Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday - Buyer's Remorse

ROSEMARY HARRIS: So Black Friday is over. I spent the day at home writing and stuffing envelopes and sending emails (I had a free book offer on my newsletter and over 1500 people responded!)
I didn't spend a dime. Am I un-American?
I have friends who camped out at their favorite stores waiting for the doors to open and one who is already trying to unload an HP laptop that she bought on Friday. (No idea if it was a proposed gift that's already been rejected or she just couldn't pass up a great buy.)
I guess we've all done it. Bought something on sale that you normally wouldn't have purchased - just because it was on sale.
My very abbreviated list -
-The one-shoulder lilac sequined, attached on one side by velcro strips dress which I've never worn. It's Armani. Need I say more?
-The knee high orange boots (Donna Karan) that only pinched a little in the store.
-The black Tracy Tooker hat I wore once because I thought it made me look like Audrey Hepburn.
-The silver platform sandals. No idea what the thinking was here. Maybe I thought disco was coming back.
Any shopping mistakes you'd like to share as the holiday season kicks into high gear?


  1. Ro, I would have said the skirt that looked like the hide of a cow, but I did wear that to the Crime bake ball this year. And then wondered why I'd waited so long!

    So you sent out 1500 copies of Dead Head? do tell the story...

  2. LOVED THAT SKIRT, Lucy. Ro, I want the boots. So weird that orange is back. And you haven't wrapped them up for a Yankee swap?

    I hate crowds. Hate waiting in line. My trips to the mall usually begin at 9:30 AM midweek and end an hour (max) later. Extra discount coupon in hand, I pick through the already picked over racks of sale items. And buy... usually nothing. But the itch got scratched.

  3. Speaking of hats, I have several that were bought with big plans in mind, and then they've only been worn once, or never. I happen to look pretty good in hats, and enjoy them, but there are so few places to wear a hat these days.

    However, I just attended a funeral of a 94-year old woman famous for her hats. Every member of her family, including her grandson, was wearing one from her vast collection. It was a lovely tribute.

  4. I did NOT shop! In fact, I took a pile of clothes to the alterations person--and I'm thinking some of theose were mistakes that fit PRETTY WELL in the store..but then when it got right down to it, just never made it out of the closet.

    So now, FIX.

    Mistakes. Hmm. I did buy some amazing black suede sandals--Jimmy Choo. I adored--no, adore--them . I showed them to someone, and she said: "Where are you going in THOSE?"

    Fifteen hundred copies??? Let's hear that story, sister.

    ANd KAren, what a lovely hat story.

  5. I WISH there were more places to wear hats. The much-mentioned recently deceased aunt had a closet full of hatboxes - mostly fur and right out of Dr. Zhivago. That's time I'm up I'm blogging about hats. Maybe we can resurrect the hat contest at Malice.

  6. I stayed home on Friday. Can't understand that madness that makes people camp out overnight to save $20! But I have made my share of impulse buying mistakes over the years--the black and gold lame evening dress I never wore springs to mind. (Maybe I never went to a high school prom)
    Ro--seriously impressed with your 1500 book giveaway. Tell all, please!

  7. I wish there were more places to wear hats, too, Ro.

    And I wish wearing hats wasn't a 100 percent commitment in that once you put it on, you are pretty much done for the day.

    I have not shopped a Black Friday and am generlaly too exhausted after cooking for 15 to consider it, but I've bought a lot of MAJOR mistakes because they were on sale.

    Also I've made mistakes buying clothing on vacation. For example, the short leopard dress you buy in southern France, can not really be worn in suburban Masschusetts.

    The tropical breeze pantalets you buy in the British Virgin Islands, are really just for the tropics.

    And extra long, extra dangly earrings from my cousin's boutique in New Jersey, are just a bit too much for New Englanders.

  8. I've never been shopping on Black Friday. Ever.

    Um, but I haven't bought any Christmas presents yet, either, except for something to mail to a friend in England. It's still November (she says stubbornly!)

