There’s a massive sale at a major online store, and you couldn’t resist the temptation not to shop. Thinking of the massive discounts offered, you go on a spending spree that lasts for hours. You’re happy with your purchases, for now.
A few days to a week after buying, you start to feel guilty and regret your purchases. You spent more than what you should have. Besides, you made a promise to pare down your life to the bare essentials, to simplify and declutter. Now, you feel quite off-track.
You should know, however, that you are not alone.
What you’ve just experienced is a condition known as buyer’s remorse, and approximately 82 percent of online shoppers have experienced it at least at one point in their life.
Having an addiction to online shopping is real. People can get carried away with buying items that they have not thoroughly thought through, much like having too many cocktails at a party. Like other forms of addiction, there are ways of avoiding this predicament.
Here are a few recommended strategies to avoid buyer’s regret. However, the goal with these tips is not to prevent you from shopping online altogether, but to help you weigh your options and improve your overall shopping experience.
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1. Look for shops that offer change-of-mind return options.
For impulsive buyers, it is essential to find shops that provide the opportunity to return purchases. Some shops thrive on offering sales that don’t allow returns or only offer store credit as a refund. By shopping only at places that provide change-of-mind returns, you can get your money back in the event you make a mistake.
To do this, you need to check the shop’s online shopping FAQs to see what the conditions are for making returns. You can also call or email the online store to verify what their conditions are when it comes to returns and refunds.
2. Wait for a bit before checking out items in your shopping cart.
Don’t buy the moment you see something you fancy. Wait for about two days to see how you really feel about the items in your online basket to reduce the chances of you making any impulsive purchases.
Buyer’s remorse often occurs when a person buys whenever there is something new and pretty in front of them. By holding off on each purchase, you may find that you don’t want certain items anymore when you check back.
During this time, you can check your existing possessions (and budget) to see if you don’t have anything else that looks similar. If it is a piece of clothing, try to see if the item you’re interested in buying is the right size and color as well.
3. Take note of major sales.
One of the tricky aspects to holding off buying is during big sale days such as Black Friday, Christmas or Boxing Day for Australians. But if you are an avid shopper, you are already aware of such sale periods.
For weeks leading up to the sale, most businesses will advertise if they have an upcoming sale. Use this time to look into shops and what items they plan to put on sale. With discounts of up to 50 percent off for items in major outlets, this could sway you to wait for a bit longer, or you might find that you were just not that interested in the item in the first place.
4. Don’t buy for retail therapy.
One of the reasons why people have buyer’s regret is that they visit an online shop when they feel stressed or emotionally imbalanced. Much like women getting an extreme haircut after breaking off a relationship, some individuals go online shopping when they’re tired, stressed or angry. The same can be said of positive emotions as there are people who go on a spree when something wonderful has happened like getting a raise or promotion at work.
To combat impulse buying and avoid any regrets you may feel afterward, try to look at your budget before making any significant purchases. Ensure that you have enough to pay your bills first. By doing this exercise, you are activating a part of your brain that delves into the practical aspects of your purchase.
Making smarter online purchases
Online stores make it easier and more convenient to purchase anything from the comfort of your home or office. But not all online stores are equal – your choice of store to buy from directly influences your entire shopping experience. So make sure to choose an online store that offers a selection of top-quality products, ensures fast, professional delivery, and uses a secure and trusted payment gateway. By following these tips, you can go back to enjoying shopping, and actually, keep and use the stuff you buy.
|AUTHOR BIO: George Azar is Co-Founder and CEO of HiCart.com. He has extensive work experience with blue chip multinational organizations on both regional and global levels. George is also the founder of companies in the fields of advertising and media buying, professional training and development.