I glance at my watch, he is over 10 minutes late. I wait for the doorbell to ring. The anticipation is killing me. I know I am being silly, but I can’t wait any longer. Will it, won’t it, will it?
* ring ring *
“Madam, aapka parcel agaya”. I hang up the phone and rush to the door, open it even before the doorbell rings. And there I see it – that shiny package, with my name printed in bold, it reads, “Cash on Delivery”.
I promptly hand him over the money and snatch it from the deliveryman’s hand. And bang the door with a swift “thank you”.
My name is Meenakshi and I am an online shopping addict.
Now I can’t wait to open it. That neatly wrapped parcel, first is the irritating layer of plastic, which wouldn’t tear without scissors, so I hunt one down and snap through it. Next up is the brown cardboard box – pinned at every corner, Grrrrrr. (I think this mad amount of packing is totally intentionally considering it aptly fuels the already building anticipation.) I impatiently open the box and there, my beloved bubble wrap adds another layer between my priced possession and me. But this time I smile because I love bubble wrap, so I put in a box with all the other bubble wrap packing I’ve been saving for a crazy day.
I find a cute little hand-written note thanking me for my purchase, and I go yaaay! I take a picture and Instagram/Facebook/Twitter to the rest of the world and go yaaaay there too.
Finally I see it, looks just the way it did on my screen. I wish I could try it then, but I am going to do it now. This very minute, we are going to become one. That knowing smell of new fabric, the touch of satin and the way it feels on my skin – I knew we were made for each other. And it’s perfect, just the way I thought it would make me look – happy and completely satiated.
[Your account balance is Rs 102.00]
That was me, six months ago. Today I am a recovering online shopping addict. Those visits by the deliveryman have reduced. My financial health has improved. I always think why there aren’t any rehabs for this addiction.
I wouldn’t say I am out of that trap, but I can control my impulses better. So here I am sharing a few tips with everyone, I know there are many like me, maybe not as bad, but definitely there. These tips are for those who need help, others who think they have something add, please go ahead.
1) First up, remove all the e-commerce sites that you carefully bookmarked on your Safari/Chrome.
2) Unsubscribe from websites you don’t frequent. This way, those 10% off on designer watches and 50% off on sunglasses emails won’t tempt you.
3) Even after your best efforts, if you do end up on the webpage, instead of clicking on “add to cart”, click on “add to wish list”. There will be a time, when that lovely peplum top you want to buy would be sold at half off. Buy it then. This way you can be smarter about your shopping.
4) Use online shopping only for those things that you wouldn’t find in a physical store or for discounted rates.
5) Avoid buying clothes online, unless you are 200 per cent sure about your size chart. Ill-fitting clothes can be very depressing. And the return policy is never as easy as it is made to sound. TRUST ME!
6) Make a list of all the things you need and make a purchase only if you find something from the list. Be prudent when you are coming up with this list.
7) Make another list of all the things you don’t need – the aim is to keep this one longer than the previous one.
8) Always ask yourself a second time, whether you really need something you are about to “add to my cart”, in my case, I ask myself thrice, at least.
9) Don’t own credit cards
10) Even if you do, tell yourself that it’s only for emergency. While it’s a great feeling to buy that brand new perfume that a xyz singer has just launched, but remember you are spending money you don’t even have, and you don’t know whether you will have it in the future.
Trust me, I am not trying to be preachy, only treating is as my ready reckoner to stay away from online shopping – one of the biggest evils of 21st century! Ok, I exaggerated a little.
* ding dong *
As I rush to the door, Amy Winehouse croons in the background “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said no, no, no”