You never seem to be able to find gloves for sale when you need them. That’s because when people buy and when people need are two very different things. Same goes for new windows.
We’ve all been there. It’s late (but not that late) in the winter. You find yourself scrambling to get ready for a ski trip or a kid’s sledding outing and discover that among the 389,000 gloves you find around the house, not a single one has a matching partner. So you hop in the car, head to Target, and start looking for what should be the most obvious type of item to sell in the dead of winter: winter clothing.
But instead you find Easter dresses. You look around the clothing racks and see spring everywhere: t-shirts, skirts, jeans, and loads and loads of brightly colored items . . . none of which will keep your hands warm in the snow. You’re lucky if the clearance racks and bins have anything resembling winter gloves.
Usually you’d be excited at the thought of warmer weather, but instead you’re tearing your hair out wishing someone had the common sense to actually sell winter clothing in the winter, crazy as that sounds. Why? Why in the name of frostbitten fingers is it so difficult to find something you need in the season you actually need it?
It’s because consumers buy things (and retailers sell things) ahead of season. We buy and sell on emotion and fear and worry and hope and anticipation . . . perceived need over actual need. We buy the 2015 model of cars in 2014. We buy Christmas decorations in November (or October . . . shudder). We buy winter hats and gloves when the temperature drops below 50.
And we buy new windows in the spring and summer.
But when do we need new, energy-efficient, well-sealed windows the most? In the midwest, the answer is unquestionably the winter, especially winters like this one has been. They’re important year-round, of course, but no season can rival the nastiness of a 50 mph wind blowing its -65 degree windchill into your living room. It’s funny, though, the majority of people don’t think to replace their windows while it’s cold.
But we still replace windows when it’s cold.