No, it’s not a riddle, and I’m not trying to trick you. The allure of the clearance rack tempts plenty of guys (and us ladies, too) into making impulse purchases. Tucked away in the back of the store, these deeply discounted wares may seem like a good idea at the time, but often make for less-than-wise buys. Because buying an item that’s heavily discounted isn’t a break for your wallet if you never wear it.
So when should you say “yes” to the sale, and when should you simply walk away? Below, a few tips to keep in mind the next time you’re out shopping.
Buy it if …
• You wonder why it’s on sale.
“This (coat/sweater/belt/etc.) is great!” you think. “Why is this on clearance?” Maybe a shirt in your favorite color didn’t sell that well, or the shoes seem off-brand for the store where you found them but are totally your style. A good sale purchase is one you’d make even at full price.
For instance, last summer I fell in love with a pair of orange, (sort of) strange-looking tie-dyed wedges at DSW. I waited a week, and when I went back to the store, they’d been marked 60 percent off. Turns out, no one but me wanted citrus-hued hippie heels. Fine by me! Find your orange tie-dye wedges (metaphorically speaking of course), and you’re good to go.
• It fits.
Relatively well, at least. If you’re considering a suit jacket or blazer, for instance, make sure it fits across the shoulders. If it doesn’t, you’re going to spend all the money you saved on tailoring, and your new purchase still won’t look that great. Cut to: You pulling it out of your closet once a month, remembering it doesn’t fit well, and stuffing it back inside. Your “steal” will never see the light of day.
Skip it if …
• You’re making excuses.
“Well, OK, sure, the pants are pleated, but I mean, they’re half off!” Sorry, but if you don’t like pleated pants when they’re full price, what makes you think the money saved will magically turn you into a pleats lover? Don’t try to convince yourself an item is your style just because it’s suddenly in your impulse buy price range.
• It receives a less-than-enthusiastic reaction.
The woman you’re shopping with (you always bring a woman shopping with you right?) says, “It’s…nice.” If she likes an item on you, she will say so. If she doesn’t, she’ll say, “It’s nice.”
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