Monday, October 22, 2007

When Frugal is a Waste of Money

I returned a pair of shoes today. I purchased them at the Nordstrom's Rack which is like an outlet for Nordstrom's. I know from inside sources that the Rack has buyers for the store in addition to the merchandise that didn't sell or went out of season from Nordstrom's. I needed to purchase a pair of black shoes for work that I could walk anywhere in.

Confession time - I have been known to purchase a pair of shoes because they were a good deal when they didn't really meet my need. The pair I returned were sensible but a bit big in the foot which I justified because I could wear socks. They also pinched a bit across the top of the shoe. Again I justified it with the idea they would stretch out.

When I got home, I left the shoes in the bag to give myself a chance to think about my purchase. (It's kind of a backwards wait 24 hour rule.) The more I thought about the shoes the more I realized that I had just cleared a few pairs of shoes out of my closet that had the same problem. They kinda worked, but were going to be painful to break in so I kept them in the closet for another day (and another... and another...) Finally I decided to put them on EBay and try to recoup my loses.

So what does my shoe shopping habits have to do with Frugality? A bargain isn't a bargain if you don't get good value from the purchase. Better it is to spend a little bit more for something that doesn't have to be "broken in". Make sure to count the number of times used, costs of owning, and length of time the item lasts in order to get a better idea of true cost.

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