Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Thrill of the Hunt

I am a hunter. 
My husband is a gatherer.

There is a difference. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Finding a treasure in an unexpected place. Bargaining with the person selling the item, seeking out the best deal on whatever I might be buying.

My husband enjoys acquiring things and having things and having more things. He gathers them around him and keeps them. Lots of them (whatever they might be). The price doesn’t matter. He sees it, he wants it, he buys it.

When we got married we had to blend our shopping styles. The first time he wanted a new pair of jeans and walked into the store and just bought them, I almost fainted. He didn’t check the sale ads. He didn’t look for the clearance rack. He didn’t even check the price tag on the jeans he purchased. He just picked up his size, walked to the cashier and paid for them. The hunter in me flinched. The gatherer in him went home and took the tags off the jeans and put them in the closet with his 100 additional pair of jeans.

Really? That’s how you shop?

I introduced him to auctions. At his first auction he was timid. He wanted a chair he saw, but didn’t understand the bidding process. I explained to him that he needed to decide how much he was willing to pay for the chair, and raise his card up until the chair got to that price. Once it went above the price he had set as what he was willing to pay, he should stop bidding. As a gatherer accustomed to walking into a store and buying things at a fixed price, this idea was difficult for him to grasp. He was used to paying full price for anything he bought without thought to sales or finding a bargain. Imagine his delight when the auctioneer’s hammer came down and he bought his chair for one-third the price he was willing to pay for it! The chair is still in our living room, and I smile every time I see it, remembering his first auction.

He learned about the thrill of the hunt that evening.

I’ve learned to temper my hunting: considering the cost of fuel and time involved in making a purchase and finding “the best price” possible. Sometimes it just isn’t cost effective to drive all over town and spend three hours to save a dollar. When it is a big purchase and there are many dollars to be saved, the fuel costs and time involved are worth the investment.

Online shopping has become an excellent way to comparison shop for most items, and with Ruby Lane and Ruby Plaza I never have to leave the comfort of my home to find exactly what I want – whether it’s a gift, home décor, art, jewelry, clothing or the perfect addition to my collection of egg-themed items. I can shop at midnight or I can shop at noon. I don’t have to wear makeup! The “make an offer” option allows me to engage in conversation with the shop owner and “hunt” for the best price. I can even Skype with the shop owner if they have that option! I can add the item to my wish list. I can share it on Facebook (with gentle hints to my kids that I’d sure love that item for my birthday!). I can Tweet the item so my followers who collect can find the item easily. The layaway option gives me the opportunity to purchase an item I really want and stay within my monthly shopping budget. Some shop owners even offer gift wrapping, perfect for a busy schedule and last-minute holiday shopping!

Who is ready to join me for an online shopping trip today? As always, it’s come as you are! All you have to do is fire up your computer, and join me on Ruby Lane or Ruby Plaza!

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