The Inspired eBayer

No comments :

The world may be divided into two types of people – those who use and love eBay, and those who don’t. Many of my friends and family swear by eBay. It’s fun to sift through the many categories, never knowing what treasure you might unearth. But it is an online auction and auctions can be addictive, because of the high you get just from bidding on an item and the even greater high if you’re successful. Here are a few tips to help you get the most from online auctions like eBay and avoid overspending.

* Use a debit card rather than a credit card to purchase goods. If you must use a credit card, use one that has a very low limit, for example $500. Alternatively, if you're concerned about buying too many goods on eBay that aren't on your Priority List, create an eBay ‘fund’, only using money you make selling your unwanted goods on eBay to buy any eBay items that aren't on your List.

* Before you start bidding, gauge the suitability of items you're planning to buy. For example, a three-seater couch in club lounge style could be much longer than the couch that you would like it to replace, even if your couch is also a three-seater. You therefore need to get as much information as you can from the seller, including detailed measurements and any other specifications that will help you decide. Write out a list of your questions in advance so you don't need to send multiple emails. To help you decide on how the colour of a decor or furniture item will look in the relevant room,  find a big piece of material in a similar colour and drape it around the room.

* Given that you can’t see and touch the goods you buy on eBay (unless you’re able to inspect the item beforehand), your intuition is more vital than ever when deciding whether to purchase something, and how much you’re willing to pay. Setting a limit in advance on the amount you’re willing to pay for an item you’re interested in will help you avoid being swayed by other bidders’ agendas and the excitement of the bidding process – a technique for doing this is given below. If you’d rather be spontaneous, stay aware of how your intuition is responding in the bidding process.

* Remember that a bargain is only a bargain if it’s something you truly want and need. Sociologist Sharon Zukin suggests that much of the excitement we get from searching for goods on eBay is the feeling that we’re on ‘a heroic quest’, searching for hidden treasure and asserting our individuality – the more amateurish the presentation of the item listing, the more we feel we’ve found something authentic. She suggests that, in our minds, the objects we find ‘have histories and are therefore no longer just commodities’. We need to be careful about our assumptions when searching for such ‘treasure’, ensuring that our excitement doesn’t override our awareness of what is right for us.

* Be a trustworthy eBayer. The feedback system, which is a hallmark of eBay, certainly has its drawbacks, but it does encourage people to be on their best behaviour, and it’s amazing how easily problems can be ironed out when both parties are committed to finding a solution. Make the most of this aspect of eBay – be reasonably accommodating and chances are the other person will be too. And don’t be afraid to jump in first to provide positive feedback if you think the situation warrants it. Of course you may run into more serious problems with the buyer or the seller, and the discussion boards can provide helpful advice in this case.
Don’t overlook other auction websites. For Australians, sites like OZtion are growing in popularity, and their fees are cheaper than those of eBay.

* To save money, try to arrange with the seller to organise your own postage - but do this before the bidding is finalised. According to myParcelDelivery.com, organising your own postage can reduce postage costs and protect you from unscrupulous sellers. If you'd like to do this, you need to drop a note to the seller before the bidding is complete to ask if this is possible. In your note, request the postcode and the likely dimensions of the parcel. If the seller agrees, arrange a quote.  If you're the successful bidder, you can then ask the seller for an invoice, minus the postage costs, and arrange the postage.

Setting your limit
The amount you’re willing to spend on any listed item on an auction site represents a combination of what you think the item is worth and what you’re able and willing to pay – if the item ends up being overpriced, you may be better off trying to find a similar item somewhere else. Here’s my suggestion for working out your limit:

Firstly, get an idea of how much the item is worth – to you, and more generally. Ask yourself how much you want the item, but also how rare it is and how likely you are to find something similar, at a cheaper price, in a reasonable time period. Next, look at your budget if you’ve developed one and get a rough idea of how much you can afford. If you don’t have a budget, you should still have a rough idea of your economic situation, including other spending commitments.

Then, on a blank piece of paper, slowly write down a list of numbers representing dollar values. When writing make the numerals as big as possible, as this will make it easier for your unconscious. The numbers need to increase in increments, eg 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 … or 50, 75, 100 … Do this quite slowly, staying aware of how you’re feeling. Experiment with stopping the list at particular points that ‘feel right’. Is $100 all you’re willing to pay for that interesting walnut art deco bedhead? Is $80 your absolute limit for those rare Honda Prelude taillights?

