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Top 10 Window Shopping Tips

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

May 31, 2012
Filed Under Shop 

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window shoppingContributed by Info Guru Aurora LaJambre

It’s essential to curb spending habits when the shopping list extends beyond our means, but that doesn’t mean we can’t browse, dream and plan for the future.

Window shopping is a blast, but it takes a good dose of restraint to keep the urge to splurge in check. Rather than dwelling on what you’re not buying, use window shopping as an opportunity to appreciate good design & craftsmanship, and to inspire your own resourcefulness.

These top ten window shopping tips will help make your next stroll down Main Street more productive and fun.


10. Bring a date

bring a date

The danger of window shopping is that it quickly turns into ‘well, maybe I can just get this one thing.’ The shopper’s voice in your head can be very persuasive, and sometimes it takes a good friend to talk you down from a purchase. Bringing a date along can turn temptations into conversation starters, and keep you from falling in love with a product you don’t need.

9. DIY

DIY

You may be surprised to learn how many coveted items you can actually make yourself. If you’re window shopping for home accents, bring a small notebook along and jot down ideas for future crafts. Instead of looking at price tags, sketch the type of stitch used on a seam or photograph a unique color combination to try yourself.

8. Go off the beaten path

stores out of the neighborhood

Window shopping at a favorite shop that you normally buy from where the sales people know your face can be torturous. When you’re in window shopping mode, head to a unique home store you’ve never been to before. You won’t know where things are or what to expect so the entire experience will be new and stimulating.

7. Resisting antiques

Resisting antiques

Antique shops are perfect for window shopping because they have such an eclectic selection and every item has a past, but beware. Items that seem like they’re one of a kind can be challenging to put back on the shelf. Luckily, vintage inspired shops often carry the very same designs at a fraction of the price.

6. Do the time test

time test

Impulse buys are instant triggers to buyer’s remorse. Window shoppers who wear their hearts on their sleeve should give the time test a try. The next time you see something you love, whether it’s a smart dress or an essential kitchen item that you suddenly need, step away. Needing and wanting are very different things. If the item is still on your mind two weeks later, maybe you do need it after all.

5. Call it research

research

Major life changes, like a new home, wedding or planning for a baby, can spark a number of new household needs. Pay attention to which stores have the best prices and upcoming sales, or go online to check out a whole range of baby toys and home goods available before buying the first things you like.

4. Pack a lunch

pack a lunch

Shopping can leave you feeling drained, which is why so many of us end up at the food court to refuel on calories. Pack yourself a granola bar and bring a water bottle with you instead. The money you save at the snack bar can go toward the next item on your wish list.

3. Dress up

dress up

You’ve probably heard the advice to not go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. The same applies to window shopping. Dress up more than you normally would and you’ll feel super special, and a little less needy of shiny new things. Pulling out forgotten garments will help you appreciate how many great clothes you already have, and zero in on the one or two trendy accessories or clothing that could freshen up the whole wardrobe.

2. Sign up

sign up for catalogs

Signing up to receive a store’s catalog or newsletter often gives you exclusive access to the best deals and lets you know when new items arrive. Large stores typically make it easy for you to subscribe on their websites, while small boutiques often keep an email list sign up at the register. If you collect model airplanes, action figures or other niche items, catalogs and newsletters bring store windows right to your home.

1. Go online

go online

Window shopping online is a practical option for busy people. You don’t need gas to drive to the store and you can do it whenever you want. Today retail websites are often easier to navigate than crowded stores. Drop items you like into a shopping cart and bookmark the site or pin the items on Pinterest. When you’re ready to treat yourself, items you love are already picked out and only a few clicks away.

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