The Top 10 Extreme Shoppers

(Through Rose-Coloured Glasses)

1. The Coin Counter
(The motto: Every cent counts)

Admit it; we all have done this before. Every time you gave the cashier some dollar bills, she gave you back a whole bunch of coins. Over time, your pocket got heavier and heavier, until one day you decided at the checkout counter. “Look, I can give you some coins.”

You emptied your pocket and started counting. You gave your next fellow shopper an apologetic smile, but kept counting. After a long struggle, you handed the cashier a handful of heavy coins, and then it was her turn to count, to verify. In the mean time, everyone was waiting patiently, didn’t even utter a single word of complaint.

You looked; the lady next in line was already searching for her coins.

2. A Shopaholic
(The motto: Live to shop and shop to live)

You spend money even when you don’t have any. You celebrate by spending even before you get the actual pay raise. You go to the supermarket to pick up a carton of milk, and end up with a full cartload of grocery. You cannot go through a lunch hour without buying something (anything!). Your wardrobe is full of unworn clothes, some still with the price tags attached. Your kitchen is cluttered with gadgets you can’t name. You go shopping when you felt depressed, and felt more depressed afterwards. You feel nervous, naked and lost without your credit cards.

You are a Shopaholic.

3. The Door Crasher
(The motto: Early bird catches the worm)

You are a real bargain hunter. Whenever there is a Super Sale, you are there, in the lineup, early. You like the crowds, the anticipated excitement, the long lineup and the screaming kids. You made plans days ahead. You printed out the items you want and their price list, along with a game plan to ensure a successful shopping experience. You even mapped out the shortest war path to reach the various target items in the store. The evening before, you rushed down to the store, with your lawn chair, sleeping bag, iPhone, iPod, iPad, snacks and bottles of water. No matter how early you came, there were always 50 people before you. You set up camp and wait. When 5 am finally arrived, the entire plaza was full of people. As the doors finally opened, the mad rush began. You rushed to your intended station, Target No. 1, and grabbed whatever you could get your hands on; then onto Target No. 2, and on and on, until your Mission Impossible was accomplished.

4. The Detailer
(The motto: Mirror mirror on the wall, which is the cheapest of them all)

You woke up early in the morning. With cup of coffee in hand, you headed to the front door, and picked up your newspaper. Back at the kitchen table, you sat down and turn to the advertisement pages; not the front page, not the sports, and definitely not the entertainment section. You picked up your marker, and started circling the items in the ads that caught your fancy. “a hard drive for 59.99”, “bathroom tissue, 24 rolls for only 3.99, wow”, “chicken wings, 1.99 per lb”……… You scanned thoroughly at all the ads, feared that you might miss a bargain.

Next, you planned out the optimum routes to reach all the stores, which took another hour.

Finally you called your wife, “Honey, it’s time to go hunting”.

5. The Professional
(The motto: The Artful Negotiator)

In many countries, bargain hunting is an art. You stopped and looked at some merchandise, the shopkeeper would suddenly appear from nowhere, right away started listing the qualities of his ware.

You cut to the core, “How much!”

“10 bucks.”

“Too much, 3 bucks.”

“Oh, no, too low, can’t survive. How about 8 bucks.”

You started to leave. “All right, final price 7.00.”

You kept walking, shaking your head.

“OK, ok, 6.50”

You stopped. He smiled. You smiled.

Another transaction completed.

6. The Waste to Save Bargain Hunter
(The Motto: Name of the game is to save, save, save)

Your friend tweeted you, excellent news, there was this new gas station, in its competitive mode, just lowered its gas price. But there was a catch; it’s located across town, in the west end. Didn’t matter, you got into your car and drove all the way, across town, and joined the long lineup, just to fill up a tank of cheap gas. You were very happy. The next day, you bragged to your fellow workers, how much you have saved on gas.

For the same reason, you bought that cell-phone, the one that didn’t cost you a cent, when you signed for the 3 years contract. Or the time you paid half price for the cruise, instead you have to pay full price for all the land tours. Or the time you bought the TV in Buffalo …………

7. The Extreme Couponer
(The Motto: Take a rain cheque)

You heard about the extreme couponer, who pushed her shopping cart to the checkout counter, loaded with $600 worth of items and walked out spending less than $20 ? You exclaimed with admiration.

But wait till you are in the supermarket, standing in line, behind such a hero, who pulled out a thick pile of coupons, handed to the cashier, trying to match and verified coupons to product, and then punched in the deductions, item after item?

An extreme couponer doesn’t shop like most people, who run into the store each week, stock up for meals and repeat the process.

An extreme couponer still makes regular visits to the store for bread and milk, but once a month she does a major supply run, with her purchases based on coupons and the sales offered.

Back at home, the supply bought may not be used immediately, but be stockpiled on shelves and consume at a later date.

This works well in theory. In reality, you use coupons when the time is right. You wait until there is a great sale and use your coupons on items you need that week. Often times you will only get a handful of deals each week, the rest you pay regular. This is how it actually works. Don’t expect to go to the store every week and buy $600 worth of groceries for $20. It’s not gonna happen.

8. The Ethic Shopper

(The Motto : What’s your carbon credentials ? )

Nowadays you begin to think a lot more about the origin of the food going into your grocery cart. Worry about the environmental impact of shipping food hundreds of miles, the carbon footprint, plus the dwindling fate of local farmers – and obsess with the idea of eating really good food – these extreme eaters try to only buy food that is grown within a 100-mile radius of their own home. You go on the 100 miles diet.

You drink coffee out of a reusable mug, abstain from meat and mostly bought secondhand clothes and toys to reduce the carbon footprint. You favor anything that is organic and even keep a garden and grow your own vegetable. Your family use only environmentally friendly cleaning products. You shop with your own cloth shopping bags.

You are the dedicated eco-shopper.

9. Ms Indecisive

(The motto: To have or not to have, that is the question)

You enjoy shopping.

You have your eyes on a dress (or maybe a pair of shoes, or a purse). You tried it on, look at it this way and that, in the mirror, then agonizing over whether or not you should buy it. You kept postponing the decision, but kept coming back to the store everyday to look at the merchandise.

All the sale ladies know you, if not by first name, at least by face.

Finally one day you made the big plunge and made the purchase. You brought it home, put it on in front of the mirror. You kept thinking, did I make the right decision?

After many agonizing days and sleepless nights, you returned the merchandise to the store.

10. The Pepper sprayer
(The Motto: The New Amazing Race)

There is a new game in town.

Hey, wait. Don’t rush down to Wal-Mart , not yet. It is not exactly an X-Box or Game Boy. Call it a reality game.

It is an ingenious concept of our time; created out of desperation to save the world; to revive the economy. Forget about Wall Street greed, forget about the Euro crisis; just camp out, “Occupy Wal-Mart”, on Black Friday, on the night before, and from now on, Boxing Day, or any Big Sale Day. Then rampaged through the stores, with pepper spray in hand, try to keep eager fellow shoppers from grabbing merchandises that you want. This is competitive shopping to the extreme, creating an atmosphere of high customer demand; that will keep people running and screaming, “What the heck. Hey, I want that too”.

Demand and supply, capitalism is saved.

Competitive Shoppers, pick up your Pepper Spray. Let the game begin.

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