Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Dangers Of Impulse Buying

Impulse buying is something that nearly everyone is guilty of. You may be saying "What's the harm in that, if I want something I will buy it". The harm is habitual impulse buying. As people we create habits and we go along living our lives by these habits. There is nothing inherently wrong with habits however if the habit is formed around a destructive behavior it can have great impact in our lives.

Is Impulse Buying Really Destructive

Once again impulse buying has no inherent destructive means, however the end result in most cases is we are left with an item that we really don't need or want that costs us money. One of my best friends once purchased a Robosapien. For those of you that don't know what a Robosapien is well it's basically a remote controlled robot that can dace and grab stuff. He purchased the robot online for less than any local retailer could offer. Within a few days it became evident to both of us that this robot was completely useless and less than entertaining for a couple of 20 year olds. To this day I still bring it up whenever I think he is making an impulse buy that will leave him feeling regretful afterwards.
The habitual fashion of impulse buying will not only leave a bad taste in your mouth but a gaping hole in your wallet.

Why We Impulse

In most cases we see something that looks fun or useful and before we know it it's in our cart. We never consider the  amount or longevity of enjoyment It will bring us after we purchase it. Often we think we are getting a deal and in order to receive the deal we must act quickly. Come on do you really think that works? Of course it does that's why sites like Woot, Thing Fling, and 1 Sale a Day stay in business. It's also the reason so many commercials say "Call in the next 10 minutes and receive an extra widget free, just pay separate shipping and processing ".  The truth is you think your winning but in most cases your just buying something you don't need nor want.

The After Effect

Once the rush is over and the nostalgia runs low you are simple left feeling ripped off or in some cases you don't even realize you were ripped off. I have seen several  cases where the buyer doesn't ever realize that the item they bought isn't being used they simple forget about it. In those cases I think the rush of purchasing something for a great deal or the "Idea" of the item is what they fell in love with. In the end however you have spent your hard earned money on  something you don't want or use.

Avoiding Impulse Buying

There are several ways to avoid impulse buying such as:
·         Don't shop unless you have a need to.  If you are shopping to simply shop will always find something you can't live without. The truth is if you really needed it you will start looking for it, it doesn't need to find you.
·         Before making a purchase sleep on it. Allowing some time o pass will help you determine if it's truly something you want or some other factor is influencing your decision.
·         Play with the item at the store or at a friend's house. Actually using the item will help remove the "Idea" aspect. Often times we think an item can improve some aspect of our lives without truly understand it's reality. If you handle it and you may realize that the item isn't really for you.
Consider what else you could buy with that money. Money spent in one place will offset in another and often we will find that the impulse item isn't nearly as important to us as something else. The item will usually seem less fun and useful if you have the proper perspective.


  1. Thank you for this valuable information. It was very helpful.

  2. It was acceptably enjoyable! Jolly job good sir! Keep it on the downlow. Lots of Love! Aka LOL!