Why it pays to spend more
Posted: Wednesday, May. 16, 2012
Rachel Sutherland has been a professional journalist for 14 years, most recently as the Style Editor for the Charlotte Observer. Her writing and styling work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country. She is often a featured guest on syndicated radio programs The Matt & Ramona Show and The Satisfied Life. Find her at www.rachelsutherland.net or email her: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Math is not my strong suit. Unless you are talking about shopping math, or justification for buying quality versus quantity. Then I can hook you up.I was reminded of the importance of doing shopping math before you buy when I recently sprung my favorite sandals from shoe jail on the fourth floor at Belk SouthPark. The kind folks there dont hold my items against their will its the only place I trust to fix/restore my precious kicks and leather goods.Anyway, heres the story of my sandals. I dont wear flats often (read: EVER). But I was in need of some comfortable stylish flat sandals two summers ago. While working part-time at Saks Off Fifth, I lamented buying these beauties for weeks pre sale (and employee discount) price had them at around $100. I wasnt sure I liked them enough to pull the trigger, but they were leather and were unique.Long story short, I bought them. And literally every summer since, Ive been so so thankful that I did. They recently took their third trip to shoe jail, where they received spa treatments so restorative, they looked brand new upon pick up. Never mind that they were fitted with their third set of new soles, or that the toe straps had been shortened (after being stretched out from two full summers of near-daily wear).Heres where the math comes in, and the importance of quality materials: those awesome leather sandals cost roughly $60 when I bought them back in 2010. Resoling in 2011 ran about $10. This years rehab was a bit more extensive, but so worth it, and clocked in at $25.So, my perfect pair of sandals has cost me about $95 total. Thats about $31 per summer, and I dont have to spend any time trying to find the perfect shoe Ive already got it in hand.Thats not too bad, when you consider the alternative: buying a new pair of flat sandals every summer. Low end that would run $25 per summer ($75), and they certainly wouldnt be leather. Nicer shoes (not even high end)? A minimum of $40-$50 per pair ($150).Im still working on applying buying better, buying less to my entire wardrobe, and Ive pretty much got it down with shoes and bags.So whats your take? Do you agree? No? Think its convenient retail rationalization?
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