Wrong Price 31 Comments

I recently went into Sachs Fifth Avenue after work because I needed these very specific shoes, and lo and behold, I found a pair  that was reasonably priced. In Sachs Fifth Ave, I generally expect everything to be $500+, and my pair was, after a ‘sale’, around $100. So I bought it.

Keza, tedesasetkuna … I went purse shopping. I saw this beautiful purse for $300,. At first I passed it because … seriously, I wasn’t about to spend that much on a purse. Keza I happened to pass by that area again and I thought, ‘What the hell! I work hard. I can afford it. Why not?’ So picked it up, walked over to the counter and surrendered my to-be purse and card.

As the woman was processing the payment I kept thinking to myself, ‘ok , min aynet qebeT honeshal. balegae lij. Spending 300 bucks  is ok, even for enjoyment, but 300 bucks for a purse? One that’ll be used 3 times a year? balegae, molqaqa, balegae, molqaqa‘ iyalku irasen siqoTa, the lady leaned over the counter and whispered, ‘your card has been declined’.

I was looking at her like she’s crazy, because technically that was my debit card, which also has a credit line, and even the cash balance on it was many folds the price of that overpriced purse. I asked, if she was sure. She gently and quietly whispered back, ‘i tried it multiple times’. She looked so sympathetic and embarrassed for me.

Saqe meTa. I figured there must be a God, and he must be intervening. I grabbed my card back with a broad smile and bolted.

So then I called my bank to ask WTF. The customer rep said, ‘yeah, we put a hold on your card because we noticed a purchasing trend that was very different from your regular shopping habits’. LOL.

Apparently my shopping trend says shopping at Sachs Fifth Ave and/or $100 dress shoe is a lil’ too much for my qonTari style.

Temesgen, consumer-tendes-analizing-algorithm hoy. Temesgen!

31 Responses to “Wrong Price”

  1. 1 IllmaticInjection

    WTF? a hold on a Debit card???? That stuff must be Bank of America!

  2. 2 nolawi

    dude i got a hold on my debit card recently.. but i did spend a lot of money in 24 hours in a different city…

  3. 3 Dinich

    This has happened to me before but I also got a phone call right there as I was talking to the customer service guy….

    The call was from the bank trying to confirm if it is actually me trying to spend $5,000. I was not even buying but making a security deposit for a sound equipment I was renting.

  4. 4 Nolawi

    @ Dinich:
    oh good u were not spending 5 k … because i didnt think you were so rich! ha ah ahha

  5. 5 tsedey

    am confused. so you hardly spend $300.00 from your debit card and you went to Saks to purchase a purse?

  6. 6 mitmita


  7. 7 Dinich


    Just to be clear, the reason why I inserted the last line about it being a deposit is because I didnt want to sound like I am bragging….:)….But u got that right I am not rich but happier than most rich ppl….:)

  8. 8 selam T

    I don’t get it. Why would one need a $300 purse?
    $30 or $300 it will carry the same stuff!
    I am not judging but in this economy one should worry if they have a job the next day.

  9. 9 Nolawi

    @ Dinich:
    still you must be doing very well… since your credit line.. has over 5k

    lol i am teasing!

  10. 10 Nolawi

    @ tsedey:
    i think she spends money just not on shopping.. and she went purse shopping only because she got a good deal on her shoes shopping!

  11. 11 Yared

    Funny but a very concerning mental state…To who ever wrote the article… go listen to Jack Johnsons song called “Gone” going gone….. It might help you get intouch with reality

  12. 12 Telisi

    my advice, always pay cash ….and finaly die broke.

  13. 13 gola

    I once got a call from my bank because my card was used for a $100. They said I never spent more than $10. I went to look for my card and it was missing form my purse.

    Spending 300 on a purse..I wander, does anyone feel uncomfortable when you do something luxurious? I was once sitting at a hotel lobby of a hotel taking a break from an Abesha party I was at when I heard this people walking by comment at the irony. I get asked where I am form and I am always happy to tell but….I always wander if they are judging me luxury.

  14. 14 Anonymous - OP

    I’m not sure what kind of responses I was expecting when I wrote that blurb to Nolawi, but some of these are very interesting.

    Gola, I think I specially feel guilty b/c I’m Ethiopian and because my parents always used to say, ‘Inante qebeToch. yeEthiopia hizb yirabal, inante be tiCHawetalachihu.’ But mind you, to live up to that statement, my parents never went to restaurants, drove the same car for 40 yrs, never took a vacation, don’t drink, never seen them leaving ‘tirafee’ food on their plates (not even at a gibja or wedding), etc. It’s pretty goddamn hard to live a life like that unless one’s a menekuse … or my parents.

    On a different perspective, I’ve a friend who says she likes spending a lot of money while shopping b/c she views it as paying for the emptiness of the expensive stores, for assistant(s) who’ll dot on her. She says she doesn’t care for the attention as such, but she likes that she can do something in 2 hrs instead of spending a whole weekend at a regular mall wading through crowded shops and disorganized merchandise. Corporate America owns her during the week, she buys back her time on the weekends. I can’t fault that line of thought, but I also can’t subscribe to it as she earns something like 10 times my salary :)

    Yared, I like the song. I’m not sure I get the ‘lesson’ you intended. Maybe because of my disturbing state of mind ;)

    Tsedey, what Nolawi said. I can spend other amounts on my card. I can think plane tickets for multiple pple (my friends pay me back!) but I just don’t do regular cloths/accessories shopping, let alone at expensive stores. My guess is what triggered the freeze was the kind of store I went to, plus the incremental, successive attempt to purchase stuff … like a thief trying to figure out the credit limit. Who knows …

  15. 15 biskut

    i don’t know what kind of bank lets his/her customer be humiliated by assuming it is not the owner of the card spending that money .it just does not make sense .what if you went grocery shopping to walmart and spent $300…. or you went to penny’s and spent $300 on a peice of jewelery would they have declined the card ?

    Banks usually let you purchase stuff and later call you to verify it was actually you.If it was not you they put a freeze on further purchase but declining based on assumstion simply does not add up .did not mean to be technical .

  16. 16 Dinich


    It does happen for a fact.

    I think the logic is since credit cards are insured and are covered if theft happens, as a credit card holder I dont really care if it is stolen because I am covered…..Credit card fraud hits the banks and their insurance companies….and of course they get it back from the customer in the form of higher interest but it is indirect.

    So banks sometimes don’t mind incoveniencing you as long as it serves their interest…less fraud means more money in their pocket at the expense of customer inconvenience and embarrassment.

    We all like to think our banks have our best interest but nothing can be further from the truth.

  17. 17 ChicaMerkato

    Ethiopian or not we all know people that struggle to meet the most basic of needs. But if we attempt to live our lives in continuously feeling guilted by the mere existence those with less means, then we’d never have the courage to reward ourselves of ‘nice’ things.
    Shoot! we work to darn hard (I do anyway) and I truly believe that it is NECESSARY to splurge enough to know that you are able to THAT because you worked hard and EARNED it.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t be considerate or don’t help others. But while doing what you can to help others, its important to realize that just becuse we come from a poor background doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be pampered or do nice things for OURSELVES. Life is to darn sohort to feel too guilty about things all the time!
    Chill sista, enjoy it every now and again…just remember to save a lil for a rainy day=)

  18. 18 datdude

    I wish I was born in Sparta….I’d have a six pack and not debt.

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