I am officially panicking right now. The reason is because I have to begin my Christmas shopping. Yes you read that correctly, I have to BEGIN.
Every single year I do this. I don’t know why I wait so long to go Christmas shopping. Maybe it’s because I hate spending money, I really don’t know. But luckily today, there are a lot of stores in the Hamptons that are still open.
It is a total myth that products in the Hamptons are way more expensive than products in the big box stores in Riverhead. All of the time Hamptons locals tell me that they are going to go to Riverhead to buy things because they think that they are going to save money. I think that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Just the other day I went to Riverhead with the intention of buying a pair of boxing gloves. I stopped at Sports Authority in Riverhead and the only pair of boxing gloves that I could find were $51 dollars plus tax. I was furious at this price. $50 is too much for a pair of boxing gloves. What the hell? They should be $35 at the most.
I then went to Walmart and walked about a mile into the store only to find a pair of boxing gloves for $25 that were made in China and felt like they were designed for a child. Angry, I then drove all the way to Target where I quickly learned that they do not sell boxing gloves. Desperate, I went to TJ Maxx.
I decided to have a cheap lunch and went to Quiznos. I paid nine bucks for a sandwich, soda and potato chips. In the Hamptons, I usually pay about seven bucks for a good lunch at Citarella or Schmidt’s.
After feeling like I had been financially raped, I drove back to Southampton and decided that I would spend the extra money and go to Gubbin’s and buy a pair of boxing gloves there.
Not only was I greeted with a big smile by the store’s owner, but I found a pair of beautiful boxing gloves that were on sale for $20. I ended up buying a gym bag as well as an iPod gym case, all at reasonable prices. The owner treated me with respect, recognized my last name, and then we talked about a mutual friend that we have who I went to high school with and ran track with.
I do think that there was a time when the big box stores were ridiculously less expensive than the mom-and-pop stores out here. However, lately my experience is the exact opposite and I think it has to do with the internet. I think that Mom and Pops are able to get products at just as good wholesale rates as the big box stores today, and they can offer good deals because they don’t have the pressure to keep their stock prices going up, and thanks to the real estate crisis, their rents are going up that much anymore.
And so, all of the last-minute Christmas shopping that I do today will be in the Hamptons. And I know it sounds crazy, but I can guarantee that I will be saving a lot of money and getting much cooler and unique presents for my family and friends.