How You Feel Affects How You Shop
Have you ever looked at something you just bought and wondered, "What was
I thinking when I bought this?" Advertisers and salespeople are very good
at using our weaknesses to encourage us to buy. If you know what types of
situations or emotions make you an easy sales target, you'll know when to
be extra careful.
See if you recognize yourself in any of these stories:
Do you like to go shopping when you are depressed? Being with a friend or
just getting out of the house may make you feel better. Yet buying things
on impulse may end up making you feel worse instead of better. Try meeting
your friends at the park or other place where there is no shopping. A phone
call to a friend or a walk around the block may also lift your spirits.
- Juanita tells her friends that she always gets the best deal. She
never pays full price for anything. Lately she has been spending more
than she would like. She bought some clothes on sale that don't match
the rest of her wardrobe. Last week, she bought three packages of candy
that were less than half price, though she doesn't really like it. Instead
of being a smart shopper, the sales are now controlling Juanita.
- Are you a sale-shopper? If you begin to buy things just because they
are on sale, you may need to start shopping with a list. Or check your
shopping cart and put back impulse items before you get in the check
out line. Be especially careful of sales people that push you to buy
because " this price is just for today."
- Kate has been under a lot of stress lately. She and her boyfriend
have been arguing. Her mother wants Kate to move out on her own. Kate
likes to go shopping with her friends. She feels better after she gets
out of the house, and being with her friends cheers her up. She used
to enjoy just looking. Now she has to buy something before she feels
better. Last week, she went shopping after an argument with her mother.
She bought two dresses while shopping with her friend.
- Joe lost his last two jobs when the businesses closed. Now he only
has a part time job. Joe's friends always seem to have more money than
he does. They have cars and wear more expensive clothes than he does.
Last week, Joe found a designer jacket that both of his friends have.
He convinced himself that buying the jacket was okay because he deserves
it. He works hard and it's not his fault that he has had bad luck.
Do you find yourself defending your purchases? Do you say to yourself,
"I deserve it?" Try to make up a budget that allows you a few dollars
each month that you can spend on whatever you want. If you plan to have
a little fun money, you may not feel so deprived.
Advertisers and salespeople know how to find our weaknesses and appeal
to our emotions. Next time you are about to buy something that you hadn't
planned for, ask yourself if you really want the item or if you're buying
because of how it makes you feel.
Prepared by Karen
Chan, Extension Educator, Consumer and Family Economics.
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