Tag Archives: shopping

Shopping Should Be A Joyful Experience!

I'm not a shopaholicIt should come as no surprise that I like shopping. After all, my Twitter handle is @valshopaholic. However, as much as shopping can be a form of therapy – for we live in a society where we are taught to believe that having is better than not having, regardless of what it is that we have or how much of it we have – shopping is not always a pleasant experience.

I recently caught up on a wonderful British television series called Mr Selfridge which is a dramatisation of the life of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the self-made American entrepreneur who took his ideals to England and introduced a wonderful concept to the people called “the customer is always right” with his grand department store, Selfridges. The show is well-written and brilliantly acted and you cannot help but fall in love with every single one of the characters (or, in the case of the evil Lord Loxley and the jealous Mr Thackeray, you hate them from the moment you lay eyes on them).

But as much as I have loved the way the characters have been written, I have also become fascinated by the concepts around the act of shopping as an experience, much of which we take for granted now, more than a hundred years after Selfridges first opened its doors in London’s Oxford Street. Whilst we are all accustomed to the sight of cosmetics counters at the front of department stores and it may seem unfathomable that we are not allowed to try on clothes and accessories before paying for them, there once was a time when even touching a pair of gloves at the accessory counter was a big no-no. Harry Selfridge had the grand vision that shopping should be an experience for his customers and that his store should be presented as a place to dream, relax, enjoy, and basically spend their days (and fortunes).

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Are You Ready For Black Friday?

Black Friday.  Consumerism at its best.  Or worst.  It really depends on whether you’re someone who’s prepared to camp out in front of Wal-Mart overnight in the cold in the hopes of “saving money” or if you value sleep, comfort, warmth and your sanity.

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia.  We’re the “lucky country”.  We’re thankful everyday.  Instead of stuffing a turkey on Thanksgiving day, we stuff ourselves on Christmas day with a barbie – no,  not the toy with the unrealistic physical proportions, I mean a barbecue.  Instead of Black Friday, we have “Boxing Day Sales”.

For the past week, I have seen segments on American news and talk shows such as Today, The View (don’t judge me!) and The Ellen DeGeneres Show talk about Thanksgiving and about shopping for bargains on Black Friday.  Not surprisingly, advice from some money management experts have been to stay home and shop online or to wait for another day.

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Dilemmas of a Shopaholic

Contrary to popular belief, Sophie Kinsella’s best-selling novel “Confessions of a Shopaholic” is not a dramatization of my life, although in view of the fact that Rebecca Bloomwood ended up marrying a millionaire, I wish it was a story about me.

What do you do when you’re a self-confessed shopaholic without a job and running low on cash?  If your answer is to thank whoever the genius was who invented credit cards, then you should be ashamed of yourself!

OK, so I do love my credit cards, but I’m proud to say I have never been their #1 customer because what they love is a customer who spends lots and never makes their repayment in full every month so that they can charge you a lot of interest while they continue to offer you a higher credit limit and more credit cards.  Sorry, Mr Banker (admittedly, I was a Ms Banker in a former life), but you ain’t gonna get your mitts on my hard-earned cash that way! The government already has dibs on that privilege!

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