For as long as I can remember I have always been a good saver. I would hoard my Christmas chocolate stash for weeks and savour every mouthful. Whereas my brother would get his chocolate and it would be gone by the end of the day. I didn’t understand that because there were so many nice things to eat that day. But if there was one thing that I inherited from my dad (I’m glad I didn’t inherit his balding) it was his bargain hunting. I know, technically you can’t inherit bargain hunting (don’t be so pedantic).
Some of my best bargains have been to do with our house. I bought some carpet tiles, not knowing exactly what I was getting, but knew it was a good price. I then found out it was the deal of the century with them being brand new and having a value of around $15,000, but only costing me $300. Can I get an Amen? I bought some beautiful cedar doors for our lounge. A builder friend of ours said he would be happy to pay $1000 second hand for them. I only paid $180. I could go on, but I don’t want to make you jealous.
A bargain hunter could look like any other normal person on the planet (what is normal?). But whenever they are faced with a purchasing decision they start to show their darker side. Whether it is buying a house, a TV, a pineapple, socks or toilet paper, we have to get a bargain. Why? It must be something to do with primaeval tendencies of the hunter. We need to stalk our prey and win. It’s not finding a balance of me win-you win, but it’s more like me win-me win.
You may look at us in disgust and not want to associate with such a gnarly creature. But please don’t feel sorry for us. It is this skill (okay, it wasn’t inherited) that helps with those big-ticket purchases. If you have to get a bargain, then you aren’t going to get caught up in the emotion of something and are quite happy to walk away if it doesn’t meet your criteria. People who don’t have this disease (oh it’s getting worse) can get carried away by their feelings and are likely to end up making a decision they regret or just a bad investment.
Actually, I am a recovering bargain hunter. I used to critique every purchase my wife made. I couldn’t help myself. If she paid more than half price for the corn chips I would have to run through my price to weight ratio calculations. I decided to bite my tongue a bit (that’s why I talk funny) so that it seems like I am in agreement with her. I find I am more balanced now. But I have to remember that I am a recovering bargain hunter and could be set off by anything that could be seen as a rip-off. Do you need to get a bargain or are you happy to waste money?
Also published on Medium.