Large department chains crowing about how really, really, freakin’ low their prices are, and without fail, the people they use to drive this point home is women. Women who are supposedly just like me, just us gals trying to make a cosy home in this crazy world we live in.
Well I say bog off!
I do not relate to commercials showing wacky women bouncing around department stores on children’s toys or women stroking towels and then wetting their pants over a toaster priced at ‘Oh my god! $8! That’s unbelievable!’
Yes, it is unbelievable you moron! Don’t you understand, how the hell can a toaster be made for $8!!
It’s about this point my family tiptoe out the room, suddenly remembering other things they had to do rather than continue to watch TV with me.
I can get a little het up.
Breathe, Bernie, breath……
Ahem, but there is something about paying $4 for a T-shirt or $8 for a toaster that just doesn’t sit well with me. How can you make a product for those prices? Someone has to be getting ripped off somewhere along the way, whether it’s a third world country supplying materials, or low paid factory workers who made it, or a truck driver working long hours to deliver it, cuts have to happen somewhere to get these prices so ridiculously low.
How much do I want to pay?
I want to pay a fair price.
I don’t want to pay something so ridiculously marked up that I’m half expecting Candid Camera to be waiting for me at the checkout, but I don’t want the price to be so low that buying it just doesn’t feel good, knowing the cost to produce the item has to be taken up somewhere else.
So, to stop the rants and show my family that I can watch commercials on television without becoming a psycho I’ve come up with a few consumer rules for myself:
Always check the second-hand shops first for what I need
This way I know I’m not sending a message to these bigger companies that I want to consume their way by removing myself from the demand for cheap first-hand products.
When buying second-hand, only buy it if I would pay full price for it new
Meaning, if it’s crap, don’t buy it just because it’s a bit cheaper. The idea is to only buy what I need, not more stuff that I never wanted in the first place.
Buy from local sources After the second-hand shops my next stop is my local suppliers or markets to support my local community.
Find better alternatives online
We are lucky to live in an age where as consumers we have variety and choice. There is a huge market for sustainable shopping options online, whether it is through eBay, Gumtree, Freecycle, buying environmentally friendly products, second-hand products or even handmade products direct from the person who made them – hello etsy!
At the end of the day, whatever the product is that I hold in my hands, be it a t-shirt, a book, a toy or a hamburger, I want to be able to have respect for the work and the energy that has gone into creating it and be able to enjoy it knowing I paid a fair price.
If I can’t afford to pay a fair price, I shouldn’t expect someone else, somewhere else, to pay for our never ending demand for cheap disposable consumer rubbish.