Buyer’s remorse has happened to us all at some point following a shopping trip. You fell in love with it in the store, but after getting it home you realize the color or fit wasn’t quite right or maybe it was just too much money. In most cases, you can return the item and get your money back. However, there are times when a return isn’t possible and now you’re stuck with the unwanted item. Here are a few tips to help you avoid buyer’s remorse in the future.
Never shop just to shop
Shopping is a fun pastime but you need to recognize when you’re just in the mood to purchase something new or whether you really do need some new items for your wardrobe. If you catch yourself in the shopping-just-to-shop-mood, make note of it and recognize that today isn’t the day to make any expensive purchases. Instead, make a list of the items your wardrobe is lacking and clothing and accessories that need to be replaced. When you know what you need, you can go shopping with purpose.
Wait a Day
If you are unsure about an item, give yourself a day or two to think about it. You can put the item on hold or leave it in your online shopping cart. If you are still thinking about it the next day, then buy it. You’d be surprised how often you will completely forget about the item by the next day. This is especially important when making a more expensive purchase.
Before splurging on a big purchase, ask yourself these questions.
1. How often will I use this?
- Buying special occasion pieces is okay once in a while, buy truly expensive items should be worn often. If you are going to use the item daily or even several times a week, then it isn’t a bad purchase.
2. Is it trendy or classic?
- Trendy pieces go out of style and may not have the shelf life that an investment piece deserves. Instead, purchase the item in a cheaper brand and save your investments for classic pieces you will wear often and well into the future.
3. Will I still love it a year from now?
In fashion, newly covetable items emerge each season, so splurging on the “it” bag of the month may have you regretting that decision after only a few short months of wear. If you’ll still love the item a year from now, then you know you’re making the right decision to purchase it.
4. Is this an impulse buy?
Before buying a house or a car, you save money and do research. Saving and researching before purchasing a big item is the best way to shop guilt-free. You can also make a list of pros and cons to help you sort through whether this investment piece is really for you.
5. Can I afford it?
- If you’re buying something that is as much as your mortgage payment, then it needs some consideration and should be taken seriously. Impulse purchases on expensive items can impact your financial future and wellbeing and should not be purchased without thoughtful consideration.
Shopping makes us feel good. Purchasing a new or coveted item triggers the release of brain chemicals that gives you a “shopping high.” Understanding this can help you make sense of shopping impulses, avoid buyer’s remorse, and lower your risk for overspending. Now that you understand what to avoid, go ahead and shop responsibly!