Each time I see the word “SALE” screaming in bold red in my face—in front of me, from behind, on my left and right—it makes me miss my 20something-old self.
Ah, how easily that girl gave in to that tempting four-letter word, enticed and cajoled into parting with her hard-earned cash, for a lot of things that, only later, she would come to realize, she had very little or no use for—clothes that didn’t work, shoes that were hard to walk in, clothes that didn’t fit, shoes that turned out to be ugly, clothes that, shoes that…
If I were to meet that girl again, I swear I’d slap her across the face so hard she’ll break into hives the next time she sees the word “sale.”
But does one ever beat sense into that foolish 20something girl that continues to reside in every older girl, who invariably hyperventilates at the sight of a sale sign, who turns into putty in the hands of shop owners? Apparently never, or the malls and shops would go out of business.
Last week, Robinsons Malls invited a few members of the lifestyle media to a lunch in its midtown outpost, at Robinsons Place Manila, to introduce its annual month-long “Red Hot
Sale,” which is on its third year.
Final midyear sale
This is the final midyear sale for the retail giant and its tenants, as they clear merchandise to make way for the holiday collections, according to Roseann Coscolluela-Villegas, corporate PR manager of Robinsons Land Corp., operator of Robinsons Malls. Which means, greater discounts than most scheduled mall-wide sales, at up to 70 percent off.
During the month-long “Red Hot Sale” this August, most of the mall tenants selling shoes, apparel, accessories and sporting goods, as well as other specialty shops, participate in the sale, offering a minimum of 10-percent discount on purchases. Robinsons Department Store and Handyman also offer great markdowns during this period. All 32 Robinsons Malls nationwide are participating.
Villegas handed each of us “Red Hot Sale” shopping bags, some shopping money, and a map of the mall, with clear markers on the fashion and lifestyle boutiques. We had 90 minutes to shop.
“Is it a contest? Because I’m competitive,” said Kimi, the young photographer with me. I could tell she wasn’t kidding. Had it been a speed contest, Kimi surely would have won; she was clutching her purchases—two pairs of shoes, one for hiking and another athletic pair—before the first 30 minutes were up.
That she did as I took my sweet time casing the joint. I’ve made too many “sale mistakes” in my 20s that serve me well, now that I’m older.
Skip the long lines
Lesson one, you only buy sale during a sale, or you’re a loser, capital L. You don’t walk into a sale, then end up and buy something that’s full-priced. Which happens often.
Lesson three, don’t buy just because it’s on sale. You’re not saving money in the long run if you end up going home with something you will end up not using.
Spring-cleaning about a year ago, I found so many shoes, clothes and other items, still with their tags on, that I don’t even remember buying. Most of them were from sales. It’s pretty tempting to give in to the heat of the moment. Well, guess what? That’s how expensive mistakes are made. You won’t die just because you’re not going home with that 50-off see-through skirt!
Lesson four, if you have the luxury of thinking it over, think it over. If it’s not something you absolutely need, sleep on it, or walk around the block. When you wake up or come around and you still want it, go ahead. If it’s gone by the time you get back, don’t beat yourself over it; it just wasn’t meant to be.
When my 90 minutes were up, I met with the group pretty pleased with my purchases. I had in my hands two perfectly fitting, Italian-made jeans from Girbaud (70-percent off each; that’s 50-percent for the first pair, the second pair was free); two 50-off tailored shorts from Mango; a cute dress with metal studs, 50-off, from Mango; a pajama set and two brassieres from Cotton On, all 70-off; and, yes, even an electric flat iron from the department store, also discounted!
What I’m saying is, if you’re faced with a good deal, go ahead and grab it. Knock yourself out! That’s what sales are for. You can have fun without letting go of all sense of rationality.
One day, when those clothes from last week’s “Red Hot Sale” are worn or no longer fit, I’d like to think the flat iron will still be serving me well. My silly 20something self never had that kind of foresight.
PHOTOS: KIMBERLY DE LA CRUZ