Virtual Retail Therapy

I think we all have things that we like to do just because they make us feel good.  I like to go shopping.  It is not the acquisition of “stuff” that makes me happy (although sometimes it is that) but it is the actual act of shopping.  Usually shopping for me is a social activity.  I shop a lot with my mom and we usually make it a fun thing.  We treat ourselves to lunch or coffee (or if we go for a long time both), we talk and catch up and sometimes try on interesting clothes just to be silly.

I also love to go shopping because I get a lot of joy at looking at pretty things.  It ends up being a whole sensory experience.  I love stores that not only sell items that appeal to me but also do beautiful displays and merchandising.  Anthropologie is just a few blocks from my office, and sometimes if I need a break I will walk over there at lunch just to walk through and enjoy some eye candy that is a lot prettier than the piles of papers on my desk (plus it smells wonderful in there too).

I tend to gravitate towards stores like Nordstrom and Anthropologie primarily for this reason.  Because while I love to score a bargain like anyone, I have trouble shopping at discount stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Those stores to me tend to be a jumble of clothing and other items that make no sense to me.  Homegoods is the one exception here but that may be because I feel like they try to do some merchandising of their items (and their items are bigger and sometimes a little weird).  Apparently, I am every marketing person’s dream.

Sometimes, though, I do not have the time or energy to actually go browse at one of my favorite stores.  You know I have to get dressed, drive there and then find parking so it seems like too much trouble.  But I am craving that little thrill I get from looking at things that fill my senses.  So I do what I call online window shopping.

I have found that virtual shopping is even more satisfying though if you actually click and put items in your cart.  When you go to the store you can touch the items (and smell them if its Anthropologie) but when you are just looking at a website you do not get that same tactile experience.  So what I do is if I find something that I like I put it in my cart.  Later, I can easily go back and look at things if its in my cart.  And if I am looking for something specific and trying out my options it makes it simpler to compare them if they are sitting in my various carts.  Also if I check my cart often (and depending on how long the website will keep things in your cart) I can see if the item goes on sale.  It also prevents impulse purchases because things can sit there and I can think about if I really want them.  By being in my cart it feels like I sort of already have it even if it never is delivered to my doorstep.

Apparently, I am not the only one that does this because I get frequent emails from the websites reminding me “Your Shopping Bag: Get These Items Before They’re Gone!” to remind me that the store really thinks I should give them my credit card number to purchase. I think a lot of people do this probably for reason similar to mine.

So today I did a little virtual retail therapy.  It always makes me laugh a little when I’m finished “shopping” because there will be a ridiculous number of items in my shopping cart at a price that is astronomical.  But today I needed to do a bit because I am thinking about a DIY project (which if I do it will probably appear in a future post) and I can’t figure out what exactly I want it to look like.  I am in love with this bedding but I don’t need new bedding.  And I was feeling a bit blue because I have a broken toe and I’m hobbling around. So my cart ended up looking a little bit like this.

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Am I the only crazy person who does  this? -June