The Power of a Compliment

I admit, I have a problem. Retail is my passion. (More like addiction but you get the point.) In total yesterday my husband and I spent over $600 in a span from 9am to 9pm. Do I feel guilty? A little but now I have an awesome Michael Kors backpack and a beautiful Michael Kors Dress.

But one thing I noticed about our major purchases yesterday was the compliments. We went to Walmart first to buy all the essentials of our Super Bowl party today. Because I wanted to impress (and perhaps receive compliments) on new towels we spent about a good $50 on three towels. When I have a whole closet full of towels. To be honest none of them really match with my shower curtain but we all know that’s an excuse to shop.

We previously had purchased already marinated steak from a meat market. This instance was different though we didn’t spend that much on “Chuck Steaks” which let us purchase a higher quantity of another quality meat. (Or at least the one my dad would always buy when we were young, and that man can be frugal. Something I DIDN’T learn from him, Dammit.)

After visiting the Nike store, (where my hubby purchased some nice running shoes) no one gave him compliments, he just went on how they fit and the look of them. His own opinion only mattered. That’s what probably saved him from spending more unnecessary money. We passed my favorite store (Charlotte Rousse) my husband asked if I wanted to enter and I declined and said, “No, if I go in there I will come out with an outfit, and I don’t want to spend money.”

Little did we know that’s just what I was about to do…and a whole lot of it too. We kept on walking and passed the MK store. First off, my husband was the one that insisted we go in and the dress on display was super cute so I followed along.

As soon as we entered I felt the material of the super cute dress and along came a MK sales lady almost by instinct. She was really tall, had a lot of makeup on (but in a good way not in a sloppy cheap way of course.) and was wearing a MK red romper. “Girl, I love your dress, where did you get it from!” was the first thing she said to me. Already building rapport she noticed I was totally eyeing the shit out of the dress on display. “OMG THAT DRESS IS SO CUTE HUH!? DO YOU WANT TO TRY IT ON? IT’S OUR LAST ONE!” Fuck yes I want to try it on. As soon as I tried it on it fit like a glove and I loved the way it looked on me. So I took it.

As I waited in line to pay for it two different MK sales ladies complimented on how cute the MK dress was and how unfortunate that it was the last one. The dress was on sale…for $150. YIKES, what was the original price? I don’t even want to know.

On my way out I noticed a really nice black backpack. The same red romper lady came up to me and helped me try it on. “It’s a really nice backpack huh?” I explained that I had a large purse and she immediately mentioned that all the contents in that purse plus more would definitely fit. (This lady must be a good salesman…er lady) So I took it. and while in line to buy it she took out a “pom pom” and attached it to my backpack. “These compliment the backpack very well, do you want one in red or black?” I took the black.. The pom pom was $60 but on sale for $15. In total with the backpack $130. So I ended up paying almost $300 on a dress and a backpack at MK. As we made our way out to our car I couldn’t help but to feel guilty. What was I thinking spending so much on a damn backpack and pom pom.

If it wasn’t for this lady’s compliments, I don’t think I would’ve felt as confident in making those purchases. I have a really bad retail problem and in the last five years I think (I know, I’m just in denial) I’ve spent a large sum of money on just shopping. The clothes I wear are nice and I regularly receive compliments at work. Because of my uncontrollable shopping habits and the compliments I am now in serious debt.

Do you let the sales people in your favorite store push you to purchase with compliments or do you completely dismiss their attempts? How frugal do you think you are?



  1. After years in the retail industry, I know most of the tricks of the trade and you are definitely right! Compliments almost always end in larger sales. That being said, you need to learn to compliment right back, diffuse the situation somewhat and maybe try to get your spending in order. I always think on a purchase over $100….even if it is the “last one in stock”……oh and that’s another trick of the trade.

    Liked by 1 person

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