tail. At this moment, two weeks later, I couldn’t tell you where it is. Not my finest moment, but I made an impulse buy because it was 90% off.

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