—They fear missing out on one big discount, even if they don’t really need or want that sweater that’s 80 percent off.
—They’re competitive, so getting the one last heavily discounted plaid skirt to beat out someone else is what makes all the difference.
—They assume higher original price means a higher value and therefore a better deal.
—They’re deluded into thinking that it’s all about saving instead of what it’s truly about, and that is spending. They might be saving 80 percent, but they’d save even more if they didn’t buy anything, of course. But the focus is put on what’s saved.
—They buy for the sake of buying. They did all that work researching sales, and they feel unhappy leaving empty handed. So they buy.
One of our bloggers here, Anne Galletta, has been telling you her stories of great bargains she nabbed and smart coupon strategies she employs to get the best deal. She once got a sweater for 78 cents! The store practically had to pay HER money.
When I read this I got to thinking about Anne and asked her what makes her tick. She said that yes, seeing sales signs and clearance banners makes her emotions (and her blood pressure) rise and she gets excited to shop. She says that when she goes shopping, she often starts out with a mantra: “I don't need anything and I'm not going to spend any money.” Well, when such great deals come along, she can’t resist. She buys gifts for others (really, not so much for herself) or to be given away.
On a recent shopping trip, she says, there were deals to be had all over. She came in to buy a picture frame, and that’s it. Nothing else. Well … She says, “I was in the store forever because, what with all the savings going on, now I was hyped up, and, yes, it is addictive.”
The writer of this article, Kit Yarrow, chairs the psychology department of Golden Gate University and was named as the university’s 2012 Outstanding Scholar for her research in consumer behavior. Her advice? Perspective is the key to avoiding purchases you’ll come to regret. Pause, and ask yourself if you really want the item, or if you’re simply caught up in the moment. Coming home with nothing is better than coming home with useless clutter.
What about you? Are you obsessed, or just a litle nuts?