VIVA's Guide to Shopping With Manners

Sales season. A time of year when women are giddy, but one that can bring out the worst in some shoppers. VIVA’s guide will get you to the till with dignity intact...
ByJennifer GibsonTuesday , 16 September 2014
VIVA's Guide to Shopping With Manners

Discount. Two little syllables guaranteed to send even the most stable women a little weak at the knees. Don’t get us wrong, we love to shop the whole year round. But no matter how often we hit the mall, there’s nothing quite like the promise of a whacking great saving to truly send us consumer crazy.

The problem is, crazy is sometimes the operative word. Who hasn’t seen the news footage of unwitting tourists trampled by the stampeding herds that tear into Bloomingdale’s on discount day each year? Sure, you might leave with a cracker of a bargain. But you might also leave with a cracked collarbone...

Thankfully, VIVA is well practiced in the art of bargain hunting. So before Dubai’s season for shopping arrives, here’s our guide to getting in, getting the good buys and getting out alive!

Be honest: how many unworn ‘bargains’ have taken up precious space in your wardrobe over the years? A few “I’ll diet into it” dresses? A pair of shoes that will be just perfect with an insole, or a top that will be totally wearable once you find the ideal strapless, backless bra? Nope, it’s not just you. 

You see, we’ve all been caught unawares by a serious case of bargain head. Sure, those jeans don’t fit. In fact, they’re about 72 inches too long, and that’s when you’re wearing your highest heels. But you’ve seen Kate Moss wearing the exact same ones and, at half price, it would be rude not to, right? Wrong. 

Chances are, if you won’t be able to wear it tonight, you won’t wear it at all. And while there are exceptions to the rule, especially if you have a reliable tailor on speed dial, nine times out of ten, what seems too good to be true actually is. For a savvy shopping experience, it pays to be prepared. Go through your wardrobe, 

You know what would go great with those Choos? A new handbag. You know what wouldn’t? A black eye. Yes, that might seem obvious, but every year there’s a bargain hunter who just doesn’t know when to admit defeat, a woman whose lust for a label becomes so all encompassing it’s bound to end in tears. Trust us, you don’t want to be that woman.

No matter how much you want something, if you get to it a few seconds after another bargain hunter, step back, accept defeat graciously and learn when you’ve been outshopped.

When the doors to your favourite store open and you eye the racks of discounted designer goodies, you might feel like the pressure is on. But ask anyone who has ever experienced the trials and tribulations of working in retail during sales season and they’ll tell you they’re undoubtedly the ones really feeling the heat.

From the assistants sent flying in shopper stampedes, to the ones treated as human clothes rails, the lot of a retail worker is often a woeful one.

Be respectful. Treat those manning the tills as you would wish to be treated yourself and remember, sometimes a little politeness can go a long way to locate your must-have item.

I can’t be the only person who regularly arrives home, laden down with shopping bags, only to wither under the disapproving stare of the man of the house.  I opt for what I like to call sales math, telling him not how much I’ve spent, but what I’ve saved. “That top, darling? Well that was 75% off. And those jeans were half price. Such bargains!”

But this brilliant tactic is less advisable when used in-store unless the season’s key trend is bankruptcy. As such, one sensible friend gives herself a sales budget, taking that amount out in cash and leaving her cards at home so she won’t overspend. Another freezes her credit card once she’s reached her spending limit. Take their advice and rejoice in the knowledge that, this year, your credit card won’t actually melt at the checkout and that you will have achieved true shopping success.

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