How do you resist a sale?

My best advice is to really think critically about why you’re considering buying something, what it will add to your stash, and whether you already have something similar to it. Did you want it before it was on sale? Is the sale THAT good? Will it be around later on?

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

Well, the past few days I have had to exercise some herculean restraint because of the VIB sale combined with the fact that I didn’t take that into account when I went a bit over budget with MAC and Colourpop goodies, and 2 dresses….my own fault! So, knowing what I do, I am planning on just getting some skin care items I ran out of. Planning. That’s the point. I am trying to get that talent back on game!
I totally agree with all that you said above, Christine ^^. It brings discernment back to my mind.

Beti Avatar

Obviously I am not able to resist the Sephora sale going on. Since it started for VIB Rouge I placed 3 orders and shopped in store once. I am banning myself from the site and store.

Katherine T. Avatar

Same thought process as yours. Also, if a site or store has sales often and the product is permanent, I know I can always wait until the next sale, or until something else catches my eye.

Tracey E. Avatar

I resist a sale by considering what I need, how much that costs, how necessary is it, how similar it might be to what I already have, if there are discounts at other times of the year or deeper discounts elsewhere, etc.

One of my greatest motivators is if I had to spend x, would I prefer to spend it on y or z because I won’t undermine my choice or finances by adding another ‘not necessary now’ item to tne equation. I can also easily resist a sale when I’ve invested in a certain launch or LE pieces like Charlotte Tilbury x Norman Parkinson collection, Wayne Goss Anniversary brush set, Tom Ford Soleil 2016. Easy to close the wallet and use what you have after big expenditure. ?

Anne Avatar

I usually only get stuff in a sale that I would be getting anyways, or if it’s something I’ve been wanting for a while but was too expensive, and the sale is a big enough percentage that it makes that not the case. I basically keep the mindset that I am still spending money I could be saving/spending on other things, which tends to keep me in check. For example, during the VIB sale I just got some skincare items I was planning on purchasing, and I needed to get a new diffuser for my bathroom in the next month or so and I like the Nest ones, so I grabbed the Bamboo one after mulling it over for a few days.

I think the only time I get things I might not otherwise be planning on is when I go to my closest CCO (cosmetic company outlet), in which case that’s kind of the point, as I give myself a budget and stick to it, but that is kind of like my “just because” purchase place where I get to have fun browsing and bringing home the occasional goody (though I’ve found they carry some skincare items I regularly use for way cheaper, so I tend to grab them if I’m going to need to repurchase them soon).

Georgie Avatar

When I do resist a sale, which isn’t often, as I like to stock up on things I KNOW I’ll be using forever-n-ever, Amen – UD 24/7 liner in Perversion, Hourglass Mineral Veil, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, Benefit Dandelion, and on and on. I try to assess what I already have in my collection to see if I’m, perhaps, buying something JUST because it’s on sale that I already have and don’t really use (UGH !) or I have a dupe for.

I just made this very mistake this week, in fact, and boy, is my face red ! Sephora has the 15% off until the 13th, and I wanted to take advantage early, so I had my shopping cart all cued up for the very minute the sale started. I pushed “Enter” to purchase all my new goodies at a discount, but when I went over my list I realized I’d just bought a “replacement” Marc Jacobs Gel Foundation to replace one I’m rapidly running out of. The problem is I’d bought the EXACT same thing late last year during the Sephora 20% sale, and I haven’t even opened it yet !

I really need to gather myself here and cut back – there’s only so much storage space in my house for multiples of my makeup/bath/body/fragrance purchases (my dressing room and bathroom already look like an Ulta exploded !) and only so much face and skin I have to apply these items to !

Maybe I should just start deleting emails and recycling mailers and ads before I read them ? Avoid the temptation until I’m REALLY hitting pan ? Ugh – I need help.

Momo Avatar

My basic method is simply looking at the balance of my bank account. If my balance says “No!”, then I have to pass on the sale. Lol

The logical way I resist a sale is by doing as Christine stated: determining what the item will add to my stash, and whether I may already have something like it. And when that method fails, and my “Yeahhhh, but I still want it though” whiny self kicks in, I result to looking at my upcoming bills. That usually nips my pesky need to spend right in the bud. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m someone who likes to save for items I want. I’m not always tempted by sales that are outside the normal major holiday extravaganzas. So that helps too.