This may be the end of the exercise if you feel you’ve made your decision. If not, keep going with the numbers, reaching an amount that’s a bit higher than you’d expect to have to pay, and draw square tick boxes to the left-hand side of them. Now, take your time ticking the box that you feel most comfortable with. Let the pen hover for a while. Which box do you feel drawn to? And how does it feel when you tick that box? If it doesn’t feel right, tick another, and so on, until you’ve settled on an amount.

There may well be a discrepancy at this point between what you’re willing and able to pay – your limit – and what you think the seller will obtain. In my experience, this is okay. Being outbidded is not the end of the world. The important thing is to be fairly confident early on that you’re comfortable with your limit.

This is a suggestion only, and you may well find your limit goes ‘up’ as you bid. If you prefer to decide 'on the fly' the final amount you’re willing to spend , simply take note of your intuition and respond accordingly as you type the amount in and before you hit the ‘Confirm Bid’ button. But be aware that it may be harder to know whether this decision is based on intuition or panic when, for example, you only have five minutes left to bid. Taking your time at the outset to find out what your true limit is could help you decide when to let go gracefully.

Do you have any tips on staying centred, and/or using intuition, while shopping on eBay? If so, I'd love to hear from you!
Read More


Musings at the mall

No comments :

I can't believe how much I learn from a visit to the mall sometimes. About people, shopping and me. Here's a list of some of the things I learned or that happened when I went to my local mall recently.

First, the reason I was there. A cousin of mine has recently become engaged (congratulations C!) and was holding a celebratory 'garden party'. Having bought my fill of summer clothes, I'd decided I was going to do some compacting. I had a perfectly good dress I'd worn to my sister's wedding in October, a gorgeous grey jersey dress with very wide, short sleeves, a high gathered waist and above-the-knee pencil style skirt. I'd wear the dress again, I thought, with a newish long-sleeved black top underneath -- only a tiny fraction of the people there would have seen me in it.

But I was defeated by the bureau of meteorology. It was going to be a sultry 29 degrees. The dress's material would be all wrong, and it just doesn't look right without something long-sleeved underneath. So, despite being an Inspired Shopper, I did a last minute rush out to the mall the day before, hunting, as usual, for a bargain.

My shopping was much more dispiriting than usual -- trying on dresses that looked awful or that I had trouble even getting into. But eventually I found my bargain -- a $40 Witchery dress down from $130. It was black, peasant-style and casual, so I planned to dress it up with a bright necklace. And as my sisters assured me, I'd 'get a lot of wear out of it'.

This experience made me think about compacting. As well as the initial aim, it requires planning -- much more than I'd been prepared to do. I'd also forgotten about the perils of last minute shopping -- although it was fun to finally hunt down my 'prey', I wondered at the time whether I'd still be running around the following morning looking for something.

Other things I learned:

I rarely go 'late night shopping' on Friday nights any more -- but this was one of the fun things in my childhood. When the then much smaller 'Chaddy' -- now 'the largest mall in the southern hemisphere'(by sales volume rather than size) -- first introduced late night shopping, my family and I would often wander round the centre on a Friday night, ending with a visit to the doughnut shop, my sisters eating them in the car on the way home. The only trouble was, I hated (still do!) doughnuts. Parking my car I had a sudden memory of those Friday evenings.

I still experienced a bit of Inspired Shopping magic. A book I'd been thinking about getting from the library -- The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers -- 'appeared' in a bookshop for $3, complete with accompanying short stories. Synchronicity at its best.

Last but not least, the toilets at Chadstone shopping centre have automatic flushing. Melbourne is in the midst of a drought and I was appalled by the waste of water! The toilet actually flushed twice while I was in the cubicle -- I tried not to take it personally. I was gobsmacked at the hypocrisy -- Chadstone has recently announced its efforts to be more environmentally friendly.

But this weird state of affairs also sent me off into a meditation about the kind of society that needs self-flushing toilets. Supposedly we are more selfish than ever before, and we're also encouraged to be more self-reliant. However, this has led to a state where we're losing our sense of social rules and customs to keep the public, communal sphere in order -- we don't have time, it seems, to create reciprocal communities where people know the social expectations and carry them out.

Yet, while we're encouraged to be selfish, it's selflessness that is required to teach tomorrow's citizens basic skills -- like how to keep public toilets clean! (Of course, not flushing 'number ones' for environmental reasons is perfectly OK, an aim that these self-flushing toilets also defeat.) Selflessness still exists of course, but it's highly unfashionable. I'm not blaming working parents here, but the relentless march of materialism and the changes wrought by 'economic rationalism'.

