The BER months are almost here, and retailers are looking forward to their products flying off the shelves thanks to anticipated consumer traffic from the 9.9, 10.10, 11.11 and 12.12 sales, as well as holiday shopping.
If you’re itching to spend, you’re not alone as studies have shown that people across the globe went a little wild shopping online during the lockdown. And since we are living in the longest lockdown, I suppose we can be forgiven for shopping even wilder than most.
I confess I have bought things that I wish I didn’t or should have returned as soon as they were delivered. In a Zoom chat over the weekend, it felt good to know that there were other lockdown shopping victims now also living with white elephants in their homes. Here’s a rundown of our shopping regrets that we hope will serve as lessons to others.
#1 Foldable treadmill.
My doctor advised me to take walks daily for exercise, but I was scared to leave the house so when I came across an ad for a treadmill with a remote control that you can fold and store under your sofa, I clicked buy. When it arrived, I realized folding it is not as easy as shown in the promotional video. You actually need a wrench to fold it and unfold it. Worse, it was a bit unstable so you can walk but not run. Also, unlike in the ad, the slot to place an iPad so I can entertain myself while exercising didn’t fit right. I was constantly worried my tablet might fall and break. In the end, I could only walk at a steady pace and stare into the wall.
Lesson learned here: read customer reviews as I actually found a customer review buried deeper in the post that gave all these information which would have saved me P7,000 if I only cared to read it.
#2 Exercise bike.
My growing dissatisfaction with the treadmill led me to buying an exercise bike. The reviews were okay this time and even better, it was half the price of the treadmill. Thanks to the 6.6 sale, I enjoyed a modest discount and free delivery. The treadmill was folded and stored to make way for our new exercise toy. When it arrived, I quickly realized that it was cheap for a reason. The components were flimsy, the tablet slot did not fit quite right, and there were only 2 settings for the seat so you are either too low or too high. Biking at a certain speed is okay but any faster and everything starts to shake and all that jiggling makes me wonder if I am about to fly off.
Lesson learned: you get what you pay for. To be fair to the cheap exercise bike, it is doing its job. It’s just not living up to my expectations of the exercise bike that I have tried in professional gyms.
#3 Workout clothes.
We all want to look our best, and since it was impractical to spend on going out clothes, or on bags or on shoes, why not clothes we will use for exercise? Men and women in our survey said they found really good deals on branded clothing – from Nike to Adidas – and also a wide array of quality items from sweat proof, anti-sweat, or dri-fit. When the bill came, they wished they spent the money on something else (how about on nothing and invested it instead?!). While it’s fun to dress up for the gym, wearing stylish workout clothes as you sweat it out solo is not so fun.
Lesson learned: not all items on sale are a bargain. A real bargain is getting something you need at a much lower price than expected. Anything you buy on a whim may lead to buyer’s remorse.
#4 Air fryer.
Moving on from exercise equipment and clothing, a friend complained about buying an Air Fryer. Personally, I think they are one of man’s best inventions. You can cook almost anything in an air fryer and enjoy a crispy texture to the dish. The best part: because you did not use or cook in oil, it is a healthier alternative. But my friend was swept away by all the hype and decided she needed one too. When it arrived, she realized that the Air Fryer is doing the work that her Turbo Broiler is already doing, as well as her Insta Pot. As a result, her Air Fryer is soon celebrating its first anniversary still in its boxed state.
Lesson learned: do not buy simply because everyone else is buying. I do not have a Turbo broiler nor an Insta Pot so my Air Fryer gets heavy use in my kitchen. Check if you need it or can use it, and only then should you click buy.
#5 Handyman Tool Set.
It’s not just women who shopped wildly during the lockdown. Men also did their share of spending and lived with their share of regrets. More than one male in our survey confessed to buying sets of home tools, thinking they will handle home repairs instead of bringing in a handyman and risking their family’s exposure to the virus. While the tools no doubt came in handy, they need to be used by someone skilled, and these men quickly saw they were lacking in that department. One explained that YouTube videos can help to a point, but the tutorials can only take you so far.
Lesson learned: know your limits. Tools are handy if you are a handyman. Without the right skills, you could make it worse and pay even more with repairs.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.