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All of us have experienced the impulse to buy something, especially something that you like and have waited for a long time. The impulse may come from the promotional message created by skilful marketers. They make you think that this is the only chance you can get something. The impulse may also appear when you are excited or moody. As a result, you may find a number of things that you have not used for some time (or have never used) in different corners at home. With the prevalence of online shopping, this situation has become worse.
Can we avoid impulse buying (or online shopping)? First, let’s find out the reasons behind:
  • New things bring joy to us. On rough days, we tend to go shopping to make ourselves feel better.
  • A lot of us cannot resist the temptations of time offers because of our desire to save money. We pay for these items right away so that we will not regret when the offers expire. However, we often forget to consider whether we really need those items, or if those items are becoming dated soon. As a result, we pile up a lot of useless things at home.
  • On some occasions, impulse buying is driven by fear. For example, we may tend to stock sanitation products during a pandemic. This is a type of irrational buying. It causes increase in price and affects those who are in need of the items.
  • In recent years, many people make purchases because of discussions on social media. While it is good to compare similar products and learn more about the items you are going to buy, it may be marketers’ tactics to raise your curiosity and attract you to buy a certain item.
Now that we know why we impulse buy, it is time to consider how we can avoid it:
  • When you see a message on social media about something that is on sale (or going to be out of stock soon), take some time to cool down. Then re-read the message and think carefully whether you really need it before making a purchase.
  • Avoid signing up email lists that give you information about discounted items.
  • Make a shopping list before you do your shopping.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. However, do not make your budget too tight. Allow a little fun money for yourself.
  • Wait a day or longer before making a purchase. Do not be tempted by time offers. They will come back around.
  • Do not go shopping when you feel emotional. If possible, shop with a sensible family member or friend.