Today I’m continuing my deep dive into questions you should ask before making a purchase. Interested in previous questions?
Today’s question: Can you wait to make this purchase?
This is a great question to avoid impulse purchases. I have often found that delaying a purchase adds a layer of inconvenience that makes me unlikely to go back for the item. Do you think you want that candle or beautiful vase? Would you be willing to go back for it? Would you be willing to go out of your way for it? To drive 30 minutes across town for it?
This strategy was how I talked myself out of a beautiful cloche hat at a Ralph Lauren outlet many years back. Then, when I was still thinking about the hat a few weeks later, I called the outlet. They were sold out, but there was another outlet, conveniently on my way home for Christmas break, that had the hats in stock and would put one aside for me.
Rarely does this strategy prove me wrong, and the few times I’ve regretting not getting an item, I’ve either forgotten I wanted it or eventually found something better.
This strategy also encourages waiting for sales (and knowing sales cycles). It’s easy to be tripped up by sales. “This is on sale right now so I need to get it now or I never will be able to!” That seems accurate, but I’ve too often fell into the trap of thinking a sale is my last opportunity to get something, only for it to be discounted even further later.
If sales are your shopping catnip, learn the sales cycles. Know that Bath and Body Works candles are almost always $10 off, so wait for the 50% sale (or the annual $8 candle sale). Begin to learn the sales patterns. Know that limited edition holiday make up releases usually are in the clearance bin in January.
This question does carry risk. If you decide to wait to get something, it could sell out. Then again, something even better may be released in that time. Asking yourself if you need to buy this item now forces you to weigh the importance of having that item in your life. More often than not, I’ve found the items I choose to wait on, I never really needed. And when I’ve changed my mind, I’ve been able to find the item or something even better.