Shopping With Emotion x x

I was in Zara with an incredibly artless shopper recently. She picked up a few garments in the shop without even looking around the rest of the store – we didn’t make it downstairs before she selected what she wanted and told me she was off to queue.
Already I thought to myself. I’d barely made it through the casual section before she’d selected, queued and purchased.
What is this about? Is this somebody who knows what they want? Somebody who can’t shop? Or is this simply somebody with more money than sense? Let’s be honest those of us who have wads of money don’t need to apply strategy to purchasing technique; they simply need to see, like and buy.
‘Right, let’s go downstairs,’ She says.
I realize at this moment, that I am meant to shop alone, no friend, no foe – just me. In my bag I have magazine clippings, 20% off vouchers, lists of clothes that will add to my autumn/winter wardrobe – I have my whole strategy planned on paper and here is this artless shopper pulling me out of the shop before I’ve even made it to the Catwalk inspired section.
‘You just buy things without thinking about it, don’t you?’ I say.
‘Yes, not like you. You need time to think about it – I don’t know why.’
She doesn’t know why, I don’t know why. Who am I?
I am the Pre –Purchase Rationaliser. I am the least fun person to go shopping with, I can assure you. I don’t particularly enjoy shopping with anybody else anyhow, so I don’t actually know how I ever end up on shopping trips with friends.
I am the person who has lists and lists of purchases that I am going to make over the new autumn winter season. My list doesn’t consist of jumpers, long sleeved t-shirts, black jeans. My list is more like, Jumper – Miss Selfridge, Warehouse – Folkloric trend, Gucci Inspired. Brown Tassel bag, Miss Selfridge, Gucci/ Vintage inspired, worn by Lily Donaldson on Gucci Catwalk. Tassel Boots, Vintage inspired, buy later in winter – trust me the list goes on and gets more descriptive the more anal I become. Anything that I consider buying that isn’t on my list turns into a full on mental discussion of rationalisiation and reasoning as to why I shouldn’t buy that item and why I should!
The Pre Purchase Rationaliser is the person who stands in the queue and panics as they anticipate making their purchase, why? Because they are trying to talk themselves into either wanting or needing the item or of course, talk themselves out of wanting or needing it. The benefits of being a Pre Purchase Rationaliser is that you avoid being a remorseful buyer, everything you buy you want and because you’ve had a board meeting with want, need and conscience you are often happy with your purchase. The negative of being this kind of shopper is that you can end up mentally exhausting yourself over things that ultimately are not life changing.
I, personally will see something I like, place a mental note in my head and visit every other shop that I know sells garments similar to the garment I have mentally noted – if I don’t find a nicer one or a cheaper one then I’ll buy the initial one. The problem with this shopping technique is – feet seriously begin to hurt, regardless of whether you shop in heels, pumps or Uggs – shop this way and your feet will hurt! Friday in Bluewater, me and my friend, the Artless Shopper struggled back to her car with bags upon bags walking on our tip toes because the heels of our feet were battered.
The problem with keeping mental notes and seeking out better quality or cheaper prices is of course – that you can end up missing out on the garment full stop, however all is not lost as you still have the cash in your pocket and the buying power to purchase the much wanted garment another day.
The Remorseful Buyer, on the other hand, is the consumer who feels particularly guilty after making a purchase. It can often be because the person can’t actually afford their purchase. However, the word afford isn’t to be taken literally, at the end of the day if the person couldn’t afford their purchase, they wouldn’t be able to make the purchase in the first place. As long as you can pay for your purchase you can afford it. The remorse comes because our purchase decreases our current buying power, it lowers our current funds, could possibly affect how we live till the next pay day, may incur credit card fines or put us in a compromising situation. This is the Remorseful Buyer – the shopper who feels guilty for their purchase. When I got my first student loan I went out and bought a pair of Gucci sandals for two hundred and forty nine pounds – I’d seen them on the website, I knew I wanted them but had tried to push them to the back of my mind.
My friend and I were in Gucci, she was buying a pair of shoes. I sat quietly and made no attempt to look for the sandals I wanted. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the shoes my friend was looking for so we headed to Selfridges. As we walked into the Gucci department the shoes sat right there in front of me, calling me, increasing my heart beat and making my palms sweaty.
If a shoe can do this to you then you have to buy them, right?
So, completely gone is the pre purchase rationalisation and to me the beautiful sandals cometh. The whole way home I felt terrible, a quarter of my loan gone in one purchase, but hey I got over it and they turned out to be a completely worth while purchase. It’s hard to see the benefit of being a Remorseful Buyer; I suppose the Remorseful Buyer is decisive, if they want that purchase they’ll make the purchase, minus the stress that the Pre Purchase Rationliser goes through. The down fall of being this kind of a shopper is they could possibly be purchasing items regardless of their price, their need for them and the affect that the lack of money may have on their lives.
Retail Therapy – I’m guessing is a therapy that we’ve all been familiar with at some point in our lives, using the power of distraction to help us forget about the real issue at hand. Of course, Retail Therapy like being over emotional doesn’t allow for control or strategy, but it does allow for stress free shopping. You buy and you buy and really and truly you’re only buying to feel better and the point is that it works. Often you may not end up with key trend pieces, or Gucci inspired boots or Karl Largerfield cuts. In fact no doubt you’ll end up with things that you need, things that you don’t, things that you like and things that you can’t even understand why you bought. But once you come out of the retail therapy trance and back to thinking about the issue you were trying to forget about at least you have all those beautiful purchases that almost make being depressed worth it!
Regardless of which shopper you are or which one you think is the best, the key is if you have a Love Affair with Fashion then you simply must apply an art to your buying.
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