Thursday, November 09, 2006

Savers vs Shoppers: A Vogue Analysis

Why would someone spend $9,000-plus on a Carolina Herrera coat, but think twice about a $100 belt? Personally, I wouldn't spend $100 on a belt or $9,000 on a coat, but if you leave aside the numbers, Vogue magazine offers a thoughtful, and even frugal debate, about the emotional side of spending in the November issue.

"There's much more to shopping than pure, hard economics. We purchase things even when we know we shouldn't. We spend small fortunes on shoes but buy our dresses only after they've gone on sale," writes Jane Herman, author of the article: The Psychology of Spending.

There are a few basic spenders and savers, according to the Vogue profile.

"The Basics Junkies": These shoppers are addicted to basic items: For example, they'll stock up (and spend a fortune) on tee shirts with 10 or so in the same color or style, but the Basiss Junkies refuse to spend a lot for a special piece of clothing.
nickname: "Repeat Offenders"
Frugal Duchess Comment: Stocking up on wardrobe basics is a good thing. But how many black tee shirts do you really need?

"Cost-Per-Wear" shoppers: These shop-for-quality shoppers crunch the numbers to justify big-ticket purchases. For example: a $300 garment costs only $30 per wear if you wear it ten times.
"I prefer to buy things that I feel I'll wear forever," said one shopper.
nickname: Calculators
Frugal Duchess comment: I buy quality gaments but I think my cost-per-wear must be around $

The Multiple-Use Shopper: One shopper only buys items that have the "highest potential" for matching other garments from her wardrobe.
Nickname: Preview Shopper
Frugal Duchess comment: I use this strategy.

Other Shopping Profiles

Cash Only: One New York Fashion editor only buys impulse items if she has enough cash in her wallet to cover the purchase (no credit, no debit charges!)

Recycle: One bi-coastal decorator will only buy a new piece of clothing, if she "revives" an older piece from her wardrobe by wearing it several times.

Resale: Some shoppers buy new clothes only after selling older clothes through a consignment shop.

Vacation Splurgers: "I'm in Paris, and what's $2,000 for a souvenir, I'll actually treasure forever?"

Frugal Duchess comment: I'd use the $2,000 to bankroll another trip or to save the money in an emergency fund.


The Frugal Duchess Boutique

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