Sunday, January 12, 2014

Unworn, bought on price & unloved

As a volunteer at a charity (Fitted for Work) whose mission is to help women experiencing disadvantage find & keep work, part of the work involves providing a dressing service for these women, so they look the part for interviews and for work. Enter stylist services. 

The clothing & accessories used for the dressing service are all donated from individual women and corporates who arrange drives with their lady employees as part of their social responsibility programs.  

After one & a half years of weekly volunteer work at FFW, I can put my hand on my heart & say without a doubt, that when any pair of shoes was donated with its original box, it had never been worn more than once AND the price has been reduced multiple times. 

Multiple reductions, ey? Sounds good.

Or is it?

What I saw wasnt reductions of 30% or 40% or even 50% reduction. Its usually 70% or 80% or 90%. 

Enter exhibit A: 
A Mimco shoe
Original AU price was $230
Reduced to $139 (40% off)
Then reduced to $99 (56% off)
Then reduced to $50 (78% off)

I don't know about you, but when I pay $50 for a pair of reduced shoes & end up donating them, I just lost $50. It wasn't a bargain at all.

In fact, I'd go so far as saying the item is mocking you from the closet - you spent money & you should feel guilty for not wearing it. Self esteem through the floor. Oops. 

So why are women buying super reduced shoes, not wearing them and then donating them?

Glad you asked. 

When  you buy in a frenzy environment (brick or click), you dont think about features and benefits. You focus on the red texta markdowns and features and benefits take a back seat because "it's such a bargain". 

If it's so cheap, even if I only wear it a few times, it'll be worth it. 

I cant find what I was looking for at the sale, so I'll just take this instead.

Would you have considered it at full price? Generally, not in a million years. 

The classic pieces (which I wanted) sold out earlier but this ridiculous colourway & style is still here on sale. 

It may look nice with that dress I have (which I never wear) but I dont have it with me, so I cant be sure, but its so cheap, I'll take it anyway. 

If it's not right for me, I'll give it to my sister, BFF. 
[Note to my sisters & BFFs: I do not want your sale cast offs.]

It could be lovely, but the lighting, the mirrors, the fitting rooms and all the jostling in here are not good, so I'll just take it & it'll be OK at home. 

I've got the wedding tomorrow, I am running out of time & options & I am so tired, I'll take it; I am sure it'll be fine. 

The sale ends today, so I'd better just get it.

The third one is free (but I only need one), so I'll top up to three pieces because it sounds like good value...

& the clanger of all clangers: "I'll diet to fit into it."
[Always buy for the size you are today. If you lose weight, have it taken in or buy something else to celebrate.]


1. In every single excuse above, you compromised on features/quality.
2. You would not have looked at the item at full price.
3. You bought on price. 
4. When you buy on price, you compromise your wallet, your wardrobe & your self esteem. 
5. You deserve better.

PS: I am not suggesting that every single instance of multiple reductions will be a wardrobe failure. 
But I have seen enough to be 100% confident that most instances of "unworn & bought on price" means unloved. 

PPS: I recently wrote a blog post "It's in the clearance sale cos no-one wants it"...if you like this post, you'll love that one too....

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