Yesterday, I went to Target to exchange an item. The woman in front of me was haggling the service clerks over a $160 baby seat, saying she'd seen the same seat at lower price both across town at another Target, and on their website.
That price: $159.
That's right: she was haggling over ONE DOLLAR.
I understand the desire to save money; I've had entire years where a nickel can sometimes mean the difference between a candy bar and skipping a meal. But when you get into high-end baby seat range, and you're driving around two cities and spending 15 minutes in line haggling over what is ultimately a negligible amount of money, you're not being thrifty — you're being destructive.
Studies show that, for some people, shopping sparks the same rush of dopamine as narcotics. Combine that with J.C. Penney's findings that customers prefer the illusion of a sale to lower everyday prices, and it's not hard to see why some people relish the art of the deal. They're literally addicted to it.
She got her dollar back. I'll bet she told that story the rest of the day. Or maybe she was back at it an hour later.
So much for "retail therapy."