Are you a chronic impulse shopper? The sad reality is that most of us who give in to the thrill and excitement of the impulse buy usually experience something less thrilling several hours later. That "something", is buyers remorse.
While I have experienced other types of fashion related grievances such as "cut too much of my hair off remorse", and the always painful, "wish I had bought those pumps before they sold out of my size remorse", I rarely suffer from buyers remorse.
This is mainly because I carefully choose which big ticket items I am going to purchase, and I budget for them or wait for the BIG sales to begin. I have learned that designer shoes at 80% off are MUCH more spectacular then at regular price, and trust me they are always worth the wait and unless you're attending Paris fashion week, nobody is going to notice your shoes are last season.
But every few years I do end up with something in my closet that makes me cringe every time I lay eyes on it. hey, nobody's perfect. Last year it was a Marni bathing suit with NO LINING! What is the point of this? Who lounges by a pool or seaside and resists the urge to take a plunge? What sort of cruel joke is that? REGRET!
I also have a few pairs of shoes that fall into this category. Mainly Tory Burch logo flats and a pair of raffia Pucci pumps that are so painful they are impossible to wear for under five minutes. REGRET!
But, all in all I have noticed over the past few years that I have matured in such a way that has allowed me to almost never feel those tinges of buyer’s remorse, and I am quite proud of myself.
Last week while I was purchasing a new dress at BCBG I overheard a young lady at the cashier returning a stunning gown. “I brought it home and felt sooo guilty spending $400 on a dress”. She returned the gorgeous frock for a full refund and then left the store with her head held high and $400 in her pocket. What this lady did was quite brave, not only did she have the self-control, and enough sense to part with the stunning dress, but she was honest with the sales girl. I can only imagine the list of excuses I would have made if that were me, “I ended up finding something I liked better the next day at a diff store, sorry”, “When I tried it on at home I realized that I didn't like the way it makes my backside look”, etc, etc.
How many of us would have been honest and revealed that the dress was out of our budget?
Funny enough, while I was writing this post a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to buy a SPECTACULAR pair of Pre-Fall' 13 Gucci pumps off of her, sadly they are not my size, but kudos to my fashionable friend who just told me "I am suffering from buyers remorse!".
This had me thinking; what leads to impulse purchases?
I believe it may stem from how we feel when we are about to purchase an item, a shopper often feels positive emotions associated with a purchase and an anticipation of the enjoyment that will accompany using the product. Afterwards, having made the purchase, that is only when we are able to experience any negative aspects associated with the purchase, such as having to pay off the credit card you used, and even realizing once you cut the tags off that it is not as amazing as you thought it was when you spotted it in the store.
We have a "proper" term for this now - "post-purchase rationalization"; which is when someone purchases an expensive product or service and overlooks any faults or defects in order to justify their purchase.
Expensive purchases often involve a lot of careful research and deliberation, and many consumers will often refuse to admit that their decision was made in poor judgment. Many bit ticket purchases are made emotionally, based on factors such as brand-loyalty and advertising. Have you ever purchased something solely because you were loyal to the brand?
Such as my BCBG experience my loyalty to the brand is what lands me in the store time after time, have I purchased items from that store that were not necessarily what I was looking for or within my price range? I will admit, yes!
OK, enough with the smarty pants talk...my brain hurts.
So what can we do to prevent buyers remorse?
"How to prevent buyers remorse and impulse buys from occurring". I found this interesting "worksheet" which claims to help prevent buyers remorse, sounds a bit hardcore, but I chalked it up to personal development and gave it a try.
Check it out for yourself, the first step is to identify 5 items in your closet that you LOVE, and ask yourself why? Logically, the next step is to identify 5 items you wish you never bought, this is hard to admit, so try your best to be honest with yourself. The last step is to make a list of items you believe are MISSING from your wardrobe, there is even a list of "wardrobe-essentials" to guide you.
So, I'm going to open up the floor now and let you share your regretful fashion purchases, cmon, I know you can do it. Look at it as an exercise towards rehabilitation. Acceptance is the first step you know.