Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh Clearance Rack, How You Deceived Me

I have come to the conclusion that the Clearance Rack is a cleverly disguised ploy and you actually end up paying way more money that you initially intended under the guise you are saving a BOATLOAD of money.

Normally, I would never kibosh the Clearance Rack. I hold it near and dear to my heart. It has been an old trusted friend. Once aiding me in getting the latest and greatest nearer the end of the season, or before the new and improved higher priced products make their way onto the more prominent spots on those silvery racks.

I have paid $1.97 in my shop-savvy heyday for a pair of pants. Cherished a pair of $90 leather boots I scored for a measly $15. For myself, I can justify it. I am able to hold onto things I buy so frugally. I can hang them listlessly in my closet or fold them gingerly in drawers until they come back into style. I can know they are there, like an old and trusty friend and know they will still fit me and be there when I need them.

However, I have recently been duped by my thrifty counterpart. While school shopping for my son. Those trusted sales I long for seem at first a novel idea, until you gather your wares and head over to cash out, thinking you've scored the ultimate score, and then.....Cha-CHING! You are racked up an absurd amount of money for clothes the child will likely outgrow before Thanksgiving.

Original pricing on kids clothing is preposterous. Perhaps I could justify it were they able to linger at certain sizes longer than they do in actuality, but they outgrow everything!

They play outside and the knees of their jeans grow threadbare and worn, or tear all-together. The soles of their shoes whittled down to nothing from incessant running or walking in goofy manners ad nausea. Shirts stained by sloppy eating or sliding around the year in the grass.

You are to dish out top dollar for brand names, thinking you will essentially get what you pay for. Thinking they are of better quality because the lovely people who sit in lofty offices and mass-market those names to you through addictive print and TV ad campaigns TELL you they are better.

I see no sense to it for kids. An adult, maybe. But kid’s clothes are 3rds smaller than those of an average grown-up. My son is soon-to-be 6 years old (EEP!) and I feel financially raped when having to buy him clothes.

I get the need to send kids back to school in the latest duds. Clean and fresh and ready for a new year, a new adventure for the school to teach them. But seriously, amid the fervor of Back-to-School ad campaigns that start, oh the very second they finish the previous year; it's all a ploy to get you to spend boatloads of cash.

Entice you with coupons and shopping frequent flyer miles. Buy X-Y-Z dollars worth and get a discount....NEXT time you shop. A treacherous trick to lure you back yet again into the loving arms of the Retail Jungle.

I thought I was doing well for Dylan. I waltzed into JC Penny, with one of those precarious promises of money saving splendor. Lured in with the expectation I would get $10 off a purchase of $25....OR MORE.

Oh it's that "Or more" that gets you. On a roll, thumbing through those red-tagged items marked down great percentages. You look at the original price....then the mark-down and think "SCORE!" I can handle these prices!

Your arms now grow weary as you grab item after item, thinking all the while "I have a coupon!" Not bothering to subject your already over-whelmed psyche to the menial task of adding things roughly in your head. NO, you don't need math skills to know the bottom line...YOU have a coupon!

So under the guise you are only intending to purchase NO MORE than a certain dollar amount you have in your head, you hide under the protection of that elusive $10 off coupon tucked gingerly in your wallet. You feel invisible to those regular prices. Impervious to the impending damage on your finances that a few measly child’s clothes could possibly render.

Smiling you wander over to the cashier, ready to astound yourself with your savvy savings. So confident you don't even look at the signature pad beside you, adding up the multitudinous masses of material. Each scan, a temporary moment of triumph, thinking you are saving yourself a bundle.

You silently guffaw in retrospect of the ninja-like skills you used in clamoring through those racks in search of the ultimate bargain.

Anticipation grows as you long to see that miniscule dollar amount you just KNOW you are going to see when the young girl clicks total.


How did your mindset of $50-$60 dollars in all your saving glory get close to $200??

You start to weed out after the fact what he may not ACTUALLY need, what may not be as swell a deal after all. Even after those removals, you are still more than double what you thought you were spending.

It seems a form of highway robbery. These are KIDS clothes after all.

And this is JUST the beginning! In two weeks is his birthday, in another couple months, Christmas. Those size 6/7 outfits he just fits into now, will soon have him looking like a homeless child from wear-n-tear, from one too many washes, and from the inevitable growth spurts kids seem to go through when you least expect them. Your once aesthetically pleasing cleaned up little man now looking like a cast off of Oliver Twist.

Oh Clearance Rack, how you deceived me. For shame.


  1. Ahahaha!! This is great! I feel you, mama! My son is 4 and I buy him new pants every couple of months. Jeans turning into high waters is not the look I'm going for with him. Will it never end?! Lol! Sales get me every time too. /sigh I really hate shopping! :)

  2. I am SOOO glad that my daughter now goes to a uniform weawring school. This helps me out tremendously as I used to buy all those adorable outfits from Gymboree for her when she was younger. Nothing like $700 for back to school. THEN of course they give you Gymbucks which you get $50 off for every $100 spent. Sounds great but then I'd spend ANOTHER $350 or so. Go figure.

    I'm also grateful that my daughter at 11 has embraced the likes of Gap and Old Navy....much nicer on my budget.

    Oh..and all those Gymboree adorable outfits that she outgrew? EBay baby, ebay.

  3. I hear ya!! I am so grateful my kids have to wear uniforms to school, they hate it but not my debit card doesn't! Kids clothes are so over priced and they out grow them in 2 weeks!


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