Wednesday, December 2, 2009

National Buy Nothing Day

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is also National Buy Nothing Day. The idea I guess is that we try to refrain from buying things we really don't need and instead reflect on what we do have. Black Friday is known for being the biggest shopping day of the year, so to not buy anything on this day is a big deal, some might say somewhat of a sacrifice and ultimate test of self control. With all the deals out there and advertisements of sales on the hottest items for the holidays it is a hard day to observe. I must confess I did end up buying two things. One was makeup concealer I use everyday at Aveda, and the other was some fabric for my office window seat. The concealer is something I was out of and I put into the category of an essential, like toothpaste or deodorant. The fabric, although not quite an essential, is a part of a project I've been working on this past month and I had a 50% off coupon for it. I shopped around for the right fabric for at least a month and final decided on it. By the time I bought it there was more of a sense of completing a task rather than buying something extra.

The most exciting part of my day was that I took advantage of a price adjustment on something I bought the week before. I purchased a gift for my parents marked down 50% the week before Black Friday and then saw it was marked down an additional $20 between certain early bird hours. Although I didn't want to head out in the crowds, I figured that if I could get $20 put back onto my credit card it might be worth it. Boy was it ever! I not only received $20 back, but I got an additional $6 for something else I had purchased that was also now on sale.

How I did this: I called the store ahead of time to make sure I could get a price adjustment on the item I had purchased. Customer Service said that I could as long as I came within the Sale hours advertised with my receipt. When I arrived at the store I walked immediately back to Customer Service and stood in a line that was much shorter than the checkout lines. It took about 5 minutes to wait my turn and then another 5 minutes or less to get my adjustment. I was patient, shared a smile, and thanked the gal who helped me. It happened to be the same lady I talked to on the phone. She appreciated my kindness and thanks and I left feeling absolutely terrific for basically getting $26 back in less than 15 minutes.

So, although I didn't quite "buy nothing" last Friday, I did earn some money back, which I think is pretty good anyway. Apparently, it's more about being more conscious of the purchases we make if we simply have to buy something.

To end, a quote or paraphrase I remember from high school English class.
"On Walden Pond" Henry David T.- "The cost of a thing is equal to the amount of time in which it takes to acquire it."

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