Christmas Shopping Saga Part I--Yak Pak

It's been 2 crazy weeks of school culminating in the completion of a 25-page paper, and yet, these coming 2-3 days are even more critical. Since I'm fairly burnt out, I need some breathing time before finishing a 33+ page paper AND work on another assignment, and hence this post. Adding to the stress are the impending holidays...my goodness, I can't believe Thanksgiving and Christmas are just weeks away! Usually I'd get most of my Christmas shopping done by now, but because of the chaos this semester, I'm way behind schedule. If I had the money, shopping on a short notice (i.e. days before Christmas) wouldn't be a problem. But since I've always been poor (and especially now that I'm 100K in the hole), I don't have that luxury. Yeah, there are sales, but it's still hard to get nice things for cheap. That's why I shop for things so early.

To make things easier and to save more money this year, I decided to get accessories for most people, since it doesn't require going to the store (or multiple stores) to try things on, etc. I got a bunch of bags from YakPak.com that arrived just a few hours ago. I've been eyeing YakPak's specials for a long time and knew that it could come in handy someday. Well, this is the time. They have a "3 bags for $10" sale where you get 3 random things that were made as development prototypes; some never made it to final production, but judging from the array of cool things available for sale on their site, I was willing to bet that even the "rejects" should be pretty decent. There's also a women's footwear "2 pairs for $15" special. These shoes supposedly retail for $100+, but I don't care about the price. Expensive shoes can suck, and sometimes cheap shoes look great. No, this random shoe special doesn't mean you'll get a size 10 and a size 5--you get to choose the shoe size. Since there's free shipping for $35 and over, I decided to order 2 random bag packs and 1 random shoe pack. I figured that if I order now, I'll get to see how "random" these things are, whether they work well as gifts, and if not, at least have some time to assess what else I need to buy.

Shipping was fast. I ordered the stuff maybe 3 or 4 days ago, checked the website, which kept saying that shipping was pending, and was surprised by the UPS delivery guy who showed up today with my package. I unpacked all the goodies, and boy, the bags are definitely a good deal. I really like this blue tote bag--well-constructed and durable, has a zipper on the top, and plenty of external pockets (like the ones in the front) where you can stuff additional things, albeit less securely. The zipper was a bit stubborn at first, but after a few zips, it was fine. As much as I like the tote bag and wanna keep it, I keep on asking myself what I'm going to do with it. I have lots of canvas tote bags as it is. Oh well, I'm sure it'll come in handy someday.

Wrangler makes bags? I didn't know until today. Maybe it's part of the brand's "comeback," along with the likes of Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt. The white, no-frills canvas purse is pretty standard, great for a casual summer event. I like that it doesn't announce itself as "cowgirl." Even the huge "W's" are tasteful and not a dead giveaway. The "Wrangler" label is fairly small and discrete. This will be going to a cousin who likes all things country. As for the messenger bag, it's mine, all mine. My laptop, in its protective sleeve, fits into it perfectly. I've been looking for some kind of a backup laptop bag so that I don't have to lug around my backpack on days when I don't feel like it. The only problem is that the flap has no fastener, so it's just hanging loose. Not a big deal, though...I'll just tuck it in, which is even better because it hides the "Wrangler" tag. The pockets on the side of the bag are really cute, too. They have the "W's" on them like the white purse.

The Dickies bags are great. The Hawaiian print is very girly and cute...I know exactly who to give this to. My only complaint is that it's a tie enclosure, no zippers = not very secure. Still, it's good for a casual outing where crowds (and pickpockets) are not a problem. Small gray purse is very standard and goes with everything, plus it's durable and won't get dirty. The green mini-duffle is definitely a time saver for me. I've been racking my brains for what to get a 13-year-old guy, since I'm too busy to pay attention for what's "cool" to kids nowadays. It's always tougher to get stuff for guys on a budget. This bag is perfect for vacations, when you just want a smaller bag to put CD's, snacks, a pack of cards, PS2, or toiletries for the car but don't want to lug around a big duffle. The olive green makes sure it won't be ridiculed as a "man bag."

The great deals on the bags make up for the shoes. The shoes are just one step shy of hideous, and I'm saddled with 2 pairs of them (I was expecting them to be different, like the bags). The fact that the tags on them had Japanese on the back suggests that they were made for the Harajuku crowd. I don't get the side ruching AT ALL; it just makes the shoes look old, wrinkled, and worn. Still, I think I can make it work in spite of the bowler/skater look. I'll probably donate the second pair, since I'll lose money on them if I Ebay it. There are people who really need shoes, and even though these aren't the greatest, they fit well and serve their purpose. If for some reason you actually like them, they fit true to size with a little extra room (but not so much that you should size down).

On another note, I also bought some cool jewelry from Classic Closeouts that I'll be "packaging" together, but it'll take a while for them to get here, so we'll see what happens.

Addendum: after seeing my purchases, my friend also got 2 YakPak specials. They're great too! I'm willing to surmise that the quality of the surprise specials is consistently good.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for documenting your random yak pakking experience! It was the encouragement I needed to go for it myself. The stuff I got was great, but I ended up with one pair of those insane blue rouched shoes. It's a trip to check out how much the stuff retails for on their site.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Glad you got good stuff too! As for the ruched shoes, it IS possible to create a normal outfit with them. I have a pair of really baggy olive green cargo pants that goes well with the shoes. Brown or beige corduroys should work well too.

Anonymous said...

LOL thanks for the tip

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