I consider myself a crafty consumer. I try to look for the best prices and read up on reviews online. I try to keep my eyes open for sales and occasionally plunder through bargain bins for potential booty. Unfortunately, I am also a slow consumer; I like to think through potential purchases long and hard. Sure, not making rash and impulsive purchases can be good, but it can also lead to certain doom!
Or rather, an undesired and frustrating outcome. I’ll give a few examples.
A couple of years ago, I found a black velvet blazer jacket on sale for about 200 NOK. It looked quite smart on me, and was pretty much a perfect fit. However, I already had a black velvet blazer jacket. But this one looked better, more classy, and it had an extra button! But, did I buy it? No. Instead I figured I’d think it over for a few days, then return later the same week if I wanted to buy it, knowing I’d be in the neighbourhood again. I decided I wanted the jacket, so I returned to purchase it. Guess what? Someone had already bought it and they only had one of that particular jacket.
Another incident even further back took place on eBay. I stumbled over a gorgeous looking framed image from the then-popular-now-infamous comic book Battle Chasers. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but it looked great. I wanted it, but didn’t buy it at the time. I vaguely recall it costing 8 USD, not including shipping. I haven’t stumbled over it since and now I regret not buying it. In retrospect, the seller had probably taken a splash page from the comic and given it a (semi-)professional frame job. Meaning, I’ll most likely never find this item again as it wasn’t anything that was mass produced.
I also regret not buying more Werewolf: The Apocalypse books when I had the chance. I consider Werewolf: The Apocalypse to be my most favourite tabletop roleplaying game, but it was retired and all the various sourcebooks went out of production in 2004. This means that the last few books that were published saw a fairly small print. These books can therefore fetch between 50-150 USD through various retailers. On a similar note, I regret not buying more stuff from my local comic / gaming / sci-fi / fantasy / geek shop when they were closing down – including some Werewolf: The Apocalypse books, as well as other roleplaying books I didn’t really want at the time but which I’m dying to get my hands on now. They had some crazy discounts on some sweet-ass items.
And I had a couple of similar experiences earlier this week – of not buying something I now wish I had – which is why I’m writing this entry.
I have considered buying the soundtrack to the anime Azumanga Daioh! – a great anime with some lovely music – for a while. It had been available from the online web shop Play.com for about 10.5 EUR, including shipping. I semi-regularly search for it at their store, just to look at it, and to loosely consider buying it, and concluding that I might do so some other day when I’m not feeling the weight of my personal finances. But, now they’re not selling it anymore. I did some research, and it seems like it’s no longer available through CDconnection.com or amazon.com either, as it had previously been. Meaning, it’s most likely out of production and will be difficult to find. Especially if you want a still sealed copy at a reasonable price, as I generally do.
I had also considered buying Teen Titans season two, three and four on DVD from amazon.com (I already have the first season on DVD), as they were being offered at about 11 USD a piece. With the low USD at the time, that meant I’d be paying about 250 NOK for the three DVDs, shipping included. Actually a bit less than that. But I figured I could wait, maybe ’til it was closer to Christmas and my birthday (December 18), and maybe buy them as a gift for myself. But now the three season DVDs have gone up to 16 USD each, an increase of 15 USD in price for the three DVDs combined. This means that they’re above the Norwegian “import tax limit” and I would have to pay about 24% of the package’s cost in import tax to the Norwegian government. So instead of the DVDs costing me 33 USD, they’d now cost me 60 USD. Not including shipping. And now the dollar is more expensive, too.
So today’s lesson is: buy what you want now as it might be out of production and/or more expensive tomorrow.