How to Avoid Buyer's Regret and Impulse Purchases

As someone who likes shopping, these are two big plagues that I am all too familiar with. I find that impulse buying and buyer's regret often go hand in hand, so my tips on how to avoid both are pretty similar. In this post, I'm going to focus primarily on shopping for clothes, but these tips can easily apply to anything that you're buying.

1. Shop with a list
I keep a running list of things that I'd like to buy on my phone. I find that this helps me organize my shopping trips better, because I actually know what I'm looking for! This also helps me prioritize what I spend my money on. There are lots of cute, fun things out there to buy, but if I know that I need new sandals, it makes it easier to put the pretty heels on hold until another shopping trip. Of course, I inevitably buy some things that weren't on my list, but were too perfect to resist, and I think that's fine. But as much as possible I try to keep to a list.

2. Avoid shopping when you are hungry/just spent 2 hours on Pinterest/recently watched a bunch of Youtube beauty hauls
Or in other words, don't go shopping when you are in a needy mood. I think we've all experienced the effects of a trip to the grocery store when we were hungry (hello, chips and two gallons of ice cream). So if you're in that kind of starved mindset, it's best to avoid shopping until you're in a better state of mind. Everyone's triggers will be different, so it's important that you identify yours. For example, I love watching beauty tutorials and reviews on Youtube, but I've found that going out and buying makeup immediately after watching those videos causes me to spend way more than I normally would. So instead I write down any interesting products on my shopping list and give it a day or two before I actually buy anything.

3. If you can try the product before buying it, try it out! 
Don't just assume that the shirt will look good on you, try it on! If there's free food samples, eat one! Try the testers at makeup counters! So often, something that we think we'll love doesn't live up to our expectations. So if you can try it out, try it.

4. Will I wear/use this 30 times? 
This is a question that has helped me avoid many impulse purchases and helped me be a more responsible shopper, because it makes me stop and think about how useful a product will really be. It's easy to jump on trend wagons, and buy things just because everyone else is. But it's not a good use of my money (or the world's resources) to buy things that I'm just going to use a couple times before getting rid of them.

5. Can I think of 5 occasions when I would use this?
This tip goes along with the previous one. It really helps me to think of five specific situations where I would use the product before I buy it, especially when it's something that I wouldn't normally buy. It's easy to tell yourself that you'll wear the fur vest all the time when you're in the dressing room. But visualizing myself actually wearing it to school, or out for dinner, helps me think about how much I would actually enjoy wearing it. This question works well for lots of items, like that fun melon ball-er or underwater speakers.

6. Will it last me a year? Will I like it in a year? 
This tip doesn't apply to every purchase, because there are some times when I buy something that I know isn't very high quality and I will only like for a little while. Normally this is for seasonal, more trendy items. But most of the time I want the things I buy to last for awhile. So thinking about how long the item will last, and how much I'll like it in a year, helps me use my money wisely and buy things that I'll love for a long time. There are some basic items that are staples for me, and so it makes sense to spend a bit more on them and get a quality item, rather than constantly having to replace cheaper versions.

And now for a couple extras that only apply to clothes.

7.If it doesn't fit, don't buy it. 
If something doesn't fit, don't try to convince yourself that you can make it work. It's disappointing when something looks great on a hanger and is a little too short or too tight when you put it on. It's tempting to think that you can make it work, but unless you have a tailor that alters your clothes for you, don't buy it. Even if it's a great piece, you won't enjoy wearing it if it doesn't fit well, and it will just end up sitting at the back of your closet.

8. What do I already own that I could wear this with?
Even if I find a really cute piece, I'm never going to wear it unless I have something to wear it with. So when I'm trying clothes on, I try to picture outfits I could put together with the new item and things I already own. That way, I can see if the item will fill holes in my wardrobe or be way off from my current style.

So there are some on my tips for avoiding buyer's regret and impulse shopping! I hope these were helpful, and let me know if you have any tips you use yourself.

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