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One local merchant explained the sale of a one-of-a-kind item with “She just had to have it.”
Merchants aren’t hearing a lot of this lately due to the nation’s economic downturn. Many consumers are restricting their buying to household necessities. Usually someone says they “have to have it” when it is a luxury of some sort.
The little gee-gaws hanging at the end of every check-out counter are have-to-have-its or impulse buys. Talking with many of the town’s senior citizens, who lived through the Great Depression, I am struck by their lifelong dedication to keeping their belts tightened. Many of us take things for granted. We are used to buying things simply because of a whim.
That is probably why yard sales are always a big hit. Most of us clean out all of the things that we thought we couldn’t live without and sell them at garage and yard sales. Everyone who has been searching for the thing they couldn’t live without (at a reduced price), will eventually find it, or interest in finding the item will have faded.
Then there are the things we must have to exist. There is a wide ranging list and in our modern life, we have expanded the list. It is apparent that one’s age has a lot to do with the perception, as well as the place where we live. Children in the first half of the 19th century couldn’t put all the technological wonders such as iPods, CD players and computers on their must-have list. It was a different world then, but it is not just the dearth of luxury goods that we are dealing with, it is the must-have-it view of life that has taken over. When there is an economic downtown, people try to resist the temptation for impulse shopping.
No matter what the item is though, the need for a gotta-have-it remains strong. One thing changes however, as it often moves down the list to be purchased when times are more flush. Soon the must-wait-to-have-its overtake the just-had-to-have-its.