This week, we’re talking about buyer’s remorse. It happens to the best of us. When was the last time you experienced buyer’s remorse?
Amy: I experience buyer’s remorse all the time, which just means that I’m the best example of someone doing money pretty badly. I’ve been much better at being careful with my spending for the last six months, and it probably coincided with tracking expenses diligently. (So boo on you, Simon, because it does work!)
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I think for a lot of females, giving in to purchasing “fast fashion” brings about a lot of buyer’s remorse. Whenever I buy something from Forever21, I almost immediately regret it. The quality is not great, it might not live until next year, and other factors like that. So why did I purchase it in the first place? 1) I had free time to kill, 2) It was cute under the bright lights and store atmosphere, 3) I was being irresponsible.
Claire: I think it’s normal for people to have buyer’s remorse, especially if it’s a spontaneous purchase!
However, I do have many items I regret buying. Unfortunately for me, I don’t experience any type of remorse until way later — usually when it’s too late to return the item, or many times I shop at places where there are no returns, period.
An example of something I completely regretted buying was a 2007 Mini Cooper convertible when I was living in L.A. Yes, it was such a cute car, but after driving it for a while, I realized I don’t really enjoy the burning sun on my face, and I started to really hate the tiny, non-existant trunk space! I drove the car around for a few years and then sold it to CarMax for the exact amount that was left on the car loan, so I broke even.
I also bought a vintage Cartier watch on a whim at an estate sale, and absolutely loved it, until I realized it isn’t waterproof and it’s quite delicate. Needless to say, I don’t wear it anymore for fear it might break.
I’ve learned from these mistakes and stopped buying things without giving more thought to it. A few weeks ago I was convinced I needed a new smart TV, and researched like crazy. I kept telling myself that it’s so cheap and that I deserved it, even though in the back of my mind I knew it was wrong.
After a week, I came to my senses and stopped obsessing. Also, working at MyBankTracker has been a great learning experience for me money-wise, and I have become much more money conscious and hardly ever make spontaneous purchases anymore!
Simon: When it comes to large purchases (usually anything over $100), I rarely feel buyer’s remorse because I tend to research such purchases like a madman before I actually spend the money.
However, buyer’s remorse tends to hit me more often with smaller purchases that don’t seem like much, but they add up. For me, it usually happens with groceries. Little things like buying a gallon of milk instead of a half-gallon, because it was a better value, but then realizing that you won’t finish it before it spoils.
I bet every other Costco shopper suffers from this.
Laura: As a generally decisive person, I tend to be satisfied with things I buy, from clothes to food to tech. My worst memory of buyer’s remorse happened when I was pressured to buy something I didn’t want in a foreign country.
The incident started with a Groupon I bought while working in Hong Kong last year; it was a great deal for a facial and massage. The small spa was located in an area that didn’t have many foreigners, and the therapist didn’t speak any English, so we conversed in Mandarin. (I used to be fluent, but my skills have rapidly deteriorated since I ceased living with my parents.)
During the facial, I thought the therapist told me that she was going to be using some special cream on my face when in fact (apparently) she was selling it to me. I just nodded and went along with it, but when the treatment ended, she basically coerced me into buying the stuff even though I didn’t want it.
I don’t even know what happened, only that I was traumatized afterward and ended up paying more than $40 for a sparsely labeled, half-empty bottle of ambiguous face serum that supposedly shrunk my pores. (It didn’t.) I still keep it in my bathroom cabinet as a reminder not to fall victim to pushy sales tactics ever again.
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