The Time I Blew a Crazy Amount of Cash on Discontinued Lipstick
Toilet paper. Water. Cereal. Office supplies.
Buying in bulk can be a wonderful thing.
The most coveted (and unusual) item I’ve purchased in bulk is none of the above; yet I’d bet the farm that, you, too, would have done the exact same thing I did—if you had been given the chance.
We've all been there: Faithful to a particular cosmetic item; loyal as can be. We've grown to depend on it day in and day out, and it has come through for us—pun intended—with flying colors.
Then, one day...Poof!
In comes word that said item has been discontinued. With nary a warning. To say that the news is crushing is a complete and total understatement: You are beyond hurt, and even wonder—secretly—if this shrewd, illogical business move is somehow personal. How could they? Don’t they know how hard it is to find lip color that you can wear during a night out and to the store to pick up a loaf of bread?
This happened to me.
One fine day in 2004, I ran to the MAC store in my local mall to pick up a tube of my favorite lipstick, called Bronx. Bronx is—I mean, was—a taupey matte that went with everything. As the clerk plucked what appeared to be one of the last available tubes, she said to me lackadaisically, "You know, this has been discontinued…"
I heard nothing else after discontinued.
I bought out her remaining stock, and then took a seat on a nearby bench to wallow in my sorrow and collect myself—for fear that the disturbing news had rendered me unfit to get behind the wheel and drive home.
My next move?
I called the MAC hotline. Apparently, they had some program where customers could request to purchase discontinued items from their headquarters—but only for a limited time, and only on a first-come, first-served basis. The sum total I spent on this lipstick is now murky, as this was 10 years ago. I was single back then, and had recently purchased my first home. (Read: I didn’t have a lot of play money left at the end of the month.) When the clerk rendered my total, I remember thinking, Damn, this is more than my car note.
I paid it anyway.
Three weeks later, a box containing approximately 18 tubes of MAC Bronx lipstick arrived on my doorstep, and I’ve since guarded and cared for these gems as if they were Faberge eggs.
And I’ve still got several tubes left.
Honest to God, I store them in the temperature-controlled fruit cellar in our basement. And lest anyone reading this gets any fancy ideas, I'll have you know that the area is booby-trapped.
What’s the most unusual item you’ve ever purchased in bulk?