Shopping and Fashion
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8 – SHOPPING AND FASHION Buying and selling goods has probably been a regular human activity for as long as people have lived together. Trade began the moment one person had more of one thing, say fish, and wanted something they had little of, say grain. They would exchange their fish for someone else’s grain. This is known as bartering and it is the simplest and earliest form of economic activity. History The Babylonians are believed to have been the first to invent a monetary system. The advantage of money is that it is, in theory, endlessly transferable – in other words, you can always trade money for goods and services. You don’t have to wait until someone wants to exchange what they have for what you have. Plus money doesn’t go bad like food or wear out like clothes. The only problem is the occasional financial crisis. With the invention of money came the invention of shops. The biggest difference between early shopping and shopping today is that customers haggled with the shopkeeper. In other words, the two people negotiated the price. Haggling is still typical in many parts of the world, from Asia to the Middle East, but in the Western world it is less typical. Which means shopping is certainly more efficient, though less fun. Nowadays we can also buy things from the internet. People used to fear this because of fraud, but it is quite safe now, if you are careful. The most common sites are Amazon and Ebay. Buying things from the internet is usually more convenient and cheaper; sometimes it is the only way to get some collector’s items. However, there are problems with warranty, shipping costs and custom duty. The Czech post likes to collect taxes and it gets expensive. Disadvantages Unfortunately, shopping has some disadvantages and dangers. One of them is ´´shopaholicism´´ = an addiction to shopping in excess. Often people who are obsessed with fashion and feel the need to be always buying new things (mostly clothes, shoes, accessories), even though they might not even use/wear them after the purchase. It is caused by seemingly infinite supply of different goods; influenced by fashion; aided by the common usage of credit cards which enable their holders to purchase items of almost any price, despite the consumers´ inability to afford them → credit represents an easy way to acquire things instantly without having to physically pay for them and, therefore, creates an illusion of unlimited possibilities. ´´Shopaholicism´´ leads to serious problems and complications such as debt → should be treated. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of most human societies. It is not known when humans began wearing clothes. Anthropologists believe that animal skins and vegetation were adapted into coverings as protection from cold, heat and rain, especially as humans migrated to new climates; alternatively, covering may have been invented first for other purposes, such as magic, decoration, cult, or prestige, and later found to be practical as well. I personally don’t follow any trends or styles and just wear tshirts and jeans. I used to wear shirts and vests about 2 years ago, but I can’t do now because I lost a lot of weight and most of them don’t fit anymore.