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  • Stop Shopper’s Remorse for Good - 7 Tips to Make Sure You Only Buy What You Love
Stop Shopper’s Remorse for Good - 7 Tips to Make Sure You Only Buy What You Love
Written by
Joel Cordle
January 2015
Written by
Joel Cordle
January 2015

It’s happened to all of us.  We buy something in a store or online, and at the moment of purchase it seems great.  But then, at some point, the regret starts to creep in.


It might happen as soon as you’re driving away from the store or it might not be until later when you try on a piece of clothing at home.  Either way, you know the feeling well. 


Why on earth did I buy this?  What was I thinking?  I spent way too much for no reason!  These are just a few of the thoughts that go through your head as you give yourself an internal lecture and swear to do whatever you can to avoid buyer’s remorse on future shopping sprees.


But just how can you do that? Here are some steps to follow to stop shopper’s remorse and curb that lingering guilt and frustration that comes from an inadvisable purchase.


  1. Never Settle

    Sometimes we end up buying something because we just want to walk out of the store with something. Unfortunately, this often leads to less than wise purchases.  The key thing to remember is that if you’d don’t absolutely love it in the store, you’re definitely not going to magically love it once you get home.

    So, if you’re standing in front of the fitting room mirror fussing with the dress and thinking that it’s not really the most flattering piece you’ve ever worn, ditch it.  Never buy something that’s just OK or you probably won’t end up using it.  It’s the same idea as love – better to wait for the real thing than waste your time on something that doesn’t live up to your expectations.

  2. Check Those Reviews

    We live in a time where information and reviews are easily accessible for just about any purchase. Embrace that freedom of information and check out not only reviews for the shop you are buying the product from, but also reviews of the product itself.

    It’s also important to check that the reviews are not paid ones designed to make the product seem more attractive than it really is. Look for reviews on consumer websites, not just websites affiliated with the seller or manufacturer.

  3. Nothing Good Happens After 2am

    Don’t shop when you are tired or a little bit tipsy. Just don’t do it. Nothing brings on shopper’s remorse like waking up in the morning and realizing that you have won a series of online auctions for dresses that may not fit or that you have purchased some adorable, but extravagantly priced and totally impractical shoes, and now you are stuck eating baked beans and instant noodles until payday.

  4. Get Out Your Tape Measure

    If you can’t physically try on a clothing item then don’t guess your measurements, always check size charts and your own dimensions. Particularly if you haven’t purchased the brand of clothing or shoes before.

    While most brands claim to follow standard sizing, sizing standards will vary dramatically depending on country of manufacture and intended market. If you are buying home décor or furniture, be sure to measure the space the item is intended for and get an actual measurement for the item. You do not want to get home and find out that the gorgeous cabinet will not fit along any wall in your dining or lounge area.

  5. Pace Yourself

    There is no real reason why you need to buy everything in one day. If you’re planning to have a massive shopping day, going from store to store, it’s crucial that you take time to look at what you have purchased so far so you make sure not to overdo it. Don’t get carried away and swept up in a consumer frenzy. If you aren’t sure about a purchase, then come back another day!

  6. Do Some Serious Window Shopping

    In this time of online shopping carts and wish lists you don’t need to buy right away - window shopping and wish list building can help you to make the right decision and give you space to breathe. Some sellers also send special discounts to motivate buyers with wish lists into making a purchase, so a little patience could really pay off.

  7. Check Your Bank Balance

    I cannot stress this enough! Do not make any purchases before you check how much you have spent already. Be sure that all your bills are paid and that you have enough money to live off before you make any non-essential purchases. Stop before you pay and confirm that are not spending grocery money or rent on something you don’t really need.

    We’ve all gotten carried away on a buying binge and lived to later regret it.  It happens to the best of us.  But if you know you’re prone to such rash shopping behavior, you should mentally prepare and keep these tips in mind so you can avoid the hassle of wasted money and making returns.  

About the Author:  Maureen Lampert is a style and travel writer with something of a shopping obsession herself.  She’s also the chairperson of the Oak Street Chicago council, an organization of the owners of the high-end shops and businesses in the Windy City’s famed Oak Street shopping district.  Click here to find out more!

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