Sarah Avatar

I mostly focus on whether or not I was willing to purchase it before the sale! Don’t get me wrong, sales definitely open up my field of consideration, but when it comes to justifying something, I call it worth it if I can say “yes, I was going to / would have paid full price for this.”

Alternatively, I don’t resist the sale, but that’s just me ?

Daloshan Avatar

Actually, I am trying to follow this procedure whenever there is a sale but to be honest it only works like half of the times ? I need to find some other way or I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills!!!

Erica Avatar

Very easily. I don’t live too close to an Ulta, Sephora or department store that would have such sales. Also I do not shop online too often. I’m am not too suckered into sales events. I shop when I want and have money. Sales isn’t often the driving force!

Fran Avatar

One way I cope with sales is to plan for them. If there’s something that I want, but don’t need (at least not right away), I’ll plan to get it during the next sale. I’ll even make lists or fill shopping carts ahead of sales. That way, when the sale comes along, I can resist impulse purchases. I still may have to pare down my list a bit… I can want an awful lot of stuff. Christine, your reviews are super-helpful to me in figuring out if something has the wrong undertone for me, or if I already have a similar product, or if the performance was so dismal that, even though I love the shade, I won’t actually use the product all that much.

When I first got into makeup again, I would tend to buy the same kinds of shades (that I love) over and over again. I’ve gotten better at avoiding that with time.

For deciding about impulsive sale purchases, I think the question that helps me most is if I would pay full price for the product, because, if I wouldn’t, then I probably won’t actually use it very much, and I should probably just skip it. I’ve discovered a few gems when making impulse purchases, so I don’t want to eliminate them entirely. But during a sale I can’t implement my ‘see if I’m still thinking about the product in a week, and, if I’m still thinking about it, go ahead and get it’ policy.

The retailer’s return policy makes a difference, too. If returns are easy, I’m more likely to take a risk on a product, so retailers with great return policies get a lot more of my business in the long run.

Nicole Avatar

I don’t buy it unless it was something I planned to buy prior to it being on sale. Each week I make a specific amount to spend on things. If I happen to go over in say “Beauty” this week due to the sales, I look at my other categories and see if I have room to take. Since it was mid month, bills were low and that worked in the sales favor. If they were at the beginning or end of the month, It would have been slimmer than it was for me because that is when a lot of big payments are due for me like mortgage , etc. I did notice the Nordstrom and other major retailers had big sales this past weekend. That was tough to resist. But, I did! The Sephora sale must really impact them!
I’m wondering how long the Lord and Taylor sale goes? Anyone know? I found a jacket I want. Plus % of beauty ladies and gents !

Kris Aleli Avatar

I really try to rationalize the purchase and compute how much discount i will actually get from it.
Evaluating and reevaluating my “wants” list for a while now, I really try to look at more affordable options.
I just ordered a MUFE metal palette online and it helps keep me from wanting stuff that has a nice packaging because the urge is diverted on getting just pans, or refills. I convince myself that make up is just make up and as long as I have my needed colors and basic things I really don’t need much, there’s only 365 days a year (366 this year) and I only apply makeup on myself and sister.
and the best of all, Christine!! Your reviews have always been so reliable! I love how you really stick to your Methods and It never feels like you’re just pushing a product.

Lulle Avatar

My trick is often to just wait it out. After a few days the excitement is gone and I realize that I don’t really need anything. Or it’s too late and I’ve missed it, lol!
Something I also consider is also the level of discount. Anything less than 20% off is not worth it imo, unless you buy something really pricey it doesn’t make that much of a difference. (Current example, being a BI at Sephora I only have a 10% off coupon which would only save me a couple dollars on products I’m considering: not a significant saving!)

Eileen Avatar

There’s an old adage: You should never have to spend money to save money. Remembering that saying has enabled me to easily avoid spending needlessly on sales, door busters, bogos, and so-called bargains. I love a good deal as well as anyone, but if I wouldn’t buy it at full price, then it is probably going to be a waste of my money purchasing it on sale.

Leah Avatar

When I first got into makeup a couple years ago, I jumped on every single sale that crossed my inbox. I slowly started realizing that the sales will come back, the 20% off at Ulta will be in my inbox in a few months, and I am physically out of space to store everything. My only current dilemma is my 15% off at Sephora. First time being a VIB, and I can’t think of anything to buy, but I feel like I can’t waste it. Any suggestions?

