Saturday, March 21, 2009

$hit costs money

Yesterday was the first day of our big spring sale! Cross your fingers, open the doors, and hope customers feel like spending some money.

I was perky and had on my positive attitude. The store looked full and fun, a range of merchandise from disposable to investment, and new mark-downs in clearance! Imagine my dismay when one of the first customers I dealt with started bitching about how much the item they wanted cost. It was a cheap piece of import furniture.

Here's the thing: shit costs money. Especially NEW shit. Someone buys new materials and maybe even sets up a factory, pays people to make it, finds buyers and ships containers of their shit to locations all over the world. Then people buy and immediately depreciate the shit.

It pains me to see customers stress about buying anything that they cannot afford. They need a sofa and are looking at new items that are out of their price range. Sometimes they go for a piece that is not really what they want, but is less expensive. I think if you aren't getting the sofa you want anyway, why not get a used one and save some money? That way when it falls apart, you won't be angry that your crappy new sofa collapsed.

Many customers at my work don't seem to understand the idea of used items. They will describe something and occasionally I feel comfortable suggesting they look in a thrift or antique store because (1) that is the ONLY place to find the item they want or (2) it is the best place to look for their item and get a sensible price.

As a poor person, I often buy used. But more important to me that getting a good deal is being an informed consumer for any purchase, new or used. Why does something cost what it does? How long will it last? Will I be able to resell it if I wish? Can I get more later? What is product fact and what is carefully crafted marketing?

Quit bitching and ask some questions.


  1. Nearly all the furniture I own is used!

  2. We bought most of our stuff from Ikea. Cheap and cheerful, plus I pay in instalments. The expensive stuff we scrounge from parents (thanks for the plasma TV, Dad!) :)