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Black Friday: Budgeting, or not, at the Beverly Center

November 27, 2009 |  6:09 pm

Pocketbooks of all sizes paraded through the Beverly Center this afternoon. But the spirit of splurging stayed strong.

Honey Zeinali, 27, a speech pathology student from West L.A., emerged from Macy’s toting four bags containing shoes, boots and pillows. Then there was the Marc Jacobs jacket originally tagged at $800 that she scored for $250.

The total damage: $500.

“The Marc Jacobs was expensive, but it was a good deal,” she said. “I just have to compromise in different ways. Everyone’s on a budget, but if I see something that I can use every day, then I’ll buy it.”

Her solution includes fewer meals out and more drinks during happy hour.

Holiday shopping was “probably not going to happen” for Paulette Graham, 38, a school social worker from Crenshaw. She was checking out a pair of boots but had yet to buy anything.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to come at all,” she said. “I didn’t want to deal with the rush. There’s nothing I need. I’m just looking for a balance of price and style.”

Rosalie Sun, 17, was looking for great gifts for friends and family back home in Dalian, China, where she was going for winter break.

The international student spent a thousand dollars and wasn’t even done shopping. On Wednesday she had dropped another $1,000 on clothes, shoes, jewelry and bags at the Americana at Brand in Glendale.

Her Beverly Center haul included a $300 gold Coach purse for herself and a $200 blue Louis Vuitton tie for her father.

Sun said she had no spending limit and was charging everything to her credit card. The tax rates in California were better than the ones in China, making her purchase cheaper in the long run, she said.

“What’s expensive to me is cheap to her,” marveled Sun’s host parent Nora Serra, a semi-retired substitute teacher from Glendale. “Isn’t that something?”

-- Amina Khan

[Updated at 7:29 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled Nora Serra's first name as Norah.]

Photos: Black Friday shopping