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Is Trying to Save Actually Costing You?

Have you ever tried to save money by doing something yourself, only to have it end up costing you more money in the end?

Let me start this story by telling you I'm an ennegram 9, which means I absolutely hate confrontation and avoid it at all costs.

I typically order my makeup from an online brand but they've been out of stock of my shade for months with no signs of it coming back into stock anytime soon. But, conveniently, the marketing powers that be sent me a 10% off coupon for a popular cosmetics store, so I decided to take advantage of it.

I walked in and was instantly overwhelmed. There were so many options — BB, CC, tinted moisturizer, buildable, blendable, cream, powder, and cream to powder.

After a few minutes a salesperson came over to me and asked if I needed help. I said I wanted something to match the shade and consistency of what I have been using. Without a word, she started walking towards another section of the store and motioned for me to follow her.

As I kept pace behind her she called out to me over her shoulder, "What's your skin type?" I tried to answer her but she was already two aisles ahead of me and I didn't really want to call out my dry-but-sometimes-oily-sensitive-sometimes-acne-prone-rosacea skin type to the entire store.

We came to a stop in front of a display with no less that 20 different shades of beige and she quickly grabbed 3.

I looked at her, confused, and she said "I can stripe you, if you want."

I'm sorry, you can what now???

Again, without saying a word she walked towards a station set up with a chair and proceeded to dip a q-tip into the tester and swipe it onto my chin. After she had done this with all 3 samples she said "I can already say I don't like the first one."

I stared in the mirror. What exactly was I supposed to do now? Was I supposed to blend them? Just look at them? What was wrong with the first one? They literally all looked the same to me.

She continued to silently wait for me to do something, so I started to blend them with my finger. She said, "Do you always use your finger?"

Well, no, but cut me some slack here lady, I'm just trying to navigate this situation like I know what I'm doing.

I decided I was done with this experience so I leaned hard into my enneagram 9-ness and nodded my head to a few more things she said until she finally handed my a tube of the winning shade and gestured me toward the register.

As I walked towards the front of the store I felt like I still had questions. She never asked me my budget. She never asked me I had used any other brands before or had any allergies. She never explained to me even what this foundation was or its benefits. Why should I choose this brand over any other brand? I hadn't even heard of this brand before and was completely unfamiliar.

As I got closer to the register a shelf filled with makeup tagged with sale stickers caught my eye, and I immediately saw a brand I recognized. These babies were on sale, plus an ADDITIONAL 50% off the sale price. What a deal! They even had a few different selections of shades. The trouble was, I couldn't test any of them to see if they would work with my skin tone. I was totally on my own to select the right shade, but the only thing I had to go on was a sticker on the top of the box and I was highly suspect of its accuracy.

At the register, I asked the girl if she knew how accurate the color stickers were. She called over the manager and as a line began to form behind me the two of them proceeded to bombard me with questions about what I was looking for, why I wanted to buy that brand and color, what was I worried about, and made sure I knew it was non-returnable since it was on sale.

The fancy brand I had never heard of was $50—which, ok fine whatever—but to be quite honest I wasn't prepared to spend $50 on a brand I had never heard of or tried and was much more enticed by the budget friendly $20 for the more familiar brand I had used and heard of before.

I was overwhelmed, fed up, and decided to gamble and bought the cheaper version.

I rushed out the store, choked back tears the whole way home, and as soon as I got in the door I washed my face and dabbed my new makeup onto my face.

It was orange. Like, Oompa Loompa orange.

Completely unwearable, and lest I forget, non-returnable.

So now, not only did I need to go back and buy the $50 brand they suggested to me, but I had wasted $20 in this sale brand I had picked out on my own.

What could have been a $50 purchased, quickly turned into a $70 purchase because I had tried to save some money.

Can you relate to that feeling at all? Have you ever tried to cut a corner or same some money only to have it completely backfire?

My experience reminded me of small business owners. When you're just getting started money is tight and you're trying to get everything you need for your business as cheaply as possible. But more often than not, when you try to save money buy cutting corners you actually end up spending more in the long run.

I've heard countless times from business owners who have spent months (some, even years!) fiddling with and tweaking their brand only to never feel completely happy with it. Some have made bad hiring choices and received discount work from people who didn't know what they were doing that left them with clunky processes and broken websites.

Trying to cut corners is going to cost you something in the long run, whether it's time or money, you're going to end up spending more than you meant to. This is true for just about anything.

  • How many pairs of cheap jeans have you because none of them fit you right, when you could have just purchased the one more expensive pair that fit you like a glove?
  • How many donuts have you eaten because you cut off "just a bite" but ended up eating more pieces than you intended to when you could have just eaten one whole donut and enjoyed it?

Instead of wasting more time and money trying to save, why not just get it done right once and for all? Here at Happyland Creative™ we have a variety of different packages and options so we can get your brand what it needs in a budget that works for you. Reach out to inquire and we'll schedule a complimentary info call to talk in more detail about what's possible for your business

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About the Author

Brittany Wong

Brittany Wong is the Founder and Creative Director of Happyland Creative®, a design studio helping small business owners make more money with their branding.