Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Christmas Shopping Opportunities

I think the ideal circumstance at this festive time of year is that you own something that is wearing out.  You desperately need to replace it, and by a stroke of luck you notice it's available on Christmas special offer at a retailer local to you  (Physically or on the Internet).

But in practice things don't quite match with this fantasy:

- There is a lot of seasonal Christmas advertising telling you about some "unrepeatable" special offers
- Friends and family might have certain Christmas present expectations,  that however unrealistic,you want to do your best to meet, to match their desires
- You might have been frugal all year, and you think, well, time to let go just a little.

So to tell most of us in the First World   (or as Agata tells me, Marcus living in the Zeroth World!!) some home truths that they know already:

At this festive Retail season

- Christmas was originally a Pagan festival and then a Christian festival.  It's not strictly supposed to be associated with spending money on stuff

- Carefully consider what you really need, compared to what you want and desire

- Ask yourself, when I buy this extra thing, by how much will my life, or that of the target for a gift be made better

- When buying for a friend make sure it is something that they want, not something you wish that they want

- Is your purchase going to be well used and be of lasting value?

- Is there an opportunity transfer cost i.e. can I spend the money better elsewhere

(Obviously, don't take this to extremes.  I am not suggesting you never buy anybody a present, get real!)

- Is this purchase going to sit in a pile of other like and yet unused purchases?

We Caved
As an example: Recently our Nespresso coffee machine croaked.

And quite by coincidence we noticed that purchases from a retailer, or Nespresso itself between October 23- Jan 17 qualify for 200 free coffee capsules, which is about the value of 100 CHF (Swiss).

Now the coffee machine costs just over 100CHF, meaning that with the free capsules the net machine cost is almost zero.

Although we choose to limit our use of this machine in favour of the Aeropress, we do still use it.   So overall, to use the English expression, this new deal, is timely, and we will be /quids in/.  Marvellous.

Not Can but Should
To Marcus and Agata, it should be more about what one should buy not what one can buy.

Buy responsibly.

Essentially: Don't be a dick.

U Pure at Galaxus
REI closed on Black Friday