All that from a visit to the mall on Friday evening!
Read More


In search of better sound

No comments :
Yesterday a good friend rang me for some advice. He was thinking of taking the plunge and buying a new CD player. There was nothing technically wrong with the one he had, so he wanted to make sure he was making the right decision.

My friend -- let's call him Simon -- is a music and film buff. His entire system, including television screen, cost him more than $40,000. But he doesn't spend for status reasons: he wants the best in screen and music quality so that he can enjoy his CDs, which range from classical to rock, some in superaudio, and his extensive DVD collection. Whenever I'm over at his place, I can see the joy he receives from superb colour on his screen and a clear, true sound.

Simon's been unhappy with the sound of his CDs for a while and, an electronics engineer by profession, recently made some changes to the set-up to improve the sound. But he still felt it wasn't right. So he started checking out other CD players, and found one on the Internet for $1700 that according to some reviewers was the best available for under $3000. It also had many features that really appealed to him. I have no doubt at all about his ability to do effective research on this issue! So why had he rung me?

For a start, he wanted a sounding board. It's a great idea to discuss a potential large purchase with someone you know well. Even talking about it can give you clarity about where you are in the decision-making process, and the issues that may be holding things up.

As well, many music buffs constantly chase the holy grail of perfect sound quality, spending ever-larger sums to obtain just the right sound. Someone with a $3000 player might soon begin to crave one worth $5000, but the owner of a $5000 one might, after a while, wish he or she had splurged on the $10 000 one (these increments represent what buyers have to pay to get an appreciable difference in quality). Simon wanted to avoid this trap.

The other problem Simon had was that before buying, he wouldn't be able to tell for sure if a new player would configure well on his existing system. The only way of knowing was to get the thing home and set it up. He really would have liked to borrow his favoured model from a store, set it up at home and then return it if it wasn't right.

I listened to what he had to say and after a while told him that I thought he had already made up his mind -- that he was just about ready to buy. I also know him well enough to know that, as he'd been unhappy with his cheaper CD player for a while, he probably wasn't going to be happy until he'd bought this new one. But I was worried that he was chasing the holy grail and would soon be craving a $5000 player -- so I initially found myself suggesting he go for the $5000 one upfront, skipping a stage in his consumer craving, despite all my Inspired Shopping principles. But he assured me that he would be happy if the sound was 'right' -- for him, it wasn't about chasing absolute perfection.

Finally, I gave him some advice. 'You have all the necessary information. There's nothing more your rational mind can do. Intuition is great when there are unknowns that you can't be sure of. It can help you work out if you're making a good decision.'

I suggested that he write down two things on a piece of paper: 'Buy x brand CD player' on the top of the page, and underneath it 'Don't buy new player -- get used to existing one'. I suggested that he put tick boxes next to these two alternatives. He could then tick each box, one at a time, each time noting how it made him feel by tapping into his body and its reactions. I also suggested that he then close his eyes and do a short meditation to see if any ideas or intimations came up.

I rang Simon the next day and he had already ordered the new player! I asked him how he felt about his decision. He said that he felt great about it, but was now hanging out for the new player to arrive.

What do you think about Simon's decision? Have you confronted a similar dilemma, and if so, how did you solve it?

Read More


Staying Mindful at Sale Time


I love sales, I'm not ashamed to admit. And I rarely come home emptyhanded when I go to one (although I'm always prepared to). But sales have certain dangers, and this was beautifully illustrated in an article (aptly titled 'War'!) published recently in The Age newspaper by fashion writer Janice Breen Burns.

Breen alerted readers to a major trap that can beset the bargain hunter. On a shopping trip with her daughter, she bought her a pair of jeans that she assumed were $50 off the original price. After she'd checked her credit slip and gone back to the store to correct the 'mistake' she thought the sales assistant had made, she was told that the pile from which her daughter had selected the jeans weren't on sale -- although they were next to a series of piles of jeans that were all $50 off. Sneaky to say the least.

A similar thing happened when she made a bulk purchase of her favourite undies, lured by a red 'Sale' sign that seemed to indicate they were less than half-price. You guessed it -- not a cent off.

There are a couple of lessons here. Sometimes when we're at a busy mall or a shopping strip full of stores having sales, we go into a kind of fog of consumer delight. That's exactly what the stores want us to do -- the store window displays, layouts, smell, fittings and signage are all designed to encourage us to spend. The red sale signs are particularly powerful, and there's something very primeval about bargain hunting.

