We have all known that sinking feeling as we are purchasing something. You can already sense the regret kicking in. The shop teller looks at whatever mistake you’ve made – a heavy lunch, jeans that are too small, a shirt that reads “I love Darwin!” – and smiles.
They know it’s wrong and so do you, yet the transaction continues. If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone. A new study, the “Decision Drivers Report” by Choosi, has found that nearly 1 in 3 Australians have experienced buyer’s remorse. To make matters worse, the same study discovered that 90 per cent of Aussies find making decisions difficult these days, due to more choice and less time. So how can you navigate this never ending maze without making some seriously costly mistakes?
Read on for the top 5 ways to avoid buyer’s remorse while becoming a smart shopper.
Pick Your Moment and Plan Ahead
The study found that nearly half of Australians are likely to regret their purchase when shopping with emotion. So if you’ve had a tough day at work or are going through a brutal break up, don’t treat yourself with a trip to the shops. The best way to beat emotion is by writing a list – guaranteed to result in practical purchases only. The same goes for spontaneous shopping. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Buyer’s remorse and impulsive shopping go hand-in-hand. In fact, one in three Australians are more likely to make an impulsive decision when hungry. So instead of shopping while starving, eat first or take snacks with you. It’ll save you money in the long run.
Hold Back on Holiday
Sure that floral print suit may seem like a great idea when you’re living it up in Hawaii, but when you get home, you’ll realise what a horrible mistake you’ve made. The Choosi study found that half of Australians are less rational and more reckless with their hard earned cash when they’re on holidays. Instead of buying up big because you’re away, try to set a daily dollar amount. That way you’ll maintain a sense of control, while still allowing yourself to get a little crazy.
Don’t let the Guilt Get to You
Every parent knows the pain and suffering that comes with spoiling their kids. At first it seems like a good idea, a simple way of showing affection. But once the standard is set, you can’t walk past a shop without hearing the soundtrack to their desire. “But Mum/Dad, I want it, I need it.” Research supports that feeling, with data revealing Australian parents are less cautious with their spending when spoiling their children. Don’t let the guilt get to you, instead opt for the delay and distract tactic. It’s also worth pointing out to your little ones all the different ways you spoil them already!
Cooling Off Period
Even if a particular purchase seems like a good idea at the time, chances are you won’t end up using it. It’s all in the evidence, with the research proving that 70% of Aussies have bought things they’ve never used. This is even easier to do in the internet age, with 1 in 5 people admitting they tend to throw logic out window when shopping online. Commit to a cooling off period on any purchase that isn’t completely necessary. This way you can take a week to see how you feel about the transaction before totally jumping in. Statistics prove that you may change your mind (and save a little money), if you pause before purchasing.
Phone a Friend
Speaking of online, it doesn’t pay to just go digital when making big decisions. Australians still value actual advice from friends or family, as opposed to researching online. And yet we’re increasingly making major purchases – insurance, cars, homes – without seeking the support of our nearest and dearest. While the online world is full of wonderful comparisons, advice and opportunity, never underestimate the benefit of a good old fashioned chit chat.