You know that bad feeling you get after buying something that you probably shouldn’t have bought?

That voice in the back of your head that some say is your conscience guilt tripping you? Some say it’s your mother’s voice shouting at you for buying fast food even after she told you there’s food at home. Or maybe it’s your wallet pleading you to stop spending money on useless junk. Whoever’s voice it is, it’s called buyer’s remorse and here are some tips on how to avoid it

   Written by: Arabelle Samaniego  Edited by: Sheila Lau
Why do we feel buyer's remorse?

Why do we feel buyer’s remorse?

Think back to the last time you purchased something. Doesn’t it feel good when you’re browsing through the online catalogue, or when you’re looking through the clothing racks in the store? Isn’t it exciting when you imagine yourself wearing it out? Better yet, doesn’t it look great on you in the fitting room? Buyers often feel positive emotions before and during the purchase because of the anticipation and excitement of using, wearing, and owning this desired item. However, buyer’s remorse comes afterwards – when the buyer is brought back to the reality of debts, loans, and other financial problems. 

Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret immediately felt after purchasing a highly expensive item such as a luxury bag, a vehicle, or even real estate. It is usually caused by a person deciding to buy now rather than waiting. This is especially true if the buyer had to borrow or loan money, if the money used to purchase the item was obtained unethically, or if the value or need of the item purchased is later debated on by the buyer. Buyer’s remorse can even be caused by or further amplified by other people questioning the buyer’s choices or claiming to know better alternatives. These can further increase buyer’s remorse because the buyer will worry about what other people are thinking. 

Buyer’s remorse is sometimes associated with shopaholic tendencies and even compulsive buying disorder (which you can read about here). 

Figure shows the frequency with which respondents reported buyer's remorse across 20 product categories.
Figure via Ecological Economics

According to research done by the University of Cambridge in 2017, the #1 product that people regret buying the most are clothing and footwear. The graph above shows the 20 categories adults regret

Cognitive Dissonance

Studies have found that buyer’s remorse is linked to cognitive dissonance. This occurs when a person believes in two contradictory thoughts, ideas, or values. Because buyer’s remorse is experienced after the purchase is made, it is classified as post-decision dissonance. This is an experience of psychological stress the person feels when the results of their actions contradict their imagined ideals.

For example, the buyer buys an expensive designer bag that maxes out her credit card. She thought she would absolutely love the bag, but it doesn’t really match her other outfits, AND she still has to continue paying off her credit card debt. High efforts (the large price tag) matched with low rewards (she can’t get much use out of the bag) and continued commitment (her credit card debt) creates the stress and discomfort the buyer feels. 

Now that you are aware of buyer’s remorse, here are some tips on how you can avoid this remorseful feeling. 

Buyer's Remorse tip #1: Avoid shopping apps

Tip #1: Avoid shopping apps

Ads are everywhere on your apps. Even social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have products and services constantly being marketed towards you. According to Think with Google, 39% of smartphone users in 2019 are more likely to browse and shop through a company’s mobile app because it is faster and more easily accessible to make a purchase. 

Installing an ad blocker on your devices can eliminate this desire to shop online and you will be less distracted when doing tasks on your phone or computer. This is especially true nowadays when cookies track your search history, so they can target advertisements based on your recent searches. 

Tip #2: Do not save credit card information online

Technology makes spending money so much easier. We are able to pay at the cash register with a simple tap of our credit/debit card or a simple scan with your smartphone or smart watch (via Apple or Google Pay). We don’t even need to carry cash or change in our pockets most of the time. With online shopping and its easy accessibility, shoppers are able to save their credit card information online. This is exactly what companies want. They want us to spend more and more money on their products in less and less time. Therefore, their website wants to remember your credit card information so you have less time to debate on whether you should purchase their products or not. 

Tip #3: Money is time

When you equate the price of the item you want to buy with the amount of hours you need to work to be able to pay it off, it will make you think twice. For example, your salary is $15 per hour and you want to buy a $100 pair of boots. Take a couple of seconds to calculate this and you will realize that you need to work a 6+ hour shift to pay off these boots. Is it really worth it? 

Tip #4: 72 hour rule

Experts suggest waiting 72 hours before buying something in order to really analyze the value and need of the desired item. It will definitely take a lot of willpower to wait 3 long days before purchasing something, especially if you see the item is on sale in the store and could possibly sell out. But in these 3 days, you can potentially find better alternatives, or you may even realize that you don’t actually need it. 

Tip #5: Creating a budget

Establish a savings fund dedicated to one specific item, especially for larger and more expensive purchases. You could do this by putting extra change you have into a piggy bank named “Louis” if you’re saving up for a Louis Vuitton bag. The rule is that the money in “Louis” is reserved only for that Louis Vuitton bag that you’ve wanted for ages. This means that you cannot take money out of Louis to buy Chanel, Gucci, or anything else. This will limit your expenses and avoid impulse buys and buyer’s remorse. 

Buyer's Remorse Tip #5: Create a budget

Tip #6: Reward yourself

You’re doing your best and you deserve to reward yourself. Reserve these big rewards for bigger accomplishments such as a gift for your graduation or a job promotion. This will not only reduce large spending’s from smaller goals, but this will also motivate you to be more successful in order to reach your next big reward. 

Buyer's remorse tip #7: Less is more

Tip #7: Less is more

Try to keep this mentality in mind the next time you want to splurge on unnecessary things just because they’re on sale. Try clearing out your closet and room to see how many things and clothes you actually use in ratio to what you never use.

Find purpose and meaning to every item you own. The less stuff you own, the more you appreciate them. This is the key to fashion minimalism. We at ÀLA.HAUSSE advise shoppers to #WEARYOURPURPOSE. And if you ever do experience buyer’s remorse, ÀLA.HAUSSE is here to help. 

We know that our first tip was to avoid shopping apps, but our mobile platform at ÀLA.HAUSSE is very different from other retail stores. We advocate for our shoppers to be mindful of the things they purchase in order to lessen the amount of clothes found in the trash. We also want to help you prevent the horrible feeling of buyer’s remorse by providing the best platform for you to resell the clothing items you regret buying in the past. You can resell your impulse purchases, so you can buy the items you truly need with no regrets! 

Via ÀLA.HAUSSE’s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.

BETA Sign Up Now Open SS21 iOS Android 


Images: Pinterest







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January 19, 2021
Why do we feel buyer's remorse?

Buyer’s Remorse and How to Avoid it

You know that bad feeling you get after buying something that you probably shouldn’t have bought? That voice in the back of your head that some […]