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Impulse Buys, My Shopping Story w/ Raise Marketplace

Sometimes you fall off the bandwagon...

Full disclosure (as always): this post is in collaboration with Raise Marketplace...

I wouldn't say I shop a lot... anymore. But pre-summer 2013, I was a lean, mean buying machine. I signed up for newsletters from all my favourite shops and, every morning, I'd sift through them all in search of a sale alert. And there was always a sale going on somewhere.

I found it extremely easy to justify my purchases because the sale had obviously shaved a few pounds off the original price. "Imagine if you'd bought this before the sale, dude," I'd say to myself as I ripped the cardboard boxes to pieces in order to get my hands on the treasure within, my new baby(-ies). "You would've spent so-so percent more!" I continued like this for a while, a slave to my inbox, waiting to be one of the first to shop the sales.

It wasn't until a pair of Calvin Klein leg warmers arrived in the post last summer that the happy bubble I'd been living in finally popped. To be fair, they were just under a tenner but surely a pair from Claire's, for example, would've worked just as well - and at half the price, I'm pretty sure they would've made me even happier.

I suppose I had "saved" in a sense compared to the RRP, but designer items are unnecessarily over-priced anyway; the sale price is probably what it should have been in the first place. In the grand scheme of things, I'd basically paid the same amount of money for a regular pair of legwarmers for a logo; a teeny patch of embroidery that you could only see if you looked close enough (thank God; not a fan of the narcissist-sized kind).

I suddenly became painfully aware of the number of items I'd bought just because they were in the sale section or part of a deal. I'm not your run-of-the-mill anti-establishment rebel teenager, but it did feel like I'd let myself be taken for a ride. The Man tempted me with slashed numbers and BOGOs and I fell for it; hook, line and sinker.

Needless to say, a shopping hiatus was in order. It's never easy going cold turkey, but I distracted myself by taking inventory of everything I already owned whenever I felt the urge to click and collect - which was almost always at night. This, I found incredibly useful because it made it so much easier to visualize all outfit possibilities when I started shopping again. Plus the time off made me a lot more aware of the little traps I'd been falling into. Now I've reevaluated my entire shopping system.

For one, no more shopping online past 9pm. I find that it is so much easier to find excuses (or not even needing an excuse) during the mind-addling wee hours of the night. Three for two? I don't care how much I'm "saving", I only need the one. Flash sale event? A wardrobe update is in order, but I should probably check insert-high-street-stores' websites and see if I can get any of these for even less. Up to 70% off? I'll do a lap round, fill my basket and then sift through everything when I'm done until I'm pleased with the total and with the fact that every item actually has a spot waiting for it in my wardrobe.

Sometimes, the buyer's remorse is kind of worth it though. If I'm unsure, I take a few days to mull it over. If I still can't get it out of my head, it's all systems go. And if it's out of stock, assess your reaction. Are you just bummed, or would you like to kick yourself in the metaphorical balls for not picking it up the day you found it? If it's the latter, gurrrlll, you better ask a member of staff when it's gon' be back in stock. Otherwise, you just saved yourself a couple bucks - congratulations!

If you'd like to see a few examples of how you could also be getting roped into spending instead of saving, you can head over to the Raise Marketplace blog.

Now I've got you, I've also been contacted by a lovely Media student from Holland, Verena who's doing an academic study on consumer trends in the fashion blogosphere for her Masters degree. I'm a sucker for a good survey and I know writing a thesis is no easy feat, so I was more than happy to help her out by giving it a go myself and asking you guys to take part as well. It's open to all ages, genders and nationalities; it only takes a few minutes; you can do it on your phone; and you have the option of entering a prize draw for a 50 ASOS voucher at the end, so click here if you're interested, kiddies!

Disclaimer: As always, this post is completely unbiased. I have also not received any compensation for it; I'm just helping them spread the word.

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