Friday, February 24, 2012

Don't Sweater the Cheap Stuff

Earlier this month I wrote An InVestment, a post about a vest that made its way from a Macy's warehouse to my house to Macy's and back to my house yet again. Here's another tale of buyer's remorse turning out for the best.

These two sweaters arrived at my local Macy's in October, priced $195 and $225, respectively. Like many of Ralphie's products I knew I could only hope to purchase these later from the clearance racks. On Black Friday, I pulled the trigger at $80 and $90. When I pulled that trigger, I felt like I'd just shot myself through the wallet, but these were the only sweaters left in my size so I didn't feel that bad, yet.

Unlike my vest which was quickly returned, these sweaters sat on a shelf for two months and collected dust. As a thrift shop guy, a bargain shopper, paying so much for anything outside a well-cut suit just doesn't feel right. Even my favorite suits cost no more than $100 on eBay. I knew that in returning the sweaters, they would almost certainly be bought up right away.

Finally, a few weeks ago I decided to take my chances and head back to Macy's. Though the winter sweater collection was basically wiped out, a handful of odd pieces remained. I checked the prices on a few sweaters, only to find out they were marked down from $195-$245 to about $45. If the remnants of this collection were this cheap, my sweaters had to be as well.

I swallowed my pride and approached the register. I said, "I want to return these sweaters and buy them again, please." I received a look of puzzlement from the associate who said nothing more than ooooooookay?. (Yes, it was that drawn out.) I explained my remorseful dilemma, only to then be greeted by a response of hey man, gotta do whatchya gotta do. (Oh, the nonchalance of a high school kid.)

So, after two months of internal debate, it seems keeping these sweaters so long was just the thing to do. Coupons, discounts and all, I saved more than 75% on each sweater. Landing more than $80 back on my original payment, I felt like I'd scored the buy-one-get-one deal of the century, considering I paid $80 for one sweater from the start.

Oh, by the way, I couldn't be more pleased with the quality and comfort of these sweaters. The first, a beautiful intarsia knit of linen and cotton, features an interesting placket with wood toggles below a stand-up collar. The second, a vivid fair isle of linen, cotton and a touch of cashmere, has just the right weight and thickness to be worn nearly year-round (unlike most any other fair isle knit).


  1. Oh my goodness! They actually let you do that?! That's incredible! You are a thrifty gentleman, my friend. I bow to your genius.

    1. As always, you're so charmingly kind. I honestly had no idea if I'd be able to return and repurchase them immediately, but I'm so happy things worked out and I ended up with my sweaters at a not-so-crazy price.