But there are two things that can help you avoid disaster. The first is not letting the fog swallow you up -- staying aware of what's going on for you, even if it's just acknowledging that you're salivating at the thought of that shiny black sleeveless top that has a whole $20 slashed of it, and choosing to slow down a bit in your decision making. This is mindfulness.

The second is listening to that 'still small voice' -- your intuition. Mindfulness can help you go slowly enough to do that. Have you ever been about to race into a changing room or to a counter with your booty, yet you felt something wasn't quite right? You felt uncomfortable and you couldn't identify why. It may have been that the clothes item (or whatever else you were purchasing) just wasn't right for you. It may have been that the store's price signs were misleading and you were about to be duped. Or it may have been even more straightforward than that -- you simply couldn't afford to buy the item. Listen to that inner voice -- it may be irritating but believe me, it's your friend!
Read More


The lounge suite saga -- and the virtue of waiting

No comments :

My so-far unsuccessful attempts to buy a lounge suite offer a great illustration of one of the guidelines I offer in my book The Inspired Shopper (yes, I'm changing the name!).

Let me give you the backstory. I have been looking for a lounge suite seriously, on and off, for about six months. This has involved one trip to a lounge suite shopping strip, which was enough to make me decide that a new lounge suite was out of the question. They were all outrageously expensive -- over $2000 for anything decent -- and some of them, though new, already looked cheap and tatty. A few sprawls on the couch with a book, a few minor food spills, and I would be wishing I had bought something in a sensible vinyl. No, it would definitely be vintage for me.

I already have a couch and two chairs, but the chairs are very old and shabby and the couch is simply annoying, because it has a cover over it that has to be straightened up, and the cushions re-assembled, every day. The chairs and the couch don't match, and I'm at a stage in life when I long for a proper lounge suite -- I want my lounge furniture to signify things like 'order', 'security' and 'home'.

I did a search on eBay and found a Jacobean lounge suite, feauturing beautifully carved wood and a decent upholstery job, that I checked out in person before bidding on. I was unsuccessful but the whole episode was a valuable learning experience.

So here am I still waiting for my perfect lounge suite. And I'm getting to that tetchy stage.

In my book The Inspired Shopper I recommend waiting as a strategy for buying well. The old-fashioned art of waiting and saving up used to be the standard means of buying big-ticket items. Now everyone wants to buy first and pay later, usually with a credit card. But many people fail to realise that waiting has advantages over and above only spending what you can afford.

For those who enjoy it, leisure shopping is a sensual experience, but above all an aesthetic one. We see any number of things we would love to take home with us. If we relied on aesthetics and emotions alone, we'd take home half the store every time we shopped. The beauty of waiting is that it allows us to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. When those momentary, impulsive attachments to items are gone, we're left with a better idea of the things that really take our fancy -- those that we genuinely want and need. (We may also need to use 'waiting time' to do further research on our own needs and desires.) And when we let ourselves go without for a while, we can use that energy to take us to the right item more quickly.

I'm not saying that waiting for however long it takes is always the right option. If I had no lounge furniture at all I'd probably go to my local op shop and buy some temporary furniture to tide me over rather than sit on the floor.

At the moment, I'm a little stuck in my search for a new lounge suite. I can decide on the colours I like, measure up my lounge room and get on eBay every day, but until I actually put said lounge suite, once irretrievably bought, into the room I won't really know for sure whether or not it's right for the room and the rest of my furniture -- so different from buying clothes, where a visit to the changeroom is usually mandatory.

What I really need to do, I think, is settle on the particular retro style that I want, rather than just be willing to take the first one that comes along at a good price. I may also need to cast my net more widely, and look in stores and suburbs I might not have considered. Despite my doubts, I know that when I find the right lounge suite my intuition will be evident, assuring me it is the right one.

So for now I'll adopt 'active waiting' rather than 'passive waiting'. And, at the risk of sounding too new-agey, I do trust that if I do the work, the universe will deliver a lounge suite that's right for me at just the right time!
Read More


Deprivation and the delights of mix 'n' match

No comments :

Yesterday I went on another clothes shopping jaunt -- definitely my last for the summer. I went to my local Target, which almost literally throws out clothes at this time of year. Clothes were discounted up to 60 per cent, and dresses and other items from one of the designer lines were selling for as little as $19, down from over $100 in some cases.

Two things emerged out of my little trip.

