When the economy is in disarray everyone starts looking for bargains. On the surface this seems like a great thing and it is worth cashing in on while you can; especially at Christmas. However, be aware that if this turns into a period of steep deflation, we could be headed toward another depression.
Most of us were not alive during the depression but we know those who were. Just talk to your parents, grand parents or great grand parents and you will hear how cheap everything was Juul pods for sale. The problem was there were no jobs so many did not have the money to buy food and staples even though they were cheap.
So while we should enjoy the prices we are getting right now, let us hope it is not something that will last too long. We all need growth to ensure jobs and well made products, which brings me to my next shopping topic; you get what you pay for.
Have you ever heard the saying, you get what you pay for? If you live long enough, you will realize it is true a vast majority of the time. That simply means if the deal seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
It is easy to get caught up in the basement bargain mentality that prevails over the internet and is now going on at the local retail level. There are many smoke and mirror and bait and switch games going on that you need to be aware of. Last week it was reported on ABC News that many of the great deals of liquidation sales are actually higher than the stores original prices. There are companies that specialize in getting you into the store to buy at higher prices!
How do they do that? By simply telling you the items are on sale is enough for you to believe it. It is a mind thing and the same thing is happening all over the internet. Many sites show you prices that are really high and slash them to show you 20 to 50% savings. You get excited about saving this type of money and jump on it.
The reality is the item can be found listed at many site at or below the same price because, in many cases, the manufacturer sets the price of their products and the. So knowing this, you get to choose the sites and the people you like to deal with; the ones that give you above board service and good products for good value.
One of the basic things to look for is sites that have a phone number that you can call and get information or place your order over the phone. Having someone to call, if there ever is an issue, is worth the time to find the sites that have this option. If an item on one of these sites is a few dollars more than the same item on a site without this option, it is always worth paying the difference. A website that is confident enough to give you their contact information is confident in their product.
If the Citadel is Sumaria, then Carmel by the Sea must be the place Californian Thomas Kinkade got his inspiration to paint cottages and gardens. This village set beside a picture-perfect bay on the Monterey Peninsula has, since its earliest days, sought to protect its beauty, charm and environment. After the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 displaced artists, poets, musicians and writers (Jack London among them), they gathered here and influenced the town’s bohemian style. Today, this village of Tudor-styled cottages and 200-plus shops is the epitome of “quaint,” a village of homes without street numbers where art galleries are more prevalent than petrol stations.
Columbia State Historic Park near Sonora, in the Gold Country, is another place that rejects the present. There, the 1850s live always. Wells Fargo stage coaches roll along its dusty streets, miners retell their tall tales, shops are filled with goods reminiscent of the California gold rush, and the sounds of laughter, card games and honky-tonk pianos are heard from inside saloons along its wooden sidewalks. A similar atmosphere is found in Old Sacramento, the original jumping off spot for the California gold rush in 1849. A blend of tourist shops and those serving the local populace keep travelers and residents alike returning to Old Sacramento, as happened from 1848 to the early 1870s, when the California Gold Rush eventually slowed.
One themed California shopping area that has never slowed down is San Francisco’s famous Chinatown. Since its earliest days, Chinatown has been a window to the Far East, importing exotic goods and spices to scent San Francisco streets with commerce and character. The Chinese immigrants who founded Chinatown didn’t know they were building a themed shopping area. They recreated what was familiar to them. The resulting pagoda-marked district is as close a resemblance of China as you’ll find outside the Orient. Street signs read in both Chinese and English characters, buildings have the stacked, up-swung roofs of royal palaces, smoked ducks hang in shop windows, small markets sell produce and fresh fish along the street, Chinese is spoken in all the shops, and carts laden with goods crowd sidewalks waiting to be shipped across the country. None of this was done to evoke character; it is real life in a fantasy place.