Impulse buying is the purchase of goods and services without making prior arrangements for such purchases. Instead, a person buys them on the spot as soon as he sees them. This type of consumer behavior has serious disadvantages to the person.

For example, you might fall into debt unnecessarily, which would cause you enormous financial strain in future. You might also forfeit discounts on other items or the same item if you buy it immediately. More specifically, you can buy a home theater system impulsively today at full price. Then the store offers the same model tomorrow at a discount.

These two disadvantages are a sign that impulse buying is a bad idea. You should opt for some economy strips instead.

Here are some of the factors that motivate impulse buying:

The Fear of Never Finding the Same Product Again

Some things in life only happen once in a lifetime. For example, you might find a customized furniture set that no one has. If you let go of it, then you might never find the same set again. In this case, you would feel compelled to buy the furniture set even though you cannot afford it. This situation is especially true if the person who made the set was famous and deceased.

The Love of Shopping

young woman with shopping bag smiling

Nothing is as good as the feeling of having something new. Shopping is a powerful human activity because it makes you feel powerful and alive. You get to have what you want. You also get to see the smile on people’s faces as you give them the presents that you bought.

Sometimes people miss this feeling when they get home. Loneliness and despair overcome them when they get home and there is no box to open. In this case, they would buy goods impulsively just to regain this feeling of joy, power and of being alive.

The Fear of Missing Out

Sometimes a new product may be launching soon and everyone seems interested in it. For example, Apple will be launching the iPhone 7 sometime in the final quarter of this year. Your family members, friends, and colleagues may buy it after the launch. You may not want to buy it, but you may feel as though you are missing something. So, one day you buy it impulsively.

Other motivations for impulse buying include peer pressure from your friends. For example, they might convince you that a certain jacket looks good on you, so you end up buying it. You might also buy things impulsively to impress your family members and friends.

You should examine all your reasons for making a particular purchase before you buy the item. If the reasons are sincere, e.g. fulfilling a specific need, then buy the item. If not, then keep your money and buy something else worthwhile in future.