With Stampede Friday and Shop-At-Work Monday now behind us, I thought it opportune to reflect on some of the frequently frenzied purchases consumers “need” that I don’t.
- Nintendo Wii – Perfectly happy pulling out my old school PS2 once a month to play Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Offline. We just don’t game enough to justify buying another console.
- iPhone/gPhone – My Treo 650 that I’ve had for about 5 years does everything I need it to. Yes, a better mobile web browser and a faster network would be nice, but I don’t need the bills of additional hardware, monthly costs, and seemingly required application purchases to make the current generation devices usable.
- iPod/mp3 player – My Treo functions as an mp3 player, and gets used rarely. If I’m listening to music it’s usually in the car.
- mp3s & CDs – I’m odd – the musician that doesn’t listen to a lot of music. But when I do, it’s usually courtesy of the XM receiver in the car. Technically, it’s Amanda’s, but since she’s not commuting, I usually have it. The XM subscription is discretionary spending, but we find it to be a better value than purchasing music.
- DVDs – Even though I don’t have one at the moment, I found a Netflix membership to be a far better value than buying movies. Why should I pay to store movies when I can have someone else house my library for me and send me one when I want it? And we all know that we’re quickly moving towards that entire collection being available on-demand, so even the extremely-impatient-I-can’t-wait-2-days-to-see-this-movie crowd will be placated soon enough.
You won’t find me lined up outside a store at 4am the day after Thanksgiving. No deal is worth risking your life over. It’s bad enough a store employee would get knocked down as people try to get in for a bargain, but to have 2000 people walk on or over them for a good buy says to me that consumerism has gone awry – well beyond simply buying unneeded products to putting price before life. I’ll take a raincheck.