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What Would You Do? Shopping Spree For You Not Me

Having a shopping partner can sometimes make an excursion more enjoyable, but most of us know this isn't always true. A girlfriend described a recent experience she had shopping with her extremely wealthy aunt, which started out as a girls' day at Bergdorf's and ended in a lot of money spent. Her aunt tried on clothes for two hours and spent $10,000 with one swipe of her card, and then she told my friend it was time to shop for her. Find out what happened when you


After an hour of flattering encouragement from her aunt and a flurry of sweaters and skirts, my friend chose three items to take home. At the register, she thought perhaps her well-off shopping partner would volunteer to pay for something, but all she did was look at the price tag on a $300 sweater and comment that it was such a bargain.

My friend was surprised that her aunt didn't offer to indulge her 20-something niece after spending $10,000 on herself but felt uncomfortable about not buying anything at all. She ended up paying $900 and returning everything the following day, but she's left wondering if she was crazy to think her aunt would have chipped in for at least some of the damage. What would you have done in her situation?


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tinabeana tinabeana 8 years
I would never expect anyone to pay for anything for me but jeez, what a depressing situation. I certainly hope the Aunt was a loon or didn't realize her niece didn't have that kind of money. I'd think it would be rude/mean spirited spend 10g's in front of someone or to tell them "it's time to shop for them," knowing they had little money.
Glitter650 Glitter650 8 years
I don't think the aunt is required to buy something for her... I also don't think its that hard to say that this store is a bit out of your budget range... IDK... I've also never gone shopping with anyone who can afford to spend 10,000 at a time on clothing and accessories and such... saying you can't afford a 10,000 shopping spree is not like saying you can't afford the .99 tacos at jack in the box. In fact, saying you can't afford something should never be shameful, so I don't understand what the issue this girl is having is. Unless she felt the "it's time to shop for you" meant we'll pick out things for you and I'll pay" ? I still would never assume that mean she was paying unless it was discussed ahead of time like this shopping trip is for you to pick out something as a gift that I will buy for you,
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 8 years
Aunt: "Ok, now it's time to shop for you." Me: "Oh sorry, I can't afford to shop here, but it was fun watching you and getting to hang out with you today." Easy as pie, then if she's planning on making a purchase for you, she'll counter and inform you so, and if she's not, you know up front and don't waste your time.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Every time I shop with my mom, she seems to think that I have some sort of infinite money supply stashed away somewhere, so she always tells me I should "buy something nice" for myself. I usually tell her that I don't need such-and-such right now, which gets her off my back. This is usually why I like to shop with people who have similar spending habits to mine and who have similar budgets.
Colleeninator Colleeninator 8 years
How hard is it to just say, "I can't afford anything here, let's go somewhere else"? If the aunt offered to pay, awesome, if not, then get over it and buy your own damn clothes. Also, spending money like that gives the aunt the idea that she CAN afford it. Honestly, I know the feeling, I have an very wealthy mother who always wants to go shopping with me, but has not once bought anything for me since I was about 12, regardless of my being constantly broke (college student, and NO, she is NOT paying my bills). So, I feel your pain, but PLEASE don't assume that someone is going to buy something for you, regardless of how much money they have
sushibananas sushibananas 8 years
I have no idea! I have NEVER IN MY LIFE gone shopping with someone who's dropped $10,000 in one pop. I can't even fathom what that would be like to witness! I think I would have claimed price tag fatigue and suggested going for a cocktail to get over my shock!
julieulie julieulie 8 years
I agree that you should never expect someone to pay for you... but it's also hard when you have family members with so much money to express that you can't afford something without feeling like they are judging you. Yes, they are your family, and yes, they shouldn't judge, but hearing that YOU don't find a $300 sweater to be a bargain might cause a situation of sorts -- or the aunt to do some talking behind her back. Honestly, to avoid problems, I would have done the same thing. I wouldn't have expected her to pay for me, but I probably would have bought one sweater, and returned it the next day. Easier to just avoid conflict altogether when it comes to family. If it's a friend, it's one thing, but it's not worth sparking a family situation just because I can't afford to splurge on clothes.
Lilavati Lilavati 8 years
I use the expression "student budget" - it's fun, polite, clear and helpful in that kind of situations. And true! It's not magical, however, and doesn't always work.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
Sundrops, that's just rude in my opinion! It's MUCH easier to say no while shopping than it is while sitting down to dinner.
sundrops sundrops 8 years
Unfortunately I have an aunt like this. Fortunately I haven't experienced it with her, but I've heard thru my cousins that she will sometimes pick the place to go eat that ends up being $300 for two and doesn't offer to pay when she knows my cousin is struggling to pay her mortgage. Now she's learned to check where they are going first and eat first or choose not to go!
stephley stephley 8 years
I have relatives like this, and trying to beg off can cause trouble with them - it's seen as rejecting their values or something. I've been caught often enough that now when invited to go shopping with them, I announce that I'm broke and just coming along to watch or just won't go out with them. It really can be like going out with someone who really likes to drink and gets mad if you won't drink with them.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I don't expect anyone to pay for me. I would have made sure that I purchased things I could afford, if I couldn't find anything, I simply would have said "Sorry Auntie, I don't think there is anything here I can afford right now." If she wants to chime in that it is her treat, that would be great, but I would never just assume something like that.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
I have family like this, and I make sure that they know I am not in the position to purchase extravagant things. If they feel inclined to buy me a gift, I'd gladly accept, but I try to never expect anything from them even though they are wealthy and have purchased things for my in the past. Expecting something is always a recipe for disaster.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
see i think that it's just not right when you're shopping with someone and they know that they are out of your price range yet they don't seem to care and after they drop a significant amount of money, they don't seem to get that you can't do the same. i would have done the same thing - buy it and return it, but then again, i don't want to be the girl who returns stuff a lot at stores. ugh..that's just not a nice aunt if you ask me.
beram1220 beram1220 8 years
I would never assume someone would buy something for me and if you are unsure then maybe just mention you can't afford it. If she offers to buy it for you and you are comfortable with that - then let her buy it. If she doesn't offer and you can't afford it then don't buy it! Pretty simple I think...
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
I forgot to add that once my grandmother understood my situation she started having me pick out one thing for her to treat me with, which is really nice of her. It's our little compromise!
cubadog cubadog 8 years
I do not think it is that tough. The expectation that her aunt would pay because she is well off was way off base. When her aunt said it was time to shop for her she could have spoken and said that Bergdorf's was a little out of her budget, it is not embarrassing it is honest. There are LOTS of other stores on Fifth Avenue that she could afford. Rockefeller Center is just down the way.
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
My grandmother is exactly like this! When I was younger my mom encouraged me to "drop hints" that I really liked something but couldn't afford it, while it did work once or twice, I felt guilty. So now I simply comment that paying for graduate school really doesn't give me money to shop outside of end of season sales. I then turn the conversation to encouraging her to keep shopping, since I know that's what she enjoys doing.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
Hmmmm tough situation. I have been in this situation before with my Mom, My Grandma and my Aunt (all 3 different times) and they all would pay for whatever I was gonna buy. I would always feel bad or guilty about it but I would at least pay for their lunch or dinner. :) Honestly, why would she feel like she has to buy something just because her Aunt told her to? She's your Aunt you can tell her "NO". I'm sure she would understand that YOU can NOT afford a $300 sweater. (hopefully) :)
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