Monday, October 16, 2006
When I was in my favorite boutique in Wilmington (NC) a month ago, I saw these darling ballerina flats – butter-soft leather, sleek silhouette, and a lowcut instep for lots of toe cleavage. I just had to have them. Alas, Elizabeth – it’s Elizabeth’s Boutique – didn’t have anything in my size. She told me where I could order online from her supplier, though.
Later on, back home, I went to the site and found exactly the style, color, and size I wanted. The shoes are made in France but sold through a British shop; therefore, the prices were shown in pounds. I wasn’t even thinking in terms of conversion rates. I knew what Elizabeth charged, but I also knew there had to be a fairly substantial markup. So I figured, how much can they be? Of course, I wasn’t thinking in terms of wholesale vs. retail pricing. In other words, I wasn’t thinking. I went ahead and ordered them. Duh.
They came last Thursday, and the invoice also reflected the price (including shipping) in pounds. Later on, I asked the question in one of my online groups, “Does anyone know how much 77 pounds is in U.S. dollars?” The answer just about made me fall off my chair. Duh! I got back online and checked my credit card statement and, yes, it was true. I had myself one very expensive pair of shoes. Cute, yes, but mondo expensive. Double Duh.
One friend, laughing, advised me to bronze the things and put them on the mantel as a reminder of a lesson learned the hard way. Another friend, also laughing, told me I’d better wear The Shoes until they rot off my feet. I was torn. On one hand, I was afraid to even wear The Shoes. On the other hand, I figured that as long as I had them, I might as well wear them. I have The Shoes on today, and they feel heavenly. They look good, too. I just may never take them off, in which case I will be wearing them ‘til they rot.
Next time I see something I just have to have and the price is in anything but U.S. dollars, you can be sure I’ll calculate the conversion rate first. That’s just common sense, which I appear to be lacking at times – like when it comes to shoes. For today, I'm just going to twirl and prance around in The Shoes.