Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Semantics of The Sale

While the word "sale" can easily refer to "any exchange of goods for money," it can also indicate the "reduction of prices," for which women often loose their noodles, so to speak, and their wallets. But in reality, now that sale season is upon us (check out Saks' sale), are we really aware of the dual meaning of the word?

Whether we spend fewer dollars or not on an item, the important realization to make is that we are making an exchange of some kind: dollars for a product. And in that shrewd estimation, we assent to the potential promise of dollars saved--if, of course, you follow these considerations:

1. Would you have spent full price on that item? In other words, do you really, truly, madly, deeply, desperately want that item? (As a wise friend has pointed out, it's really not about need--and to use that excuse would only be lying to oneself.)

2. Does that item truly deserve a place in your cabbined, cribbed, and confined closet?

3. Will this purchase add joy to your life?

If you cannot answer yes to all three questions, then I dare say that you are not really saving anything; in fact, you have been duped by the alluring word "sale." You have now adhered to the primary definition, when you mistakenly believed yourself adhering to the secondary definition. And this, ladies, is not a question of semantics.

Take, for example, me. I have been zealously eyeing these particular Prada pumps for some months now. During my rigorous search of saks' website, I happened upon another pair of floral flats. Cheaper, and cute. But I would never have bought them full price. I pass. Instead, I wait like a lioness for the kill, knowing full well that those dear Prada pumps will eventually be mine--if I am not distracted by the smaller prey that come my way. Of course, as you well know, I have bought items full price--as long as I know they are soon to sell out. Ultimately, shopping is somewhat of a gamble, but it is a matter of knowing how to play the game: If you wait too long, you've lost. But if you wait just long enough for the right item (and not the mediocre one), you've won--and actually and truly saved money in the process.

1 comment:

miss cavendish said...

I hear you. When I visited the Saks sale today, I felt strangely compelled to make a purchase (and was pleased to see that some recent items I bought were not on sale).

Instead, however, I surfed the site carefully, tried on some items virtually, and left with the same sentiment that you express here. And by the way, I too took note of those floral Prada flats!