It’s unshopping season!

shopping bag-clipartpandaIt’s the buying time of the year. Holiday sales! Christmas presents! Secret Santa gifts!

I’m not most people. I’ll buy a present or two but mostly I buy things that are needed here because the inventory and sales are better this time of year (I won’t discuss the “jack up the price so we can put them on sale” tactics).

Besides I like buying for myself or the house best of all!

I occasionally shop for the beloved husband but he doesn’t seem to NEED things like I do.

With that in mind I have been buying. Then returning. Then buying. Then returning.

First I bought a new wooden angel decoration. It was very attractive and large. I wanted something new. I thought it was showy and would make a statement. Everything we have has been around for a while.

It was 32” tall with painted silver hair and a white dress. It was big for the mantle but worst of all, it looked washed out with our more traditional red, gold and glittery stuff. Back it went.

There was a great sale (20%!) on pants I really like. This was a real sale. I know because I watch for markdowns all year long. It doesn’t happen often. I bought the pant I always buy but decided to try two new styles.

Yikes! When did “straight leg” mean wide and floppy! It looked like my body was on top of stove stacks. Big stove stacks!

Kept one pair, the two new styles went back.

I like Vera Bradley but it’s often pricey except for the ugly prints. Why is it that only the ugly goes on sale?

I was looking for a small satchel-type thing with shoulder straps to carry my Kindle. The goal was to have it attach to my body so I wouldn’t leave the Kindle in doctor’s offices or other places where I am required to wait. (No, I can’t use rivets for that!)

I saw what must have been closeouts because they were genuine Vera Bradley bags and the smallest (what I thought would work) was $15.

Wahoo! That is until I tried putting my Kindle in. It was an inch to short. Boogers! Back it went.

There were some success stories, just not as many. I found a new fleece throw (in the right color – refer to my comment on ugly above) for under $10.

This has all happened this week. It will go on as I try to find needed items at a good price point. Then again, at some point I will tire of it all and retreat back to my computer, books and lattes for the rest of the season!

So do you keep things that aren’t right? Or do you return them?


54 thoughts on “It’s unshopping season!

  1. Kate I hate buying a dud, but i hate taking things back more, because we live out of town. So I try to shop with that thought in mind. Can’t believe its all over for another year. Im so slow catching up on all my favourite blogs. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At the point where I just want the stuff I want. So I watch for things I know that will fit to go on sale online mostly now – at places that offer free shipping both ways. Traffic here is just too time consuming and crazy.
    But the Target down the block? We do buy stuff – like a new shower curtain – and return when it doesn’t look right. I am not keeping stuff that doesn’t work.
    Can’t return a gift unless the giver knew the size might not be right. Currently I’d rather have memberships at museums or tickets to ballet or event rather than yet another too warm for the climate sweater…but they never listen, so I’ll smile graciously.

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  3. I don’t buy that much and I’ve always returned the few things that don’t work. I never before thought of donating rather than returning but that’s what I’ll be doing from now on. Great idea!

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  4. I dislike shopping in brick & mortar stores. I’ll only buy something that is almost perfectly suited for my needs because I won’t go back to a store to return something. However, I’ll shop online and return something if it doesn’t fit. I don’t mind going to the UPS store to mail things back, but the mall… *ugh*


  5. My husband and I call it “anti-shopping.” I think I’ve bought the same rice cooker at Costco at least three times. So many people have told me that I HAD to have one. So, I buy one, take it home and realize A) I have no room on my counter, and B) a pot on the stove works just as well. You’d think I’d learn after just once, but no… someone else says that I MUST have one. Hopefully I have now learned that I really don’t need one.


    • Ahhh the rice cooker. We do a lot of rice (but it’s only two of us) so I’ve always considered one because the rice is supposed to be wonderful. I don’t have room on my counter or in a kitchen cabinet so I haven’t bought one. Your message confirmed my decision not to buy. I have a good friend who buys a lot of kitchen gadgets and raves about them. I bought a bullet (it’s like the newer ninja thingie) for smoothies because she loves hers. Never used it. If I want to make something like that I have a blender. Then she convinced me to buy a sandwich grill. Never use it because a small pan does grilled cheese just fine and is easier to clean. I am smart now and don’t buy things unless it’s basic and something I would use several times a week. I love that you tried it 3 times!


