I love to shop. Hands down it is one of my favorite past times. I am also an avowed bargain hunter. Coupons, sales, discount stores, GOB liquidations, these are all some of my favorite things. I love it when I can get a great deal, a buy below retail or even better, below cost. These sorts of deals really make my day.
On occasion though, and despite the fact I am a self proclaimed "Discount Diva" I do pay full price. No I haven't lost my mind or gotten lost in Neiman's and had to ransom my way out with a purchase. It is just this --- not only am I a discount shopper, I am also a value shopper.
Actually the most accurate way to describe it is that I am solely a value shopper. Usually this means buying at a discount, because for me many times full price isn't an accurate cost. Sometime though, the value is more than just the number on the receipt.
A perfect example of this is my former dry cleaners. I stumbled across them when we moved into our first house in Virginia. They were the nearest dry cleaners and I thought I would give them a try. Turns out they were a little more expensive than I had been used to paying before, but they were close and convenient so I continued to use them. Now I'm sure at this point you are probably saying, close, convenient, what is the value in that?? Drive a little further, save some money, bargain shop, be a typical deal hunter. And normally that would be my reaction as well, except, and here is where the "value" comes in, this was a mom and pop operation. They did all the dry cleaning in house, knew all their customers by name, noticed and fixed loose buttons and hems and got rid of those coffee stains I always forgot to mention.
The real clincher for me came the evening I was stuck late at the office getting ready to leave for a two week business trip. My phone rang.
New Forest Valet here - we are getting ready to close and we have your dry cleaning here. The dry cleaning you said you absolutely needed to have by today for business trip tomorrow.
Me - I know, I'm sorry, I got stuck at the office. I'll just have to make do with the clothes I have. If need be I'll buy some stuff on the road.
New Forest Valet - You don't need to do that. You live just around the corner. We'll just drop it off on our way home. You can just stop by when you get back to pay for it. Have a great trip.
I had thought that they were valuable before, but at that moment I realized how truly priceless they were.
So the question becomes -- What really is value? Can we put a price on it? In these days of discount anything and everything, should we choose a service, goods or service provider solely on cost alone? As a "Discount Diva" I love a great deal, but I love worthwhile value even more.
And if you are ever in need of a dry cleaner in Arlington, VA, New Forest Valet can't be beat!