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Old 12-20-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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I was just out tonight, went to Barnes&Noble, Walmart, and Target, all three seemed half empty, the weekend before Christmas? That's a sobering sign, people either don't have the money or are afraid to spend it.

On another note, I got myself a "present" adopted a cat from a shelter. I figure the love he gives is worth more than useless trinkets!
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:26 AM
 
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Good on ya for adopting your next best friend!

Maybe mindless consumerism is grinding to a halt for whatever reason. We certainly shouldn't hope that the economy will "come back" to 70 percent consumer spending.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:47 AM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 12,065,480 times
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I hope your sweet new kitty gives you many happy days ahead.

I haven't been Christmas shopping at all. Today I bought our Christmas ham and a bottle of wine for a friend. That's it. No tree, no lights, no presents, no nothing. We're broke.

But I am still one bottle of wine and a ham ahead of last year, I think we had tacos. We were broke last year too.

I'm thinking we'll be broke next Christmas as well.

But I'm happy that we have a [rented] roof over our heads, I have a husband with a good job and health insurance, and we can still afford to pay the internet bill.

Living with reduced expectations. The new America.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Georgia, on the Florida line, right above Tallahassee
10,474 posts, read 14,854,431 times
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I dropped 100 +50 +50+25+25 on relatives. Gift cards. I love gift cards. You dont get crap you don't want. There's a Walmart in every town in the South. You can get food... electronics... you can buy 35 toothbrushes if you want. Gift cards. Send them in the mail, for 79 cents.

For years, I bought this and that, and some of the other....and thought, "Gee, what would be the perfect gift?" The perfect gift is .. money.
Lovely, green cash. In plastic form. (This does not apply to my wife. That would probably get me a weird look and probably, nothing else.....if you know what I mean.)

Wanna hear something weird? I sent my mom and dad a $100 dollar Walmart gift card. My mom and Dad sent me and my wife .. A $100 dollar bill. It's like, we're trading money. Neither of us knew what the other was sending. It just worked out like that. Life's weird. Same tree, different branches, I suppose.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:41 AM
 
9,845 posts, read 21,025,815 times
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One factor I never hear about regarding our economic collapse, is that the American consumer is exhausted and with all the "free money" around in the past 10 years had pretty much bought everything they needed and now it's time to pay up.

Everyone I know and from everything else I have seen, I think people are taking their shopping more seriously and not binging on stuff they don't need to survive.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:42 AM
 
Location: WA
5,565 posts, read 23,190,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
One factor I never hear about regarding our economic collapse, is that the American consumer is exhausted and with all the "free money" around in the past 10 years had pretty much bought everything they needed and now it's time to pay up.

Everyone I know and from everything else I have seen, I think people are taking their shopping more seriously and not binging on stuff they don't need to survive.
I don't know what 'free money' you are talking about... I don't think I got any.

This Xmas my spouse and I both got new eyeglasses which we had put off for years (paying for your own medical can make you pretty tight).

No funds for celebration and I think this more limited holiday is the beginning of a new trend in this houshold.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:30 PM
 
20,190 posts, read 22,147,062 times
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For Christmas I spent 100+100+100+100+500+100+110+130 for a total of $1240... oh well... That's actually less than what I normally spend (much less)... and I don't even make that much... its the time for giving, not receiving...
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,067 posts, read 78,806,276 times
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Well the MSM is now blaming poor retail sales on the recent snowstorm that hit the northeast coast over the weekend.

I'll tell ya..any excuse but the truth !

Weekend snowstorm cuts U.S. holiday sales upside - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091221/bs_nm/us_holidaysales - broken link)
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,612,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marylee54 View Post
I was just out tonight, went to Barnes&Noble, Walmart, and Target, all three seemed half empty, the weekend before Christmas? That's a sobering sign, people either don't have the money or are afraid to spend it.

On another note, I got myself a "present" adopted a cat from a shelter. I figure the love he gives is worth more than useless trinkets!

Thin inventories might be the culprit. Black Friday "sales" resembled an average Sunday circuliar, and retail has been doing little to nothing to bring in foot traffic since.

The reason they are doing this has been linked to the fact that they have small inventory, which reduces the cost of carrying it, which means they have to sell less to cover its cost. In plain English, they dont have the same motivation to give deep discount loss leaders. Consumers are answering this by zipping up the wallet and moving on, and I dont blame them. Outside of neccessities, most consumer items largely have a higher opportunity cost then the value of the item. So, unless you can get that item at a deep enough discount to offset that, why buy it in the first place? The fact that people are scared is just forcing them to look at that equation much closer. Do I really need that? Most of the time the answer is no. Retailers obviously cant handle that answer, and are extremely reluctant to motivate traffic by deep discounts.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:14 PM
 
12,869 posts, read 13,987,230 times
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good for you, mary lee. i know that animals get the worst of it in a recession, and the shelters are being overrun. there are also people who have just left their pets behind during foreclosure, and with 1.7 million still on deck this is going to be a very hard time for a lot of animals.

as far as shopping, i agree 100% that the deals just don't seem to be out there this year, with a few exceptions. i definitely saw better buys at the discount stores like ross, TJ maxx, etc., during the summer.

i have also noticed people putting things back after they have put them in their carts, so there is a lot of indecision now on purchasing, even at the grocery store.
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