Plan ahead to make the buying easier to bear

  • AMANDA ROUNDS / edge correspondent
  • Monday, August 28, 2000 9:00pm
  • Local News

Maybe it’s the fear of being pressured into buying something you don’t want. Maybe it’s the horde of other shoppers shoving you past clearance racks that you don’t enjoy. Possibly you are scared of being trapped inside a department store bathroom.

Whatever the case may be, you don’t like going into the mall for an entire day among thousands of other eager shoppers. Fear no more. There is help.

Before you submit yourself to another year of nightmarish torture, remember there is another way to shop for back-to-school clothes.

And what is this miracle, you want to know? It’s simple. Shopping online.

Now, come on. Don’t give me that look. You haven’t even tried it yet.

A lot of the stores in the mall have Web sites where you can buy the same clothes you would have if you went into their location nearest you, without your mother dragging you from one "great deal" rack to the next.

Although in some cases, you have to pay shipping for the things you order, the price may be well worth it for the relief from endless crowds.

Besides, shopping at home means you also get to eliminate the risk of an alien encounter in a public restroom.

If you insist on going to the mall, at least be prepared.

Shopping can be a code red emergency if you are not careful. It is essential to be prepared before you even pull out of the driveway, or you may return with bags full of soccer shoes.

While the experienced shopper has a well-tested mall route and a closet full of jumpsuits labeled SMAT (Special Mall Action Team), your typical Snohomish County shopper has not yet achieved this level of mall savoir-faire.

Because it is essential that you make it out alive from the back-to-school chaos — after all, somebody has to wear your new clothes — below are some basic back-to-school shopping ideas:

  • Although it is a little late for this one, probably the best tip we can give is to go early. Stores get their fall shipments beginning in June. There are smaller crowds and more selection at the end of July than at the beginning of September.

  • Have an idea of what you want. If you decide what you’re going to buy before you leave home, you’ll save time and money, and it will give you a better opportunity to buy what you actually need.

  • Don’t set too many boundaries. Like I said, it’s great to plan, but envisioning the color and style of every piece of clothing you’re expecting to buy will only limit your options.

  • Finally, don’t settle for less. Don’t buy something just because a sales associate tells you it’s "the latest in fashion." The salespeople are trying to be helpful and sell merchandise, but usually they are far from knowing what exactly will be good for you.

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