Silver sandals, $22.99, Payless

The daily deal for May 9, 2008 is silver platform sandals at Payless Shoes. While waiting in a long line for the lady's room last weekend, I overheard a woman compliment another woman on her shoes, a pair of elegant silver sandals. "$12.99 at Payless!," the owner boasted. She bought the shoes at a New York City Payless store; I found the same shoes online for $22.99.

What made the bargain hunter's bragging so amusing was that she admitted that she got a deal in a crowd not accustomed to scrimping on their wardrobe: we were at a fundraising dinner in Greenwich, Connecticut for the American Red Cross. Women donned designer gowns, couples pulled up in BMWs, Mercedes and the like, and during a live auction, attendees bid thousands of dollars for exotic trips and luxury goods.

What was I doing there? My book on the Red Cross was included in the goodie bag.

When it was finally my turn in the bathroom, I discovered that I had left the tag on the inside of my new dress – it was $39 at Macy's-reduced from $170! When I emerged, most of the original crowd of sandal admirers had slipped back into the ball so I kept my secret to myself.

Michele Turk is a journalist and author whose first book, Blood, Sweat and Tears: An Oral History of the American Red Cross, was published in 2006. She recently launched e street press, a self-publishing company.
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