Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Reason to Shop

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

USA has a lot of days where the shops advertise massive sales; just another way of keeping the prices very high and announcing a reduction in price due to sale.  As much as 50% or more and in some cases as much as 80% or 90% is offered as reduction from the original price.  There must be no place on earth the idea of sale is as widely used by the retailers as in the USA.  Everywhere you go, and just about every week the stores advertise in the newspapers, fliers and internet with sometimes on sale to keep customers coming into the store, and buy what they need and also on impulse.

Today is Memorial Day and one of the busy days for retailers who advertise massive reduction in their entire inventories.   Colorful advertisements show massive reduction in prices on everything that is available in stores; especially the big retailers make every effort to attract holidaying shoppers into walk into the store.  Along with millions of Americans and families, I too walked into the mall with the sale papers cleared marked for items that we wanted to buy at attractive prices.  Primarily the selection of stuff were things we need every day for the already here summer season.  A whole car full of us went to the mall, and I dropped everyone at the door and parked the car and walked into the store.  As always I forgot the papers that we spent time marking-up, and planned for a whole week to purchase.  After walking into the store is when I remembered I had forgotten the papers that had the list of things we wanted to buy.

After going through the store and spending at least twice the amount of money as we planned to spend prior to going to the mall, and getting back into the car and driving home is when we started to think that we did not buy one thing that we had planned on purchasing while looking through the sale papers and palling for the big spending trip to the mail on Memorial Day.  There are absolutely no regrets in what we did and how we spent the money, but the fascination with massive sales and how we simply forget to buy what we plan to buy, rather buy things that catch the eyeballs.

Along with a hundred million or more Americans in the malls and shopping complexes today, I am very sure we were simply a part of the crowds who follow the American way for shopping.  We buy on impulse, but we travel to the mall on a purpose.  I did ask the sales lady of she had a copy of the sales papers before we ventured into buying stuff.  She said they did not keep them in the stores.  I know for a fact if she looked she would have found bundles of sales papers, but she did not want to and simply said they did not keep them in the store.  It did not matter to us as we were already digging into the shelves in finding what appealed to us and started to stack them up to go the cash register.  It did not bother us that our focused planning on looking through the papers and making up the things we wanted to buy.  We all walked away with hands full of stuff, and looking at the sales on what we bought, and were happy with what we bought.

Only after driving a while we thought that we did not buy one single thing we planned to buy prior to making the trip.  Just like a 100 million others, we too have been religious American shoppers through the years, simply looking to be a part of a system that is so well planned to get just about everyone who lives or visits the USA to be drawn to a shopping complex at every major day (we have so many each season to name them all), and every season typically requires different things for people to be drawn into the mall.

I have no regrets or issues with just being one more average person who gets drawn into serious planning, but when the time comes to simply follow the isles of the shop.  Plans or no plans you got to keep buying stuff, even if you don’t have any place to put them.  Eventually you will have enough stuff to have a garage sale, but that is a topic for another day.

As much as you enjoy the time at the mall on holidays, it is fascinating how every time a major holiday comes we get drawn into the shopping mall buy only buy things that are really are not on the list.  A sale is a sale and especially at major holidays it is difficult to be drawn away from using the credit card, and pay later.  American way of life well orchestrated, but unplanned.

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