Stop Impulse Shopping Fast — 4 Questions To Ask Yourself, Before You Buy

October 25, 2018


Making unplanned purchases—impulse shopping—is one of the areas that a shopaholic struggles to contain every single day. It’s also the apple in the eye of business owners and marketers.

Impulse buying is an important sales driver of businesses and they spend a lot of time and money to make sure consumers that enter their brick and mortar stores, or online websites, do exactly that. Free shipping, sales and promotions, well designed websites, and mobile optimization are all methods employed to encourage consumers to buy something.

With so many methods carefully crafted to get you to buy, buy, buy, how do you stop yourself from making an impulse purchase when you are in the heat of the moment?

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself:

  1. Was it on your list? Shopping with a list is often mentioned to curb impulse spending, and for good reason. An effective shopping list not only lists what you will buy, but also states how much you will spend, and what stores you will visit. Planning before you go ensures that you will stay focused and on track during your shopping visit.
  2. Do you already own something like it? Despite the best attempts at pre-planning, it can be easy to convince yourself that the item you want to buy is a “must have,” especially when you discover something that is “on sale” or part of a “promotional offer (ie buy one, get one free, free shipping, etc.).” When this happens consider if you already have something in your closet that is either a) identical to what you already own, or, b) fulfills the same function as the item you want to buy. For example, do you really need to buy another black cardigan, if you already own 3 of them, and/or you can layer your white blouse with a black blazer instead?
  3. What is it replacing? Following the “one in/one out” policy in your wardrobe, not only helps to keep the size of your overall wardrobe smaller, but it also forces you to pay very close attention to what you want to buy. It’s a lot harder to add something new, when doing so has a price to pay. Sometimes you may find yourself in the position where you can’t think of something to let go of, in which case you don’t have an open spot in your wardrobe to fill by buying something new.
  4. Is there anything else in your closet that’s new? If you already have new, unworn clothing hanging inside your closet, why would you need to add yet another piece to the collection? Clothing is meant to be worn, not saved for later. If you aren’t wearing the clothes that you already own, then it’s time for you to spend an afternoon (or longer) curating your closet. Plan your outfits, identify your true wardrobe holes, and discard anything that’s collecting dust. Then you’ll be better prepared to add the right items to your closet that will create a functional wardrobe that you can wear, daily.

What tips do you have to stop impulse shopping?

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