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What Does “Bargain” Really Mean, Anyway?

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then a bargain is in the wallet of the consumer.

Here’s what I mean: what “bargain” means to someone making $130,000 a year may not be the same to someone making $30,000 a year. That’s why it’s important that we as individuals decide for ourselves what a bargain is and not leave it up to manufacturers and retailers to decide for us.

You know your finances and your needs much better than anyone else. So before you make a purchase, before you shop a sale, you have to already know for yourself what a bargain means to you.

Here’s an example, while I’ll tweet just about any and every kind of sale there is (my followers are quite diverse), for me personally, it just doesn’t fall into the bargain category unless it’s on sale for 30% off or more. And it doesn’t fall into what I declare as dirt cheap unless it’s 50% off or more. Those are my standards and that’s what works for me.

The question is: what does “bargain” mean to you?

While I love helping and influencing other people’s purchasing decisions, you have to be the one to decide for yourself what a bargain is or isn’t to you. Some of you may be reading this now and thinking, “Thirty percent off? That’s no bargain!” And that’s okay. That’s good. Make up your own mind and stick with it. The best thing you can do for your budget is to create rules and standards that work for you (and your family).

But there is one thing I ask that you keep in mind. Know this: a bargain just isn’t a bargain (even if the price is $1) if it falls apart after just one use.

Who doesn’t love the price point of fast fashion? Twenty dollar shoes and dresses are quite tempting. However, if the hemline of that dress unravels after just one wash, or if the heels of those shoes start squeaking and feeling loose after one wear, then your bargain was no kind of bargain at all. It was a faux bargain, and you may as well as flush $20 down the toilet.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy fast fashion ever. But do purchase carefully. I have a pencil skirt from Forever21 that has lasted forever. However, my fast fashion purchases are few and far between. I practice caution, only making fast fashion (and second-hand, too) purchases that I know will survive wear and laundering.

So, the next time you hear a store or a brand (or a blogger) holler, “bargain!”, think twice. Does it meet your definition of bargain? Is it quality-made? And, does it fulfill a need or desire in your life? If so, go for it. But if not, walk away and leave that “bargain” for someone else. Save your shopping budget for something that truly means bargain to you.

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2 Responses to “What Does “Bargain” Really Mean, Anyway?”

  1. I love your blog! it looks great!