Retail Remorse and How You Can Avoid It.

Retail Remorse and how you can avoid it.

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By Bromwich+Smith Staff | 1066 words | Reading Time: 5 minutes and 19 seconds | Date: 2022/01/04 

We’ve all been there haven’t we? You see that beautiful pair of shoes, or that t-shirt that calls to you and you don’t really need either item but you buy them anyway. Later when you’ve taken them home you start getting that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach and you say to yourself, “what was I thinking”?

If you’ve felt this, you are not alone. A lot of us can attest to this feeling especially after the holidays. So let’s dive into what buyer's remorse is, this way we can learn how to overcome it to have a fresh start with the new year ahead.

What is Buyer's Remorse?

Buyer's remorse is really any negative emotional response to having purchased something. It could be fear about the money you just spent , or anxiety about making the right choice for you and your family, or feelings of depression over the purchase you just made, or any combination of these feelings.

Some Buyer remorse examples can include:

  • Finding out that what you wanted to purchase wasn't a great deal and you overpaid.
  • Not getting the kind of satisfaction you thought you would feel by your purchase.
  • Purchasing on credit and not realizing how long it will take to pay off
  • The product is defective in some way.
  • Feeling jittery after making a large purchase (like a home), and wondering if you did the right thing.

Ultimately, it's a struggle that just doesn't feel good. Now for the good news, we’re going to share with you some tips to ensure you can:

  • Avoid feeling buyer's remorse.
  • Get over buyer's remorse when you feel it. 

How to Avoid Buyer's Remorse

People who cannot find their living room floors, or homes that have morphed into storage containers, and desks piled high with years of “gonna do’s” all could benefit from one thing: spending decision filters. And guess what? The rest of us could as well.

Decision filters are amazing gatekeepers for what you allow to come in and out of your life. Instead of agonizing over whether or not you should purchase something, you 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.

Normally people employ these spending decision filters when the situation has grown dire, but we don’t want you on the “what needs to come out of your life” side of things. Instead, we want to stop both buyer’s remorse as well as clutter by focusing on filters at the point of purchase.

Examples of Spending Filters and How To Create Your Own

To make this happen, you need to come up with a question or questions to ask yourself each time you want to make a purchase and spend money. 

Don’t worry – we’re not asking you to talk to the oranges at the grocery store, or get philosophical about purchasing a jug of milk. We’re talking about a question that you can use each time you feel the need to make an impulse buy, or you are buying something moderately priced.

So what are some filters that you could adopt as your own?

Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • 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. 
  • Develop or Tweak Your Spending Budget: You could base your spending filter on an amount that you want to stay within. If you know you spend and buy too many things, come up with a lower budget. Each time a product is over that number, a mental cue will alert you that you need to really think through 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 my bucket list fund?”  

Ultimately, the spending decision filter that you choose does not matter, as long as it speaks to you. This is simply a tool to help you spend less money. 

Tips to avoid Buyer's Remorse 

While we are people first, we're also consumers. So these are suggested ways to decrease your spending when you feel the need to satisfy your desire to shop. 

  • Save Up Those Free Store Credit Coupons: This is the perfect opportunity for you to satisfy a craving to shop by purchasing an item or two while paying very little. 
  • Create a Birthday Freebies Bonanza: Lots of companies will offer you something for free during your birthday month in exchange for signing up for their newsletter. You could create a little shopping spree for very little out of pocket by taking an hour or so and signing onto as many of these free offers as possible. 
  • Shop at a Thrift Store: You might make donations to a thrift store, but why not shop at one? The proceeds often go towards charities, such as at the Goodwill where proceeds help fund training programs and career services. 
  • Procure to Sell: As long as you have the discipline to truly sell items that you purchase with the intent to sell, then this could be a great hobby for you. Aside from protecting your own wallet from a shopping habit, you could turn your hobby into a money-maker! 
  • Anywhere you do shop fully understand their return and refund policies. Many stores have fine print around any purchases you make so it's best to clearly understand what’s possible. 


We’ve all run into purchases we later regret. We hope these tips will help you. In the end the best way to overcome buyers remorse is by not buying something you really don’t want. We know it's not easy but we are always here to help. 

If you do need support because you are struggling financially don’t hesitate, call us today to receive an initial free, no obligation, confidential consultation by phone 1-855-884-9243. You can also request a call. We want to see you flourish! 


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