IMG_1461Over the next week or so, consumers will be sorely tempted by “XX% Off” and “Inventory Clearance” sales – making it increasingly difficult to avoid falling victim to “Seasonal Consumerism Syndrome”, or SCS.

At its worst, SCS compels you to purchase product you don’t need, particularly upgrades of perfectly functional products you already own. But when a product is discounted by 25%, upgrading seems like a no-brainer, so out comes the credit card along with your pledge not to over-spend during the holidays.

My own personal case of SCS happened a month or so. As you might already know, I’m passionate about hockey (ice, not field!) so every visit to the local hockey store is fraught with temptation. One day, I was overcome by SCS, and bought skates I really didn’t need. While the skates were shiny and new, they were far from perfect. They were terribly uncomfortable and I couldn’t skate as well – which brought on a bad case of buyer’s remorse.

After several trips back to the hockey store, a different pair of skates, and some adjustments, my new skates now feel as good as my old skates, which only reinforces the fact I didn’t need new skates in the first place.

So as you browse through the newspaper flyers and online offers this holiday season, think about my skates, and whether an upgrade is really an upgrade.

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