How to avoid impulsive shopping?
Now that Black Friday and Christmas are coming, we’d better be prepared to avoid falling into the so-called oniomania. Agent 11Onze Pol Baró gives us the keys to know when you are falling into the trap of impulsive shopping.
How many times have you left a shop with a trolley full of things you don’t need? According to the Associació Centre Català per les Addiccions Socials (ACENCAS), impulse shopping has increased by 20% during the pandemic. Impulse purchases are those that are made spontaneously and are the antithesis of routine shopping. Supermarket and department store design, marketing strategies and advertising have excelled in the art of trapping us into buying, but experts warn that these impulsive purchases can cause serious problems for the household economy.
When this impulse becomes an obsession, then we speak of oniomania or compulsive shopping, a term first used by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin, which describes the irrepressible desire to buy. Compulsive buying generates, as psychiatrists point out, an immediate satisfaction that fills us with meaning and with which we manage to erase problems temporarily. For this reason, people who buy compulsively to the point where they consider themselves to have a disorder often hide the objects they have bought in shame and become irascible or depressed. They compensate for this feeling of guilt with a new purchase. It is a fish that bites its own tail.
- Never buy when hungry. We have already pointed out a few lines above: supermarkets and department stores are organised with millimetric care to awaken all the baser instincts. They classify the products, establish relationships between brands, leave enough space for you to observe the shelves, illuminate the space so that you can focus your gaze in a specific direction, place less sought-after products near the checkouts or leave the offers on display, among many other tricks. Therefore, a good tip when you go shopping is to do it with an empty stomach. When you are hungry, it is easier to give in to the temptation to buy something you want.
- Take your shopping list from home. Another way to avoid last-minute temptations is to make a list at home of what you need. With the list in hand, you can be sure that you don’t overbuy and, if you do, you will be very conscious of it.
- Avoid 2-for-1 offers. Avoid as much as possible all those offers that only make you go home with extra products. Why do you need three toothbrushes if you live alone? If you need one shirt, why buy two? It’s important not to get carried away with the feeling that buying bargains saves you money, because it’s not true.
- If impulse buying becomes compulsive, ask your doctor. If shopping causes you discomfort, low self-esteem, emotional emptiness or fear, but you can’t avoid it, maybe it’s time to talk to a doctor. Psychotherapy is necessary to overcome this disorder, without which compulsive shopping can persist for a lifetime and even lead to the financial ruin of the person affected and their immediate environment.
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