Do we really need it?

A sign for Black Friday sales is seen at the Eagle Rock Plaza in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles November 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Phil McCarten

A sign for Black Friday sales is seen at the Eagle Rock Plaza in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles November 26, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten

Thanksgiving has just passed but the sales are still on in many retailers. Thanksgiving nowadays is more about shopping than anything else. Black Friday sales has become the only reason for many of us to expect Thanksgiving.

This weekend, I got myself two tops, one wool winter coat, one pair of black pants and two pairs of shoes. And now I am looking at my closet and asking myself, “do I really need these things?” My answer is “Not really”.

I realized it’s all about shopping psychology. When the deals hit, when I see people line up in front of the store; I am no longer a rational consumer. A voice in my mind is “I want it, I want it, I want it.”

Here is a few things we should know about our consumer brain before we get crazy about shopping. I wish I knew about this before this Friday. (But it’s never too late)

+ Look, but don’t try it on

Once you try a jacket on, something called endowment effect (ownership of an object) may start to set in.  Once we feel like we’re owning something (the jacket), it becomes more valuable to us so that we want to keep it – buy it.

+ Don’t even touch

Study shows that just a touch of an object to some people can induce endowment effect. So don’t even touch it if you are not a rational buyer.

+ Guys, beware of shopping near women

Be careful when those cute salesgirls touch you. =) Physical touch will release a brain chemical called oxytocin which has been shown to make people more generous and increase the chance of spending money.

P.s. this rule doesn’t apply to girls.

+ 99-cent effect

Do I need to explain more about this? The one cent just makes us feel good.

See more Shopping Psych 101.

Spend your money wisely and always ask “Do I really need it?”

Happy holiday!


About Jade Liang

This blog is created by Jade Liang - a cross-cultural graphic, web designer. Jade has been spending her life lived in Shanghai, Amsterdam and now in San Francisco pursuing her dreams and interests in design and art. Her daily life starts with a fresh cup of green tea as well as a pile of "strange" ideas. This blog is all about art, design and lifestyle that Jade finds in her everyday life. Thanks for visiting and enjoy!
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2 Responses to Do we really need it?

  1. lidiako says:

    There is no Thanksgiving in the UK, but Christmas seems to be more about shopping then anything else, for example 😦

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