More and more I'm coming to embrace, rather than just accept feelings of deprivation as part of the Inspired Shopping experience. When I'm choosing what to try on and, in the changeroom, what to buy, there will be some items that my emotions or rational mind tell me I should buy but my intuition doesn't.

The Yeojin Bae dresses for instance. One of them, a simple black shift with V-neck, short sleeves and made of a satin-like material, seemed too good not to buy. And at under $20, what did I have to lose? But I knew I wouldn't wear it more than once or twice, and I'm just not prepared to buy clothes that fit into that category (unless for a once-off super special occasion). Plus (and I'm afraid this is a secondary consideration, but it's still a valid one) there was no doubt someone would come along who would get a hell of a lot more wear out of it than I would -- in other words, it had someone else's name on it.

So, in making even my initial choices, I frequently feel a sense of loss. I don't want to minimise this. It's very difficult, when you're good at spotting bargains, to hold back when there are shoppers around you wielding carts and dumping multiples of cut-price clothes into them (some of the clothes, no doubt, destined for eBay). But these feelings are actually fine, because they tell me I'm working the process properly, and practising discrimination. Yesterday I ended up taking five items to the changeroom and buying only two of them, a short-sleeved emerald green cardigan for $15.50, and a drawstring cap sleeve casual top, in a royal blue that really suited me, for $6.50. Not a bad morning's work!

However, my sense of deprivation continued in the changeroom, when my intuition said no to a pair of $11 jeans. And there was the $10 jacket, down from about $80, with just a button missing and very cute, large lapels -- OK, so it was two sizes too big and I work from home so don't need such office wear, but again, hard to part with. 'Someone is really going to appreciate this find', I thought as I put it back on the hanger.

The fact is, I don't need to know why my intuition -- my deepest self -- sometimes 'rejects' the things that my conscious self thinks are OK. Often I can guess of course, but I'm happy just to trust the process.

The other thing I realised is that I definitely have enough clothes for the rest of summer. The urge for new things can sometimes be a refusal, on my part, to look at new ways to pair up the clothes I have. Sometimes I can wear something only a few times and find it's already lost its sense of newness. Then I know it's time to pair it with something I haven't tried it with before.

I'll be avoiding the sales for a little while, although I'll pop into my favourite fashion stores to look at the autumn ranges (I really enjoy this browsing aspect of shopping).
Read More


My latest shopping trip -- part two

No comments :

The hardest thing about writing this blog is not wanting to sound like a breathless, retail-obsessed compulsive shopper. I think anyone who enjoys leisure shopping is in danger of exhibiting compulsive shopping behaviour at different times, and I'm always on the lookout for the telltale signs. With that caveat, I'll now detail the second part of my most recent shopping trip.

I went to my local shopping mall mainly to buy a present for a friend, but I also wanted to check out the clothes shops. This time of year is great for sales. There is Boxing Day and the days following, when great bargains can be had, and then a period when I find leisure shopping quite depressing  the goods have been picked through, the salespeople are dispirited and it all seems quite tired. By mid-January, however, there are often new things on sale. Having had a break since my post-Christmas hunt and gather, I thought it was time to see if there were any new bargains to be had  I still had some summer clothes items on my priority list, a list I keep and update constantly to ensure that I buy only the things I want and need.

Sure enough, I found a pair of cargo pants for $36  the right colour and style, and 20 per cent off the original price. I had been waiting for this clothes item for a while, and it was gratifying to finally find what I was after ('Waiting' is one of the techniques I recommend in my book).

I did my usual Inspired Shopping practice of relinquishing (very easy to do in a changeroom  I relinquish by starting to put the favoured item back on the clothes hanger, and if my intuition alarm goes off, decide to take it). I then decided to pop into a very fashionable clothes chain with a young image.

This store is very concerned with the latest trends and so throws clothes out that aren't selling well at huge discounts, often as much as 70 per cent. I found a black, sleeveless top with a pretty lacy panel at the neck for what I assumed was $8, down from $29.95 (the sale sticker had been ripped off, but other similar tops on the rack were $8 down from the same price). At such a low price, I didn't feel at all guilty that a sleeveless top wasn't on my priority list  in Melbourne we have many very hot days in summer and I knew I would get a decent amount of wear out of it.

