Retail Remorse and How You Can Avoid It.
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By Bromwich+Smith Staff | 1270 words | Reading Time: 6 minutes | Date: 2022/12/20
We have all been there before, we see an item online or in store that we need, or we know would make the ideal gift for someone on our list. In an impulsive moment, the items is purchased and when you get home, the second thoughts roll in. “What was I thinking”? When gift giving this holiday season, there are so many things to keep in mind. We need to be mindful of who we are shopping for, mindful of our budgets, and mindful of how the recipient will take the gift. The holiday season is meant to bring us closer together with friends and loved ones, but the stress of the season often brings on feelings of guilt and remorse. How what is buyers’ remorse, and do you avoid it this holiday season- and beyond?
What is Buyer's Remorse?
Buyer's remorse is really any negative emotional response to having purchased something. It could be fear or anxiety about the money you just spent, or feelings of stress worry or sadness over the purchase you just made.
Some Buyer remorse examples can include:
- Finding out that the purchase price wasn’t what you thought, and you spent more than you could have if you waited for a sale.
- Not getting the instant gratification you thought you would feel by your purchase.
- Purchasing on credit and not realizing how much the item would cost after fees, interest and the length of time you would be paying off the item.
- The product is defective in some way.
How Can I Avoid Buyer's Remorse?
Instead of worrying over whether or not you should purchase something, employ a spending decision filter – a simple question that filters out anything coming into your life that does not reflect your values, money mindset, or how it will add to your future happiness.
Create Budget filters
- Martha Beck, Oprah Magazine Columnist, Asks: “Do I really NEED it?” If her answer is “Yes”, she asks, “Do I really LOVE it”? You could switch the order of these around as well.
- Denise Duffield-Thomas, author of Get Rich, Lucky B*tch Asks: Is this coming on the journey with me? This type of question forces you to see the item for what it is and what it is not because you are thinking of your future self.
- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, Asks: “Does this object fill me with a sense of light and possibility?” With this question you are thinking of the long-term merits of your purchase.
- Measure its cost against a goal or dream of yours: for example you may ask yourself, “is this item worth not putting the amount I’m about to spend into vacation savings, or my down payment for a house?”
Ultimately, the spending decision filter that you choose is up to you, we suggest picking one that speaks to you- and if its not working try something new! This is a journey, and sometimes you need to try a few paths before you find the one that will take you to your end destination.
Consider Your Budget
This one simple word has a huge impact on everything we do. From weekly grocery shopping, to shopping for everyday essentials as well as those extra purchases made around the holiday season we often look towards our budget as a guide to understand our financial situation. When shopping for loved ones this holiday season there are a few things to keep in mind to help your body line stay in the black. Researching and utilizing on line sites an as well as flyers to find the best bargain for those most coveted items is a great place to start. Knowing what store has the item, at the best price will allow you to save more this holiday season. What happens if the item you've purchased goes on sale later? Many retailers will allow you to bring the your receipt back to the store, and receive the new sale price. It could be asking about price matching and exchanges before purchasing. Knowing that you have been able to purchase your holiday gifts at the best possible price is one way to avoid buyers remorse this season!
Quick and Simple may not be the way to go
We have all online shopped, and often if you have purchased from the site previously, they store your credit card, for a simple check out. We recommend removing this feature, as it allows the purchase to go through with one simple click. By taking the time to review your purchase fully as you type in your credit card payment you may find yourself reconsidering the purchase. That’s ok! If you find yourself teetering back and forth and asking the age-old question- to buy, or not to buy- its ok to step back. Close your browser and walk away from the purchase. Clear your mind and come back, that could be an hour later, the following day, or a few days down the road. Often time away is the perfect indication to if making a big purchase is the right move.
I’m feeling guilty- Now What?
If you find yourself struggling with buyers’ remorse, know that it’s a normal feeling. There are things you can do to work through these feelings of guilt and stress. Evaluate the item that you are unsure of. Explore what is making you feel guilty. Did you overspend and are concerned about the upcoming bill? Did you use a credit card, and really don’t know how you are going it pay it back, or are you unsure if the recipient will like the gift? The holidays are not about going into debt for our loved ones, and if you are unsure about how you are going to pay for the purchase- it is ok to return it to the store. Your family would prefer to have you at your best over the holiday season, and not worried about debt stress.
If the purchase was a final sale, or you are unable to return it look at other alternatives to add extra income to your budget. There are ways to find extra income and can be as simple as clearing out the house and selling items that you are no longer in need of online. Those outgrown children’s clothes or the pile of toys sitting unused will get love from a new family- and some spending money for you. Maybe you can shovel walkways, help hang Christmas lights or maybe you have extra time and are able to find a part time job to supplement your income. Many retailers are looking for seasonal help and if you apply for positions at stores, you will already be shopping at you might be able to save on your bills and earn money!
Buyers Remorse is a very normal feeling. If you are in a position where you are feeling stressed out from a large purchase- and this isn’t limited to the holiday season- know that it is ok to ask for help. If you are facing overwhelming debt, remember that you are not alone. Bromwich+Smith has a number of debt relief strategies to help you regain control of your finances and get your life back on track. Reach out today for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation. Bromwich+Smith’s Debt Relief Specialists are available by phone at 1.855.884.9243, or request a call back at contact us page.