Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Shopping Victories and Vices

by Joanne Rock

Have you checked out my new series?
Looking back over your shopping history, I’ll bet you can make a list of top purchases you’re proud of. Think about the times where you bargained for a great deal, used a coupon on top of a Black Friday discount, or walked out of the flea market with a brand new set of dishes for just a few dollars. There is a special joy in choosing well and knowing you spent your cash wisely.

But, my friends, there are other kinds of shopping joys that I sometimes revel in, and they often fall on the opposite end of the spectrum from “spending wisely.” Meet my shopping vices—splurges, impulse buys, gift sets, and pretty packaging. Sometimes, when I’m at my most wicked, I meet all four criteria with a single, beautiful purchase—a makeup brush set from a designer brand, for example, boxed with bonuses and packaged in pinks and bows. (Forget sleek, high-end packaging in steely grays and black. I like splashy pinks and metallic).

I live near an Ulta store, and this is a problem for me. I choose my moments carefully before I enter.
See that cute perfume in the upper right hand corner?
Twice a year, maybe, unless I’m buying a gift for someone else. Because I know myself, and I can only feel okay with the big, splurge purchases a couple of times a year. My local spa had a sale on sunscreen recently, and I drove halfway across town to scoop up the set because it came with a pink cooler and a beach towel, among a few other fun swag items. Who can resist?

In the past, I’ve been occasionally bothered by moments of guilt once I get home. After the shopping glow has faded, I might ask myself—Joanne, did you really need that perfume set with seven new fragrances? Of course not. No one needs all those adorable atomizers. I did it because it was fun and made me smile. Lately, I’ve discovered the guilt goes right away when I take these shopping joys and turn them into reader prizes. Because maybe I didn’t deserve a new nail polish set today, but you, dear reader, always do!

A past reader prize...
Notepads are another weakness of mine.
So welcome to my new shopping joy—not a vice at all—and that’s sharing my impulse purchases and splurges with you. I include some of the swag in prizes on my webpage, but most of it goes into my Flash Giveaways on my author Facebook page. There, I add a cute perfume to a stack of books and throw in some makeup brushes. I have a ton of fun creating prize packs that are color coordinated and readers get to enjoy them as much as me.
Once again, books save me… writing is my life calling. Readers reward me ten times over for following that calling. And now? They alleviate my guilt at a vice I can’t shake 😉. You all are the best.

***Please say I’m not the only one! What’s your guilty pleasure at the mall? Are you wooed by the Clearance Rack? Is Sam’s Club your Achilles heel? Share with me today your shopping triumphs and vices! I'll send one random poster a copy of one of my McNeill Magnates stories from Harlequin Desire... reader's choice! I'm flying today, but I'll be on the boards Sunday and will choose a winner mid-week. 


LynnB said...

I so feel your pain ... and JOY ... Joanne! :) I have to admit, one of my biggest vices is Vera Bradley! They constantly have a sale going on their website when they are clearing out certain prints, and then they have occasional ones of craziness like 50% off everything. How can I resist???

I love their purses, their accessories like wallets, pencil cases, etc. and I'm majorly addicted to their mini lined notebooks ... I use them year-round to take notes about books I'm reviewing and my schedule, etc. -- so I always jump for joy when new patterns of THOSE go on sale! Yes, I most definitely have a problem ... but I can't say I have a problem with that. haha

** Don't enter me! **


GMCT said...

Love to shop in other towns to see what's different from my town or to find something I saw.

Connie Lee said...

Plants and flowers, I love to go to the marked down rack at the garden center and see what I can find for 25 or 50 cents. If it looks like I can save it with a little tlc, I buy several.

Laney4 said...

So many vices ... so little time! I've never met a coupon or sale I didn't like.
I'm a goner in Value Village when they have dozens of sticker pages in a plastic bag for something like $3.99 or $5.99. (I scrapbook my photos but also use embellishments for decorating presents, envelopes, and cards.)
I'm a goner when I see a beautiful journal with lined pages. (Sometimes I find them in those plastic bags at Value Village, but more often I buy them on a trip - and pay full price, gasp - so I have a constant memory of said trip.) I keep track of what TV shows I record on them (as I get several months behind when I'm playing during prime badminton season).
Dollar stores are my friend for stickers and journals too.
Oh! And a few months ago, Michael's had my 12x12 pad of pages (as well as 12x12 albums) on sale for $7.00 each, so I stocked up royally. Since then, they've been on sale for $19.99 each (regular price $29.99) and I just walk by, LOL.
Seriously, though, I have ENOUGH of all of these things and I'm now trying VERY HARD not to buy any more - at least this year.

Eileen A-W said...

Items on sale or having a coupon that's 15% or 20% off entire purchase are my biggest shopping vice. Don't get me started on Costco or sale racks.

Kimberlyindy said...

I have a hard time resisting Target and those fun bargain bins in the front of the store. I also had hard time resisting the sale of planner and office supplies at aaronbrothers today and their extra 20% off coupon on the entire purchase. Your prize packs are always fun!

Mary Preston said...

I dare not go near a haberdashery store. I can't resist all of the lovely wool yarn and embroidery threads. The colors people, the colors!!!! Good thing people like hand-crafted gifts.

Audrey said...

Oh, yes, Joanne: Ulta is one of my splurges! But I do always take a coupon. I am a sucker for gift sets and sample sizes. But I do shop smart!

Congrats on the books, though I can't imagine any of your McNeill men use coupons--lol!

Joanne Rock said...

Audrey, the McNeills definitely don't seem like the coupon types . It's good to know I'm not alone though!! Lynn, I look for the Vera Bradley bags at my local consignment shop too... I've picked up little wallets and makeup bags for my purses for very little $ and if it's inside my purse I'm not picky about pattern. I think it's fun to go in my bag and pull out bright eyeglasses case in one color, makeup bag in a totally different pattern, etc. Like a wild garden of flowers!

dstoutholcomb said...

Target is my vice. lately, Pier 1 is, too.

Ulta finally came to my town about a year ago, and I have yet to enter. I'm afraid I'll become obsessed.


Joanne Rock said...

Denise, I didn't enter mine for months either.... but oh boy, did I have fun the day I gave myself permission to check it out :-)

Sharon said...

Earlier this year, I went through a phase where I wanted to buy (and did indulge a couple of times), pretty journals. I was fortunate in that I didn't spend too much on my purchases, and actually one of the journals was part of my wedding anniversary present from my husband, one that I picked out at Walmart! The other two journals came from Dollar General, so really, not much of a splurge! Of course, my biggest weakness is buying books, oh how I love my books!! I try to find good deals on them whenever possible, though, I scour many rifferent websites, go to thriftstores, yard sales, wherever I might find a deal on my books, I'll hunt them down!

Joanne Rock said...

Sharon, I adore journals!! They appear to my organized Virgo side... all the neat columns, all the possibilities for the future! I bought a pretty one this year with stickers. I practically swooned at the pages of stickers for birthdays ;-).

Joanne Rock said...

***Winner!!! Congratulations Eileen A-W, you're our winner this week!! Just email me at to arrange for shipping or download of your book!

Thank you all for visiting with me and sharing your shopping stories. I'm headed to NYC this weekend for BookCon 2017 and will not only stock up on books-- I will also be checking out the stores. I just turned in a book, so I am telling myself a little recreational shopping is a good reward!