Tracy Avatar

I’m pretty good about not going all out during sales and only buying the item I am going to need to replace next. This is how I walked out of Sephora on Thursday with only a replacement moisturizer for my one that’s about to run out any day now. I’ve been able to repeat this one item success in the last 3 Sephora sales.

However, Friday I noticed the alert here on Temptalia about the UDxGwen items being on sale at Sephora and immediately went online to pick up the brow box and a liner in Ex-Girlfriend. Total fail.

Rachel R. Avatar

I usually only buy things on sale if they’re something I’ve been wanting or needing. It’s not really saving money if you buy something only because there is a good sale. I do make exceptions occasionally for clearance or other steep markdowns in that I’m more willing to be spontaneous or try something I was iffy about, but even then I don’t buy just to buy. For example, the only things I bought from the Sephora sale was the Minnie Mouse lipstick and the Tarte Rainforst of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette. I have tons of “loved” items, but those were the two things I was really pulled toward, so those are what I bought.

Roma Avatar

When there’s a sale online, I try to think would I buy that if it was still full price? If no, then I try to avoid. Usually by putting the money in my savings and telling myself I’ll buy it someday (I usually forget)

Cyndi c Avatar

I have a strategy. I keep a list of things I stock up on during sales. For example, blue Mercury has their holiday party sale. If you spend $250 or more, save 25%. This is when I stock up on Chanel staples, my one jar per year of la mer, avene skincare. Now they carry by terry, so I’ll get my lip balm then too. I buy enough for the year because that’s the best percentage usually out there. For the Sephora sale, I only bought LE or exclusive items. Lord and Taylor I passed on since 10% is low. I try to use ebates (when I remember) that adds to the %

Andrea Avatar

I don’t! Lol. I love a sale. The only reason I have only purchased 2 items during this Sephora sale is because a majority of items I want are not in stock ( I have been stalking the Sephora website and hoping they become available). But I must say, I think I have toned it down a bit (for now) thanks to acquiring a mortgage and being on maternity leave and having my top up end. We will see what happens when I go back to work ?. I swear I try not to shop, but it’s so hard to pass up a good sale!

Deborah Avatar

It’s very easy for me – I have become better at buying products I really think I will use so a sale is a hugs bonus – which I rarely see.

Sarah S. Avatar

I lock myself in my house, shut the shades, stay off the internet, etc. Nah, but in all seriousness, I look and see if I really need something/if I already have something like it/if I’ve been wanting it for a long time. For example, with the Sephora Beauty Insider sale, I got two Sephora eye pencils (neither color I had) and the Gwen Stefani blush palette, which I’ve been wanting (and it was on sale!!!) since before its release.

Jenifer Avatar

Oh that’s a tough one! I always run to see if there is something interesting on sale but I donยดt buy just for impulse, the problems is that is always something on my wishlist, and if it is on sale then I definitely buy it! In fact I wait for sales to buy stuff.
On the other hand I love palettes and I usually buy them by impulse (on the range of color that I like or needs that I have), but for other products Iยดve been use them up until it ends, I usually buy more than one product if Iยดm trying to find a perfect one, but after that it is hard to let that loved product go…

Laura Avatar

I normally have a quick browse but unless there’s something I’ve been eyeing for a while or use regularly, I’m pretty good at resisting sales. I convince myself I don’t need the item(s), that they’re not adding anything to my collection and if I want the item in the future, I could find a better deal (not always the case but usually enough to distract me for the time being). I know that I don’t need any foundations, powders, blush, mascara, etc as I am using them currently and/or have backups ready to use once my current ones run out. I can get tempted by lipsticks but 90% of the time I have shades similar in my collection already. Another good tip to ward yourself from temptation is to check reviews and/or add the item to your Pinterest board and/or wishlist. Sometimes reviews can make you realise a product isn’t as great as it initially sounded (glad I didn’t buy Laduree’s petal blusher from what I’ve seen of reviews) and just generally researching the products is fun and enough to satiate you, I find.

Chacha Avatar

In France we have 2 sales time, 1 on winter and 1 on summer and you can buy makeup with 30,40,50,60 and up to 70% off…so its really at this moment that you need to buy something new to try or excited to try for you…And all the year you can have 20 or 25% off in all beautystores so you can buy the limited edition or a new launch,or you usual products that you have finish…I cant resist to sale because i only buy sales product or with or coupon and NEVER with the”real price” lol
(50e (58$) for the new launches 2016 Dior,Chanel and Ysl foundation so i think you can understand why ๐Ÿ™‚

Genevieve Avatar

All great questions Christine – but sometimes the will is weak…… I use the sales to stock up on skincare products and to buy something that I had been wanting for awhile. I only usually buy the lusted product if the sale is really good. Otherwise I just don’t go near the shops or browse the website.

