Bargain whisperer I
My brother is a bargain whisperer. Whenever and wherever he goes shopping, he finds the best items at the best prices including those on final markdowns.
When he lived in Boston, we both worked downtown and, along with another friend would regularly detour through Filene’s Basement on the way to the T to catch the Redline home to Dorchester. These were glorious days of shopping at Filene’s Basement when you got well-made and high-priced items at bargain prices rather than cheaply made products for the discount stores so common today.
(Let me stop here and let out a long sigh for the demise of the original Filene’s Basement. Sigh-igh-igh.) Okay – I’m over it.
Brother-dear would regularly find items that had to be taken to the “charity desk” for a final, unprecedented markdown.
During my recent visit home to St. Louis, he worked his magic in Stein Mart, a department store unfamiliar to me in Massachusetts. We found seriously wonderful, stylish men’s shirts on final clearance for $3.95-$6.95. He found items that I had not seen looking in the same section.
It helps that he has good taste and a wonderful sense of style. I’m trying to be more stylish – somehow that fashion sense that my brother, daughter, sister and Mom (supreme of all) just doesn’t come naturally to me. But I’m trying.
Bargain whisperer II
My best friend is a bargain whisperer, too. Not only can she find clearance items and use coupons to get them for next to nothing, she also has an uncanny ability to have store clerks give her things for free and/or undercharge her. I swear she must use telepathy on them. (This has happened to me twice over the twenty years I’ve known her, but only when I was with her.) When it happened last year, I was so nervous, I practically tripped over myself trying to get out of the store quickly. I did battle with myself about whether I should correct the salesclerk but I decided to accept the unexpected bounty.
Bargain whisperer 0 (That would be me.)
I’m not a bargain whisperer because:
- I don’t go shopping frequently enough. Brother-dear and friend-dear go shopping at least once or more weekly.
- I don’t like browsing especially with funds low.
- I don’t spend enough time in the store really examining the goods.
- I second-guess myself on choices, which is why I made a stupid decision not to pick up a simple and elegant black cardigan that I need when I happened through TJ Maxx between two meetings downtown the other day. Dumb-dumb-dumb! You know the sweater won’t be there if I go there this weekend.
- I think too much about the real cost of the items I’m buying, in terms of what the store paid the people who made the items. I’m assuming that they are still making profit on the clearance and sale items.
- I talk myself out of buying things…not helping the economy much there am I?
- I’m pretty content with what I have (and determined to fit into a couple of bins worth of clothes in a smaller size – a bigger bargain cannot be found than free).
- The things on my wish list are not likely to be found in the bargain aisle.
- I think rich even though I’m clearly not in terms of money.
Do you know any bargain-whisperers? Or are you one yourself?
If you are, you have my admiration especially because in the case of the two bargain-whisperers of this post, I have often been the beneficiary of their
shopaholic, I mean, bargain-finding ways.