If you are an experienced shopper then you will be familiar with the Holy Trinity of retail therapy: only one left, in your size, and ON SALE! It is the triumph of the bargain shopper. All arguments against purchasing are silenced in view of the overwhelming evidence that some higher power wants you to have it. Whether it is a dress, a shoe, or a statement necklace, we’ve all fallen victim to this sign from “above.” As recently as last week, I succumbed to its allure and purchased this week’s featured shoes. I just had to have them. I could go off and tell you how I fell in love with the color, the curvature of the heel, the heel height, but the simple truth is I didn’t actually need them until I saw that there was only one left, in my size, and 60% off retail.
For those of you unfamiliar with the feeling, let me set the scene for you. Imagine, if you would, a Neiman Marcus sale. You are wandering casually through the shoe racks picking a heel or two that catches your eye, not really being turned on by anything. And then, you spot it, a merlot lace and burgundy satin Valentino pump. Its large bow calls out to you, but it’s in the wrong size section. You’re a 9.5 and it’s in the 8’s. Still, you are curious to know how much you would save if it was in your size, so you pick it up and flip it over. The tag on the sole says 40% off, but wait, the size isn’t an 8, it’s a 9.5. You instantly hold the shoe to your breast concealing it from imaginary thieves. You survey the rest of the racks and notice that that is the only one left, a truly hidden treasure. You obviously were meant to buy them, who are you to question fate.And so it goes… You now have a Holy Trinity find to add to your collection.
It used to be that these epic bargain moments only happened once a year; in fact, I could name all the items in my closet that were the result of such a find. Thanks to sites like Gilt, HauteLook, and Bluefly, bargain hunters can experience the rapture of finding that Holy Trinity moment on a weekly, if not, daily basis. While I am a devout follower of Gilt, I sometimes wonder whether or not something is being lost in the ease of the bargain. Not that I’m saying we should all be back to clipping coupons, but part of me misses the surprise of such a find in an actual store. So, anyone up for a scavenger hunt through downtown San Francisco look for their own Holy Trinity?