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Why do We Impulse-Buy?

It is not an uncommon experience. You see a window-display that catches your attention with a sign that says “As much as 70% off only today.” Or, perhaps you don’t go out much and instead get an email that tells you to hurry up and order that specific item that pops up on your screen.

Either way, if you find the product appealing and the price inexpensive, the likely action that you would take would be to go ahead and make a purchase. Just some minutes ago, you did not have any plan on getting that item, but because you got distracted, you ended up spending. The cycle repeats itself unless you’re careful. Though it’s not totally bad to buy on impulse, it becomes a problem if you keep on doing it. To curb this tendency and prevent further unnecessary spending from happening, you should understand where this urge comes from and how to arrest it.

Love of shopping

You just simply love to shop. Most of the time, it’s not the product itself that gives you happiness, but the experience of shopping itself, coupled with the pleasurable feeling of possessing something new. You love it because you feel empowered that you have the means to own that product right here, right now.

The psychology behind it is that as children, we always get so fired up whenever our parents give or buy us something new. Now that we can afford to buy our own stuff, we feel mighty pleased whenever we snap up something for ourselves.

You don’t want to have regrets

As you are told that the store has only a few pieces left, you scramble for that remaining piece before another person beats you to it. While in some cases that may be true, you nonetheless fell for the marketing entrapment. The reason behind it is that you fear that you would be missing out on a good deal if you don’t act now. This mentality has already been sitting on your subconscious and that makes your impulse-buying more natural for you.

You want to save money

Big Discount

You want to make some savings when you buy a product, and so you feel lucky whenever you are able to take advantage of a discount being offered and the freebies that go with the purchase.

Manufacturers and retailers are experts when it comes to packaging their commodity that shopping addicts would find it hard to resist the temptation to buy now. But if you’d carefully think about it, the product that you’re getting may not be exactly what you need right now. Sure it is attractive and cheap, but do you really have use for it at the present time or in the future? If the answer is no, then you wasted money that you thought gave you savings in the first place.


Without you being aware of it, you’ve set up certain rules of thumb to justify your impulse-buying.  As shopping takes time, effort, and demands your attention, you sometimes don’t see the need to go through all that and instead you do it the easy way. But to shop wisely, you have to train yourself to do a simple research on the product, compare prices, and get feedback and reviews to help you understand before deciding to buy it. Experienced retailers know how to capitalize on this by presenting their products in bundles or throwing in free extras.

Delusional thinking

Young woman with rose tinted glasses

Much like rationalizing, we all tend to be influenced by ideas that marketers and the internet bombard us with. We are led to believe that we can have that fantastic figure if we take advantage of that offer of a revolutionary exercise machine, when in fact, we’ve not lifted a finger to do anything to work on our muscles.

We get so impressed by testimonials that show us the before and after conditions that we try it out for ourselves in no time. But wait, there’s more – we tend to lose sight of the basic things that we need and how much money we can spare for unplanned spending. Shopping may bring you joy, but it’s not enough to justify your impulse buying.

Take time out to analyze your behavior, especially if you’re a shopaholic. It’s not an incurable condition, but if left unchecked, could spell disaster on the wallet.

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