Arpita Avatar

Its hard to resist a sale… But i think about the usability of the product. Will i use it completely. Do I really need it. Can I do without it too. Do I have something which does the same work. Is it worth the price. How reliable is the site which is giving the sale. At the end Of the day I empty around 90% of the products which i had added to my basket.

Jillienne Avatar

For me it often comes down to budget, and if there’s something I absolutely need soon that I’m running out of. I may consider something that is limited edition to purchase if the sale is good too.

Alicia Johnson Morris Avatar

I can resist a sale pretty well usually, however the 20% off of everything promotion that Ulta does and the Sephora VIB sale make me twitch. I will often wait on “big ticket” items until one of those sales rolls around. Right now… you don’t want to see my Sephora cart. I need to seriously pair it down before I commit or else I won’t be making my house payment! LOL!

Janie Avatar

I think you pretty much nailed it, Christine, so for once I don’t have something to really spout off about ?, and others have said what I would have added, largely.

Hm, but I’ll add that I’ve learned to goal-plan a few months out with my discretionary funds, assuming I have any that month: of the various goals I’m pursuing that are wants and not needs, is improving my makeup one of them (right now, it is), and does another goal preface it? If a sale comes up that satisfies your list of considerations, am I willing to swap priorities that month? What will result in greater satisfaction?

As an example, last month I opted to get a handful of Armour lip glosses and some Illamasqua nail polishes on deep discount at Hautelook, Nordstrom’s flash sale site. I had to opt out of Armour’s Valentine’s sale because of other expenses, which I really didn’t want to do, but such is life. I had planned to purchase the shades I wanted more piecemeal at full price, because the quality is more than worth it to me, and I reach for them often. And bam, there they all were, at 60% off, and clearly selling quickly – so no revisit later by Hautelook, as they always do with stock that doesn’t sell.

The polishes are in hues I can wear daily and professionally, which I’m a bit short on since I have a genital weakness for unusual formulations. Also in a reliable brand that is more retail than I prefer to pay.

So I don’t regret that cost swap a bit, though it means my gardening goal had to be moved out a bit. ? If I do make a sale purchase I regret (because the product just didn’t work out, or didn’t get used as much as I’d thought), I don’t beat myself up about it. If you make a considered decision and it just doesn’t play out, it wasn’t a bad decision – just lacking the data you couldn’t have had at the time.

Oh, and if the items are returnable, or sellable (as NWOT, which is what’s happening with a Vice palette I thought I would scour clean and haven’t even touched) due to good market demand, that also may be a consideration. (If I’ve had any skin contact with the product, the only people I may swap it with are my mom or grandmother, since selling used makeup is thoroughly unhygienic! So I’ve learned to swatch with expendable tools such as Q-tips, if I’m unsure about how good a match a product will be for me. Pathetically, the Vice palette never even got swatched.)

RMW (Rose) Avatar

I think the best way for Me to resist a Sale?Is depending on how good the sale is and do I really need to add this to “my collection”? Is it something that I don’t have? Is it something that I would use often or just sit in a drawer? Does it look like something that I already have? For example, certain red lipsticks have a violet undertone, some have an orange undertone, ect. They key is to know what compliments your skin stone and if it does, it does belong with your collection. I ALWAYS wait for a sale most of the time. I think you can be frugal and still get what you love. Everyone has Birthdays, Anniversary’s, ect. That’s what I always keep in mind also. Because family and friends are always asking,” Ok, Rose your Birthday is coming up and I don’t know what to get you, do you want anything”? And because it’s on sale, I usually wind up with two, different colors or what not. I’m a Pink color freak when it comes to lipstick, but I am always open to try new lip color’s. But pink seems to be my signature color. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dana (squidgeaboo) Avatar

I have a monthly budget for my, uh, ‘stuff’. That is, whatever I want to buy that doesn’t fall into the other categories. I try and prioritize what I need. I think about 15% off really being only $15 on $100, therefore, I have to spend $100 to save $15. Is that worth it, or do I have i have to stretch? Can I put something off until next month? Often, by next month it’s lost its lustre. If not, good investment.

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