The Murphy's Law of Shopping

The bitter-sweet experience of the Murphy's Law of Shopping (as I've coined it) has hit me again. You know what I'm talking about? It's when you carefully weigh up the pros and cons of a purchase, proceed with that purchase, and then ALMOST INSTANTLY find either that item or something very similar for a greatly reduced price, making you realise that you should have held off... However, I'm well aware that often if you try to pre-empt Murphy's Law, then the opposite thing will happen and you'll miss out on that item for good.
Did I say this was bitter-sweet? It's actually excruciating!!

Consider the following: Last week I decided to use my birthday money to buy new shoes. I did not make this decision lightly. I went through my shoe collection (exhausting at the best of times) and took the rare plunge of throwing out a couple of pairs that were definitely well beyond redemption. A recent new pair look fabulous but are not leather and are hurting my toes. This left me with a clear view of what in shoe terms I needed: comfortable; smart and sassy; leather; adaptable; on special. And I found them in a fabulous designer shop that started a SALE on the morning I went in! (

Sounds good doesn't it? But here is where Murphy's Law kicked in. It's less than a week since I bought my new shoes, and today I dropped in to my favourite op shop. There on the rack, sitting up shiny and bright were not one, but TWO pairs of snazzy leather flat shoes, in as new condition, in my size (EU 36) and under $10 a pair. D'oh!

I've photographed all three pairs (above) for your perusal. Humour me, and let me know which you think is the BIRTHDAY pair (40% off but still not cheap) and which are the two secondhand pairs (that cost $8 and $7) - that rendered the first purchase not totally regrettable (birthday pair are still probably my favourites, well, they have to be don't they!?) but unnecessary.

Second instance: I'd been looking for a copy of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I'll admit this book had completely passed me by, but the hype over the newly released sequel sent me scurrying to my local bookshop for the original Booker Prize winning novel. It was nowhere to be found. After exhausting three bookstores and being 99% certain I'd never seen one in my searches of secondhand books, I went online and ordered a new copy. It was delivered the next week. ONE day later I walked into an op shop and literally the first thing I saw was a pristine copy of Wolf Hall, for $5. Honestly!

I think this happens to me a lot. Surely I'm not the only one. You know, when you've agonised over an expensive designer silk shirt, only to find the week after buying it that cheap knock offs have flooded the stores...
What? That was just me too?

I don't know whether anyone has done a PhD on this subject, but the topic is just crying out for further research...or if others have similarly suffered from the affliction, maybe we could set up a chapter of Murphy's Law Shoppers Anonymous?


Popular Posts