when you are deciding what to buy, you should not...

When You Are Deciding What To Buy, You Should Not…

Ah, the joy (and sometimes, frustration) of shopping! Whether you’re browsing online marketplaces or strolling through brick-and-mortar stores, the sheer number of options can be dizzying. But fear not, intrepid shopper! This handy guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the tricky terrain of consumerism. Because when you are deciding what to buy, you should not… be a victim of clever marketing ploys or fall prey to your own impulsive urges.

Let’s delve into the sneaky tactics employed by retailers and unpack some golden rules to ensure you make informed purchases you’ll love, not ones that’ll leave you feeling like you’ve been hoodwinked.

When You Are Deciding What to Buy, You Should Not… Be Blinded by “Limited-Time Offers”

Ever felt that familiar pressure to whip out your credit card when faced with a “limited-time offer” or a “flash sale”? You’re not alone! Marketers understand the power of scarcity, creating a sense of urgency that clouds our judgment.

Here’s the trick: Take a deep breath and step away from the “buy now or forever hold your peace” countdown timer. In most cases, these “limited-time” deals resurface periodically. Do some quick research online to see if the price has dropped recently or is likely to again soon.

Bonus tip: Consider setting up price alerts for desired items. Many online retailers offer this service, notifying you when the price dips.

Don’t Let “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) Fuel Your Shopping Cart

Social media feeds are a breeding ground for FOMO (fear of missing out). Images of friends sporting the latest gadgets or rocking trendy outfits can trigger a powerful urge to “keep up with the Joneses.” But when you are deciding what to buy, you should not… be swayed by fleeting trends or the curated online lives of others.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I genuinely need this item, or am I just chasing a trend?
  • Will this purchase bring me lasting value, or will it gather dust in a corner a month from now?
  • Can I afford this without compromising my financial goals?

Remember, true happiness doesn’t come from material possessions. Invest in experiences, relationships, and things that genuinely enrich your life.

Beware the Siren Song of “Free Shipping”

Free shipping sounds like a dream, right? It certainly sweetens the deal, but when you are deciding what to buy, you should not solely be enticed by the absence of a shipping fee. Consider factors such as product quality, reviews, return policies, and overall value for money. Making an informed decision ensures satisfaction beyond just avoiding shipping costs. Here’s why:

  • Free shipping often comes with minimum purchase requirements. You might end up spending more than you intended just to qualify for the “free” shipping.
  • Sometimes, the “free” shipping option translates to slower delivery times. Consider if you truly need the item quickly or if you can wait a few extra days.
  • Compare the total cost, including shipping, with other retailers. You might find the item is actually cheaper elsewhere, even with a standard shipping fee.

Don’t Fall for the Allure of “New and Improved!” Claims


Marketers love slapping “new and improved!” labels on everything from laundry detergent to smartphones. But when you are deciding what to buy, you should not automatically assume the latest version is the best. Take the time to research and compare features, read reviews, and consider your own needs and budget. Making an informed decision can save you from unnecessary expenses and disappointment in the long run.

Here’s the approach:

  • Research the “improvements.” What specific features have been upgraded? Are they relevant to your needs?
  • Read user reviews of the new version. Look for common complaints or teething issues.
  • Consider if your current version still works perfectly well. Sometimes, sticking with what you know is the smarter option.

Impulse Buys: The Enemy of Wise Shopping

We’ve all been there: the impulse purchase that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now sits unused and gathering regret in your closet. When you are deciding what to buy, you should not succumb to the lure of instant gratification.

Fight the impulse by:

  • Implementing a 24-hour rule. Wait a day before buying anything non-essential. Chances are, the fleeting urge will fade.
  • Evaluating your needs vs. wants. Does this item fulfill a practical need, or is it purely a fleeting desire?
  • Asking yourself, “Will I still love this in a month/year?” Chasing trends often leads to short-lived satisfaction.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Impulse Purchases

  • Can impulse purchases ever be good?

Sometimes! If you stumble upon a genuine bargain on a quality item you genuinely need, an impulse purchase can be a win. However, be mindful – don’t let a “good deal” turn into a purchase you’ll regret later.

  • What if I give in to impulse buying sometimes?

We all make mistakes! Don’t beat yourself up. Just learn from it, recommit to your shopping strategy, and move on.

  • How can I build a healthy relationship with money?

Budgeting is key! Create a spending plan that allocates funds for necessities, savings goals, and a bit of fun money for occasional treats. When you track your spending, you become more mindful of your purchases.


Remember, informed consumers are empowered consumers! By understanding the tactics employed by retailers and implementing these smart shopping strategies, you’ll be well on your way to conquering the world of commerce. When you are deciding what to buy, you should not… be afraid to take your time, research your options, and prioritize your needs over fleeting wants. Happy (and savvy) shopping!

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