    My shopper's remorse episodes have usually followed shopping with friends, where I have been "enabled" to buy something, then got it home and wondered what on earth I was thinking. I confess I am often a catalog shopper, because a) things come in petite, and b) by the time I've poured over something in a catalog for weeks, it's usually sold out so I've then saved lots of money:-)

  9. I used to be a bookstore manager back in the day and I loved seeing which books were really going to take off (as opposed to the nones that the publishers just sent a lot of!)But that probably cured me of wanting to shop on that day. It was a zoo.

  10. I make a point of avoiding Black Friday, but then I hate to shop except for books and office supplies. I tell Ben he's lucky to have me--hate to shop and dislike diamonds and furs.

    I have made shopping mistakes, however, usually centered around things that somehow never look as good over a large bust at home as they did in the fitting room.

    And congrats to our Hank, one of the sexiest women of mystery. Should have been sexiest. I'm sure when she walks through a room full of men hearts are dropping right and left.

  11. Black Friday? What is this myth of which you speak? *gigglesnort* I refuse to even go to the grocery store on Black Friday.

    I'm normally not an impulse buyer. Shoes have to be REALLY comfortable before I buy them and you know, I don't really need 15 pairs of black shoes. LOL I do, however, have two pairs of "tropical" print pants that seemed really, really cute at the time and CHEAP! Plus we were going on a cruise. I didn't bother to try them on. Oops. I swear they're going in the next garage sale. No, really. Because I doubt I ever take a cruise again. And after my diligent weight loss, they fit a little better but...not quite.

  12. I have buyers remorse about an actual Black Friday purchase.

    Ross and I have done Black Friday exactly twice, and both times were when we wanted to get a steeply discounted big-ticket item. Not for gifts (does anyone really think those giant HDTVs are being given as presents?) but for the house. Last year, we got a Consumers Report top choice dishwasher from Sears at about half price. Excellent value, and we've been very happy with its performance.

    Then there was the desktop system we got on Black Friday in 2007. It was an amazing deal, complete with printer/scanner/fax, extra ink, Norton anti-virus and three years warranty and help desk coverage.

    The first problem was that much of the savings were tied up in rebates. Which I dutifully cut, copied and mailed out. Never got anything back. When I followed up I was told I had to resubmit everything. This is to at least four different vendors, mind. Some of them finally sent checks. I never did get the one from the computer manufacturer.

    The second problem arose when we had to refill the printer's ink. We discovered it was actually a "special edition" printer, made exclusively for the store that held the Black Friday Sale. The only place we could get the ink cartridges - which were at least $10 more per unit than the other leading brands - was at that store.

    The third problem? We bought it at Circuit City. Yes, the Circuit City that went bankrupt within a year and closed all their stores. Goodbye, warranty and help desk.

    My takeaway: you can in fact get some good deals, but you have to know what you're buying. Increasingly, manufacturers are putting out Black-Friday-only products that are cheaply made and unrated and unreviewed by consumer protection agencies. Caveat Emptor.

  13. I know someone who loves Black Friday so much, she shops to shop, and then returns almost everything the next week. I've never been able to figure her out. :-)

  14. The only thing I hate more than shopping is returning things. Which is why I like to take one of my daughters shopping with me. A second opinion helps.

  15. I talked to a person yesterday who works at Bloomingdales..she told me people return stuff that's YEARS old.

    I don't like to physically return things. but I've never regretted returning something. Which is kinda sad.

  16. I've had some serious shoppers remorse and on a few occasion, shopper's mortification. Like the black and white striped mini I bought in college. The first time I wore it out, I discovered there was no way to sit without advertising my Calvin Klein undies to everyone in the room. I wish I test drove it before debuting it at a frat party. And the interesting tully burgundy dress that made me look like Tinkerbell's depressed older sister. At least I was able to salvage that as a Halloween costume before donating it.