The way we shop has changed in the last few years.And although the change was subtle, I many I am satisfied with what I buy.
Previously, my approach to shopping was simple.If you want a new There is a needI go to the store (or website, with the advent of the Internet) and choose from the needs available.
If the needs I wanted were particularly expensive or important, I might expand my search to multiple stores and multiple websites. But usually I stuck with the first store I visited.
The key here is that the places I shopped at allowed me to impose restrictions on the needs available to me. Whatever the store has in stock defines my universe of options.
Now that I’m older, I flipped the script.Instead of allowing the market to define what needs are available, I decide exactly what I want Before Start searching. I put myself and my needs first. Once you know what you want, take your time looking for it. What I want is almost always somewhere — if I’m patient enough to track it down.
I think of this approach as “selfish shopping”. I put myself First, it’s good. In fact, it’s great. This method consistently increases my satisfaction with my purchases. Instead of getting cheap mass market needs, you’re buying needs that feel as if they were made specifically for you.
Let me give you a concrete example.
Purchasing a wallet
I replace my wallet every five years or so. The old one is worn out (or lost) so I buy a new one.
The way this has always worked for me is simple. My wallet is tattered (missing), so I go to a nearby department store to check the selection. Look at the wallets on display and choose the one you like best. It will be my wallet for the next 5 years.
this is the method i have everytime Purchased a wallet from my first wallet. I’ve been doing it for over thirty years.
In 2019, I noticed that my wallet was starting to fall apart again. “Time to buy another one,” I thought. As usual, I went to the store and had the same great selection. But here’s the problem. I don’t like most wallets. They work for others, but not for me.
I am not George Costanza. I don’t carry much and certainly don’t pack much cash. You need something that fits in your pocket and gives you access to a few cards. I don’t want the bulk and I don’t want leather.I wanted to buy a wallet that worked Me I worked.
Around this time, I happened to pass by cecrid shop. Secrid is a Dutch company that makes minimalist metal-based wallets. Intrigued, I went inside to browse their selection.I was about to buy a secrid card protector That day, but finally decided they were that too minimum. (The card protector can carry 6 cards, but that’s about it. this wallet.
I made a list of what I want in my wallet. I wanted:
- The slimmest possible form factor. I used a card protector as a baseline: 63mm x 102mm, 40 grams.
- Empty slot for driver’s license.
- Ability to carry both personal and business credit cards.
- A place to carry 3-4 bills.
- Ah a bit A little extra space for insurance information, library cards, receipts, and more.
With these parameters in mind, we scouted Amazon. I checked REI. I have visited other stores and sites. I found many minimalist wallets, including many Secrid knockoffs, but none met my needs.
Then I remembered Tom Bing.of Tom Bing Co. A store specializing in travel goods.their Synapse 19 It is a backpack that can be used not only for daily use but also for long overseas trips. (No joke, I used this simple 19-liter bag once on his three-week trip to Europe.) Tom Bihn is great at packing a lot of functionality into a small space. Did they sell travel wallets? They did!
Tom Bing minimalist wallet was Exactly What I was looking for: 3 pockets and the same size as the Secrid Cardprotector (but half the weight). If I were to design my own wallet, I would design this one. I bought one. Since then, I have been using it regularly. (Kim loves it too. She ordered one for herself and now often carries it in place of her purse.)
My wallet story is a simple example of my new approach to self-centered shopping. I used to allow stores to define a world of options. That meant we rarely bought what we actually needed. I bought the one that came closest to my ideal.
I am noisy today. I’ve learned to take the time to think about what I really need before making a purchase. I literally pull out my index card and make a list of what I need so I don’t forget anything important while shopping.
Yes, this self-centered approach to shopping is often more expensive, but I’m fine with that. When I buy things, especially the ones I use every day, I look for quality. I hope they meet my needs. And if possible, I want you to be happy to use it. In the words of Marie Kondo, I want my purchase needs to ‘spark joy’.
I think selfish shopping is one of those things that some people think is blindly obvious. why wouldn’t you? But for me this is a new concept.
When I was younger, my shopping options were limited. We lived in a small town in rural Oregon. Moreover, my family was poor. When I wanted to buy needs, I could choose from those available at Mangus Variety or Parson’s Pharmacy. that’s it.
But today I am old. In other words, they are more patient. I have more money than when I was younger. And most importantly, the Internet exists. When you want it, you are not bound by the inventory of pharmacies and department stores.exaggerated to buy Any The world needs… if only I could find it. So start by defining exactly what you want before you start searching.
This self-centered shopping approach has also significantly reduced impulse purchases. When I don’t know what I want, I usually give in to impulse buying.
Be loyal to your product
This selfish shopping had an interesting side effect.it made me very Stick to a specific product from a specific company. When I find something I like, I buy it again and again. For example, when I replace my wallet, I buy the exact same wallet from Tom Bihn.
Or take my hiking boots. Replace a pair every 5-7 years Timberland Chocorua(Looking at my Amazon history below, it looks like I’m ordering more often, but that’s because I’m using two pairs at a time on a rotation basis: the “work” pair and the “For dress” pairs, each pair lasts 5-7 years.)
I’ve worn these boots almost every day for 15 years and Kim was very disappointed. I would be sad if it was discontinued.
So my old shopping process went something like this: Realizing a new need, going to the store (or website) and buying the best match.
Here’s my new egocentric shopping process:
- Take your time and decide exactly what you need.
- Search broadly to find possible matches. buy one
- Great if you need it. If not, return it and buy another one. (But if you’ve taken the time to list the features you want, you rarely need to return anything.)
- As I learned, the need was Perfect Match, I buy it again and again.
Looking around my writing desk this morning, I see that most of the things I use every day have been acquired through selfish shopping. Here are some of the tools that I have been looking for. Exactly what i wanted. These are the tools I will buy (or plan to buy) again and again because they are perfect for me.
In fact, my desk itself has bought out my selfish way of shopping. I had a $90 IKEA desk for over a decade and it was terribly inefficient. and messy. hated. When I moved to Corvallis last year, I took some time to think about what my “dream desk” would look like. Then, I spent several weeks shopping online and off to find a match, finally finding his excellent L-shaped traditional desk at a local furniture store. Found and using it now.
I still have some tools on my desk from the old “buy whatever in store” method. A microphone, a second monitor (horrible!), and a pencil sharpener. But what do you know? These work fine. I’m in no hurry to replace it. When I buy a new one someday, I will do a self-centered shopping.
Here’s another reason why I think self-centered shopping works so well for me.
For example, when buying a wallet the traditional way, go to the store and research your options. There are usually 40 or 50 wallets to choose from. Overwhelmed. I am paralyzed by the paradox of choice.
That said, when it comes to selfish shopping, you don’t have many options.often hard to find 1 Perfect match. This means you can search and call it a day until you find one of his that fits your criteria. You won’t feel overwhelmed, and you won’t experience the regret that usually comes with too many choices.