However, the sales assistant seemed confused about the correct price. She wanted to give me 50 per cent off the original price ($14.95) , and I pointed out that there was a red tag attached to the garment that said '70% off', so she gave it to me for $10. Two minutes later I realised that she should have given it to me for $8, the price of similar clothes on the rack. I later calculated that 70 per cent off $29.95 is actually $9, but it looked as if the worker making the pricing decision had opted for the lower price of $8.

Now $2 is a tiny amount of money to quibble about when getting a bargain like this. I was still in the shop when I realised what had happened and debated with myself whether to insist on the greater discount.

It will, of course, be clear to the reader that I am super-sensitive to the tiniest price injustice in a retail store. I am always on the lookout for any attempts to rip customers off, and misleading advertising of prices sends me apoplectic. So this incident was an important experience for me: was I prepared to make a fool of myself for $2? No, I decided, I wasn't. It was clearly an honest mistake, and if I had to argue my case for any length of time, I wouldn't want to show my face in the store again, thereby preventing me from bagging future bargains. I had to give up on $2 as well as my pride and sense of self-righteousness. It hurt just a bit, but I stayed with the hurt and reminded myself what a tiny amount I had lost.

This little incident was an exercise in maturity for me. And please don't think I'm discouraging people from standing up for themselves in retail situations -- I'm not, and my book includes basic information about consumer rights. In fact, if I'd known as I stood at the counter that the correct amount, according to the '70% off' label, was $9, I would have insisted on paying no more than that. But having successfully argued the case for not paying $14.95, and with the transaction completed, I believe I made my decision based on common sense. This is one of the things I love about being an inspired shopper - I learn something new about myself, and get the chance to practise healthy behaviour based on that knowledge, every time I hit the stores!
Read More


'Relinquishing' at the bookstore!

No comments :

As an Inspired Shopper, every shopping experience teaches me something new. I went to my local shopping centre today after not having been for a while. I'd felt 'shopped out', and wanted to give myself time to enjoy the bargains I'd picked up at the Boxing Day sales.

The first item on my list was a birthday present for an old friend. I'd already picked out this present, a book that is the basis for a period drama that has recently been released in the cinemas. The book was about 30 per cent off the full price, and repackaged to link up with the film, with a photo of the lead actress on the cover. I felt sure my friend would love the film (which I'd seen) so I took a punt on the book, having read other books by the author -- but I made sure to use my intuition.

Presents -- for friends, partners, family, and anyone else -- are notoriously difficult to get right. Anthropologist James Carrier sees gift giving as our atttempt to turn impersonal consumer objects into personal things that reflect who we are and our ties with our loved ones. We want so much to tell the recipients, through our gifts, that we know who they are well enough to gauge what they would like. But it's so hard to do this successfully, unless we ask for a 'laundry list'. Intuition, I've found, can help me to pick a present that 'hits the spot'.

Buying books is a big risk -- the basis for liking or disliking a particular author is unfathomable. Sense of humour, literary style, subject matter -- all these can play a role, but the tastes of our friends, partners and family members can remain a mystery to us despite what we already know about them. I rarely buy books as presents unless I know that the intended recipient favours a particular author, or unless I know them so well that the subject matter of the book in question is sure to please.

When I saw this book I'd recently seen the accompanying film. I immediately thought 'Donna' (my friend's name). But I didn't let that decide me -- first, I relinquished the book. Relinquishing is an essential part of the Inspired Shopping process. It can mean simply walking away for a few minutes from something you think you'd like to buy, or leaving the shop and coming back on the same or a later shopping trip. When you do this, you really need to give the item up, temporarily at least -- to convince yourself that you're not going to buy it. Then you watch and see how your intuition -- your deepest self -- reacts.

In this case, I decided to come back and pick up the book another time. This is a great way to relinquish if you're not concerned that the item is going to sell out. Why? Because the item bubbles away in your unconscious, giving you time to assess, without conscious effort, whether it really is what you want. I wasn't going to be seeing Donna for a couple of weeks so there was no urgency.

However, I have to say that my first effort at relinquishing proved to be favourable. My intuition 'alarm' went off and I felt sure I would buy the book when I returned to the bookshop.

I went back today, as I said, and tested the process a final time by relinquishing quickly (simply putting the book back on the shelf and starting to walk away). My intuition alarm went off again, so I knew for certain I could buy the book!

This example is important, I think, because there was some rational basis for my decision. But I didn't rely wholly on my rational mind; my intuition was the final arbiter. As well, I wanted to give my friend a surprise, and asking her if she liked the book's author would have spoilt that.

In my next post I'll detail another aspect of my experience at the shopping centre.
Read More