6 Reasons Why Consumers Buy Things They Don’t Want

If you dare, just take a peek into the back of your closet, your desk drawer, your garage or attic. What you’ll find is a mound of unnecessary purchases that you’ve made over time. We all have this pile of shame and it extends beyond wasted money, and falling for sleek marketing techniques.

We all buy things that we don?t need, we get home and say, why the heck did I buy that for?

This could be a pair of pricey designer jeans, a family size cheesecake when you’re on a diet, or suddenly upgrading your smartphone or laptop that’s just a few months old.

It extends beyond our tastes or having that extra money in our wallets, which determines the reasons for impulsive buying all of those excess products we’ll never use.

That pile of embarrassment grows, as the products are still in their shopping bags with their price tags still on the item.

The biggest influence of this behavior, is because of strategic scientific marketing methods which preys consciously on our consumer brain at any given time.

Marketing And Advertising Tactics 101

Advertising is the monster that forces us to remember and then recognize brands, which affects our preferences while perceiving our needs.

What smart marketing does is it alters our attitudes towards certain products.

Advertising pounds into our brains rational arguments in favor of why we need to purchase something, primarily attacking our emotions.

The most successful of ads that appear in print, TV or the Internet, the ones which go viral, are those that nails these exact nerves, such as the use of “shock” therapy, shame or humor.

Marketing will also design and package products making them appear a lot more appealing, while delivering convincing messages and offering price promotions making them harder to resist.

6 Reasons Why We Consumers Buy Things We Don’t Need

1.) – We Like To Emulate Others

We not only get influenced by smart marketing, but we also like to copycat whatever others are doing.

We’ll imitate others to be liked more, or when we’re unsure about making the proper choice. Our friends, or those who we look up to, plays a big role in this process.

This however occurs more on a subconscious level, as we observe what others around us are consuming and doing.

This may be as simple as craving for an ice cream at the zoo, when someone else has one. Monkey see monkey do.

For trendy items which are iconic such as the iPhone, what Apple will do is concentrate on giving out cues which signals that the ownership of one is crucial to be cool.

This then creates a buying frenzy which trickles down to other comparable models, which are just as good or less expensive.

2.) – We Fall To Temptation

The majority of our impulse purchases involve what’s known as hedonistic products, which are items that gives us enjoyment or pleasure.

Another temptation are products which are symbolic, goods which promote our self-image. These are the products which are closely linked to our emotions.

When it comes to impulse purchases, they’re not usually utilitarian products such as a kitchen knife, screwdriver or a mop.

But realize the more practical a product is, the easier it is for us to justify that we need it.

Although these products aren’t candidates for unplanned purchases, it’s also no surprise that men are more likely to purchase functional products on impulse, than women are.

3.) – Why We Buy On Impulse

What our disposition affects is our behavior, and one major trait is the consumers impulsiveness. As with any other trait, some are a lot more impulsive than others.

Those of us who suddenly decides to make unplanned purchases, are usually considered more impulsive in nature.

A study found that those who are more prone to impulsiveness will tend to react more often to external triggers, which includes advertisements or promotional freebies.

An area of the brain that’s related to being impulsive, is also associated with reward.

Researchers suggest just seeing more attractive packaging on a product, will lead towards increased activity in the ?reward center? of the brain, which is common to impulsive buyers.

What then happens immediately once we’ve made that purchase and then get home, is we instantly rationalize it.

Justifying these unnecessary purchases becomes a skill that most have mastered, then the product is hid in the far end of the closet.

4.) – We Surrender To Our Moodiness

Emotions are the key influence when it comes to how we think or act. Our state of mind, such as hunger, arousal or craving, compels us to satisfy our needs, which usually occurs at the expense of longer term considerations.

Our moodiness on a certain day affects us, and can loosen our wallet.

When we’re feeling good, have higher energy, we’re more than likely to reward ourselves more often.

We’ll let our guards down by switching from conservation to intuition to impulse.

When studying impulse buying, over 62% percent of respondents felt happier when they made unplanned purchases.

For compulsive shoppers, those who have a repeated urge to buy something, will convince themselves to the point they transform themselves from a negative attitude to a positive one.

5.) – People Just Don’t Like Change

We as humans resist change for a couple of reasons.

The first because the action has become a habit, which is doing things repeatedly. Certain buying habits will persist even when a change is needed.

Another is ones resistance to making any changes, which is considered more of a general state of inertia.

This is also referred to as inaction, some call it being lazy.

6.) – Adapting Our State Of Mind

Different cues in the environment can change our mindset.

For instance, it was found that people bought more expensive wines when there was classical music playing in the background, rather than Top 30 music at the liquor store.

When we’re distracted, preoccupied or are under pressure, our capacity to reflect becomes limited, and we’re more likely to act on impulse or be influenced by subtle cues.

We can also expect similar effects when we’re depleted mentally, when we’re extremely tired from a long day at work.

What that does is it significantly reduces our ability to be able to control our willpower, which promotes impulse buying.


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