The Shopaholic’s Best Friend
“Terell” reads his Century 21 salesman badge at the 66th and Broadway store, and Terell McCollum solves any hang-ups about you and clothing you haven’t shared with anyone. Indeed he mumbles solutions with flair as he rushes to my side. He gives better–more honest—service than fancy salesmen at Bergdorf Goodman. “You’re a color person,” the twenty-something Terell mumbles today, “forget black.”
It’s his kind way of saying what I’ve suspected for years–I’m too sallow for black.
He’s honest. To the point. And fun. He’s a priceless addition to my on-again shopaholic life. The great thing about Century 21 is that the money you save ($200) on oh-say red Malo pants (original retail cost $300) is written on the price tag. Better still you’ll always have the memory of scoring a great purchase—even if the fun vapor dries and you admit you don’t need the merch, and you return it (unworn) for cash.
I watch Terrell deftly handle an elderly customer and I say, “Terrell, you know things.” “Yes I do”, he sings out, straightening a rack of deeply discounted Missoni treasures with an assured clatter. He even has a loose-leaf book for customers’ favorite brands–he alerts us when they come in. My years of window shopping pay off here in spades. (By the way, no one I grill at Century 21 can or will solve the mystery of precisely how they acquire goodies they sell for so little.)
Now for the bitter lesson: beware department store sales that promise 25-30% price reductions. These stores mark merch up 300% minimum. Why do you think they spend money to advertise these sales. At Century 21 and consignment stores we pay under 30% of retail prices. It’s worth putting in the extra time required to sift through obvious unacceptables to find jewels.
As a matter of fact, the same goes for jewelry. As soon as you exit Cartier, your $16,000 diamond bracelet loses ¾ of that humongous price. Check out estate jewelry dealers on 47th street if you don’t believe me. And then check them again!
Trust your Manhattan Voyeur.