A buyer, not a shopper


A jumble of impressions. Reflections in a shop window, Richmond, Yorkshire. Image: Su Leslie 2013

I’m not a shopper — certainly not a recreational shopper. Unless I have an actual need for something, I tend to avoid retail spaces. And when I do need to buy, I try to avoid malls and chain stores.

Essentially, I don’t like being sold to. I don’t like busy window displays and overloaded “specials'” tables. I dislike the loud music that seems to have become normal, and above all, I dislike being followed around a shop by a sales assistant trying to “help” me.

I’m a buyer, not a shopper.


Covent Garden Market, London. Su Leslie 2013

I do like markets; especially the kind giving artisan producers a chance to sell the fruits of their labour. I like the sense of engagement, a chance to talk to people who make things and whose passion for what’s on sale is genuine and infinitely greater than that of a shop worker whose minimum-wage income needs to be boosted with sales commissions.


First Thursdays, St Kevins Arcade, Karangahape Road, Auckland. Su Leslie 2016

And markets are often held in interesting spaces. I am just as likely to enjoy the architecture and ambience as any of the products for sale.

Unless it’s a real bargain.


Spotted (but not bought) at Takapuna Market, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie 2015

But then there are the things I would feel uncomfortable about buying in any regular “shopping” place — like an animal.


Piglets for sale out of a trailer, Kerikeri Market, Northland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2017

I have no reason to believe this pig breeder doesn’t look after her animals, but personally, I’d want to know more about potential purchasers than just that they could stump up sixty bucks.

Shopping is this week’s theme at Debbie’s One Word Sunday



43 thoughts on “A buyer, not a shopper

  1. I am definitely not a shopper, which is a good thing as we couldn’t afford to travel. When I do have to shop for items, I usually have this conversation with myself, “Do I really need that, or want it?” What shops I do love are the independent ones and arty. I am a collector of cards and other smaller items while travelling. I have a cousin who’s a potter so looking forward to catching up with her and buying a piece once we settle down and become part-time travellers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I share your view on being a buyer rather than a shopper, Su. I do not shop, I buy with a purpose, with a clear and distinct need for something. I also like the ambience of the open market places. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the way you note there is a difference between buyer and shopper.
    I can see that totally.
    I like the 8$ glass you spotted (and it had spots) ha…
    and you warmed my heart when you said you invest in the artisans and small sales folks.
    That – my friend – says a whole lot.
    It reminded me of the flea market in South Carolina.
    Well I have two stories to share from that flea market.
    First, the lady that takes us is an old family friend – feels like an aunt, but the way she is kind of cold to the vendors showed me an ugly part about her.
    I know we are not perfect people – never – but she was just above them – hard to explain.
    And when I bought a small little handmade table – I almost bargained but then gave full asking price because it was fair and I did want to invest in the guy.
    and then second – on a different trip
    – many years before that –
    they had a black lab – with a red leash – for fifty dollars.
    he was so cute – but something felt all wrong. Gut wrong.

    Last comment – the sign is actually really fun because it says 3 little pigs – like the nursery rhyme.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I understand what you mean about how some people act “above” others. There’s that saying that if you want the measure of a person see how they treat waiters and salesfolk! Very true.
      I never bargain with artisans; it feels so totally wrong when people have invested so much in their work. I have artist friends who trade works amongst themselves — a painting for use of a kiln, etc. but that is different.
      She had three little pigs — the other two were still in the trailer πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Those are fun, Su. I usually don’t like shopping, although I can browse in a bookstore for some time and I enjoy thrift store shopping, too. Mostly, though, I decide what I need, go after it, and go home. I also find the best way not to spend money is not to shop. πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. I can spend hours in book shops too but don’t buy books as often as I used to. I do feel bad for authors and independent book-sellers, but you’re right — the best way not to spend money is not to shop πŸ™‚


  5. I’m a shopper. I love to shop – big stores, little stores, markets … they all deserve my attention πŸ™‚
    However, since I retired, I don’t shop much anymore. I don’t have the space, I don’t need the clothes, and I don’t really lack for anything. Now the vast majority of my shopping is only for groceries – but it’s not the same πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Threesome – Travel with Intent

  7. I’m definitely he same – a buyer, not a shopper!! The only recreational shopping I admit to is hunting for bargain fabrics, artist’s supplies or books.πŸ˜‰ Otherwise it’s in and out as fast as possible! πŸ˜‚
    Love the glass, such a beautiful colour! πŸ˜„ xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to be a “shopping addict” but as I get older I’m getting more particular about the type of place that is enjoyable to shop too. Amazon has admittedly become my go-to place for everyday boring necessities because you can’t beat the ease and prices.

    Liked by 1 person

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