Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What is Your Shopping Style?

Next time you go clothes/shoes/handbags/jewelry shopping, think about how you tend to shop. I'm not talking about what you do when you are helping your friend find a dress for a last-minute event. I'm talking about your natural tendencies when you go shopping for yourself, alone or maybe with your favorite shopping buddy.
Below, the types of shoppers I have seen and my unsolicited advice for each...
Indecisive Shopper
This shopper can't commit to a purchase, great or small. She might try on a lot of items, but she buys little.
My recommendation is that you examine your closet, make a list of what you want/need, and befriend a Power Shopper or Shopaholic (discussed below). And note your store's return policy- if you get home and change your mind, just bring it back!
She shops for fun, for therapy, as a hobby. She tends to buy often, even when she doesn't need anything.
If you are able to browse without buying, I recommend indulging in your desire to see what's out there either online or in store, while limiting yourself to 1) a strict list of needs, 2) a budget, or 3) a certain number of times per month or week when you are allowed to make purchases. Or start helping your friends shop- you can be out there in the wide world of retail without spending your own money.
Bargain Hunter (Huntress?)
Price is her first consideration regardless of the item. Typically has specific price caps, over which she will not spend for certain items (i.e., no more than $80 on shoes). Now, I don't advocate spending more than you can afford, but she may be looked upon as cheap.
The problem with shopping this way is that you may be sacrificing quality. I recommend expanding your price range, even if just slightly, to allow for a greater number of things to be considered. True classics- trench coat, LBD- may truly be worth more than your (probably) arbitrary price ceiling.
Power Shopper
She is Type A in every sense. She has a list and she sticks to it. Efficiency is the name of the game.
My only recommendation is that you take a little time to enjoy yourself. Shopping can be fun, and I hope you can enjoy the process at least a teeny tiny bit.
The Browser
Examines every option. Wants to try on every pair of pointy-toed boots in the city before selecting one pair to buy. Makes informed decisions, but they often take a long time to make.
I recommend doing some online research to shorten your in store search time. I also recommend befriending a Shopaholic, who also tends to know what's out there and could help you edit your choices more quickly. If you love the browsing process, stick with it, but when you find something that fits your life/style/budget, just get it already!
The Hater
She just doesn't want to be there. She sticks to very few stores, buys a lot at once to get it over with, and is relieved when it's over.
My recommendation is to make a list and befriend a Power Shopper, who will help you get in and out without much fuss.
Who are you when you shop?

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