2016-12-22

not always wait

Sometimes, the time for action is now. It's clear when looking back throughout history that were specific moments where something had to happen then, or the momentum would be lost, the cause would have failed, or the idea would have been usurped. The history books, biographies, and various accounts we have make these things very clear.

But I'm going to water this idea down quite a bit and be a good American, a consumer. Sometimes, when there's something you really want and it's available and the price is uncommonly low... sometimes you just need to go ahead and get the darn thing.

This is a mistake I've certainly made before. Sometimes I think "oh, it'll be cheaper in a day or week" and sometimes I tell myself that the value just isn't there, but by the time I've gotten to the point where I'm actively shopping something, I'm generally well resolved to the idea that it is the best thing for the situation and I've evaluated the alternatives fairly well.

While it does work out at times to wait, that's not always the case. A few months ago we were booking a trip that would include a pair of one-way airline tickets. When we purchased the first direction, I thought that the return trip's price was about as good as we were going to get, and within a week the price went up nearly a hundred dollars a seat. As time for the trip drew nearer, I was getting almost nervous about the lack of a return ticket, but I felt certain that the rate would fall at least a bit. I set a deadline and literally on the predicted day the fare dropped--not as low as it would have been if we'd bought way-back-when, but reasonably close enough. And, unsurprisingly, shortly thereafter the rate went right back up.

However, waiting hasn't always been my best bet. In the last couple of weeks I've experienced two instances of waiting too long to acquire something. In one instance, it was something that I wanted for convenience, and not only did I miss the sale prices, but the stock of the item seems to have been depleted for the balance of the year (that sounds more impressive to say than "a couple of weeks"). The other instance actually has to do with a gift that I was planning to get for my wife for Christmas--something I am sure she'd like but just doesn't know she wants it yet. After stalking various offerings of the product in various channels online for nearly a month, I finally decided upon the one to get. Within twenty minutes of placing the order, I got a cancellation saying that the item was no longer available--not once, but twice! My delay in making this decision ended up meaning that not only will I not be able to get what I wanted for her at the price I wanted, but it won't arrive in time for Christmas, either.

I suppose, as the saying goes, first world problems...

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