My little niggling voice speaks with the same derisive sarcasm with which I blog. Go figure.
My filly’s soccer team’s parents had bestowed upon me a gift card to this local specialty shop as a gesture of appreciation for volunteering to
After my lunch hour 6 miler yesterday, I headed to the local running shop to hit Day One of their BIG-BLOWOUT, SUPER-EXTRAVAGANZA SEMI-ANNUAL SIDEWALK SALE. It was chaos. Cars parked everywhere. I had to stash my vehicle a ¼ mile away. I might like to run 26 miles but I sure don’t like walking a quarter mile. A half hour later, I heard that same sneering internal voice as I again headed out the door with nothing in hand but my well-ingrained sense of financial responsibility, metaphorically speaking.
I browsed. I elbowed. I price checked. The nice thing about shopping at a running store is that, if things get physically confrontational over a pair of sale-priced compression shorts and a fight breaks out, if you’ve had a hamburger within the last week you’ll probably win the brawl.* Eventually.**
So here I was with a gift card burning a hole in my pocket searching through piles of sale-priced shoes, jackets, shirts, hats, gloves, etc. Things were definitely cheaper than what they normally sell at in this store. But here’s the rub: They were still more expensive than what I could pay for the same item elsewhere. Case in point: My Asics shoes. I need shoes. I would have bought shoes at a SUPER AWESOME, HEAD EXPLODING DEAL price. The tag said they are normally $100 but marked down to $75 for this sale!! Okay….cheaper…but I normally only pay $60 for these same shoes. All they did was reduce the amount of mark-up compared to my ‘go to’ store. They were treating me like an aging prostitute. I was just being screwed less.
Even though I wasn’t even going to have to pay for the shoes thanks to the gift card, I still couldn’t pull the trigger. It felt like wasting a gift card. I didn’t let loose all that rage on impressionable children, twice a week during practice and once on the weekend game, just to get chiseled out of $15!***
I try to buy there when the price difference is within reason. All my Gu comes from their little corner of nutrition. I might buy a pair of shorts…maybe some socks. I run a few of their sponsored races each year. Heck, I even smile and wave when I cross one of their employees on the running trails – something I don’t normally do for the commoners.
So the little niggling voice can shut up.
I support the local running store. I’m with them in spirit. They get first crack at selling me something I need, and I even look at them suggestively when driving by on my way to a cheaper store. In other words, my support ends at a 10% mark-up. Max.
*Yes, that was a gaunt runner (i.e. “runner chic”) joke.
** Followed by an endurance joke.
***Don’t judge. You know you get your toilet paper from WalMart too.