  6. I’m with ladysighs. Shopping is exhausting. Only art galleries are worse.

    Returns depend on how expensive the item is and how easy it is to return. I have so many family members to buy for that time is sometimes more important than money, sadly. If I can re-gift it, though…


  7. I am not much of a shopper and I try not to buy unless I need something. Seems when I buy simply because I want it something about it won’t be quite right and it goes back or gets donated. I like getting gift cards but some peeps think they are too impersonal as gifts.


  8. Oh, I’m far too lazy to return anything—that’s why we kept the kids. I think it’s also why my wife says I have a bunch of junk. But, one man’s junk is another woman’s garage sale. I wonder where my wife is going with that black paint and those 8 by 12 blank signs. Hmm… I’ll be right back, Kate.


  9. I hate any kind of shopping from grocery shopping to home goods to clothing. I know, weird woman. My sister, on the other hand, loves to shop. She just came shopping with me to help update my (old) wardrobe. I was ready to quit after one store but not Liz. I now have new clothes that were purchased on sale. And, I’ve got a few bags of clothes and purses to donate. 🙂


  10. I’m with Jill. I don’t buy much without considering it from every angle first, so we don’t often end up with new purchases that don’t appeal to us.

    The last time (and it will be the LAST time) I ordered a pair of sandals on line, they didn’t fit. Since the return postage would have negated most of the credited purchase price, I kept them to donate to a battered women’s shelter.


    • I buy a lot on line. Pond supplies are a much better deal that way. Clothing or shoes I won’t unless I know they fit. Except that occasional time like this past pant sale where the local store didn’t carry the new styles.


  11. I just read something from another blogger. Was it you? The idea for organizing life is to give away or throw out anything you don’t love. So, instead of taking things back, I am donating them to worthy causes (dropping them off at Good Will boxes). This might actually help someone, makes me feel noble, and it’s easier on the joints than in-person returns. 🙂


    • I donate stuff I have but not usually something I just bought. I try to only buy stuff I love. That Vera Bradley purse was really disappointing but even though I liked the pattern, it was too small to use as a purse (for me) and too small for my Kindle so back it went.


  12. I did that. I use to browse at lunchtime while I was working to kill time, then two days later return. The ladies use to hate me, but I used to find better bargains, they use to offer 40% off if I did not return!


  13. Typically, I won’t buy something unless it’s a sure bet, and I never buy anything unless it’s drastically reduced. As you mentioned, the mark-up is nuts.
    I hate to return things, so on the rare occasion, it’s not up to par, I’ll donate it.
    Good luck, Kate!


  14. I’m actually returning something today. I don’t normally mind returning things – I definitely don’t keep things if they don’t work out. Screw that lol. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who primarily uses the holiday sales to shop for stuff for myself. I’ve bought numerous things for myself to put under our tree along with the other gifts I have to wrap. It’s always seeing my husbands face when I open them. “where the hell did that come from?”


  15. I’ll definitely bring back things that aren’t right, which is why I’m hard to shop for, or so I’ve been told. I like what I like and if it’s not exactly what I want is rather return it then have it sit in my closet or drawer for years before I give it away.
    But that’s me..:)


  16. I used to buy all my clothes by mail order, have a little fashion parade in the privacy of my bedroom and anything that didn’t suit or fit went back.
    We don’t need anything these days, and when we do (like a new heavy tog winter duvet) we shop around and get the best deal possible.
    Sending stuff back in the UK usually incurs postal charges, so that’s a big deterrent for us. Mind you, we have sent away for a few things for the boat like a horseshoe life buoy, fenders and a replacement oil filter!
    I love shopping for Hubby though, if he’ll let me!


    • I only do on-line shopping when returns are free or there is a local store I can return it to. Even if the original shipment was postage free, the return often isn’t. We are at the same point as you mostly. We don’t need stuff and usually it’s replacements.

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