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The Psychology of buying.

TheDarkKnight

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Watching the news today, with the current legal battle bubbling over the purchase of EMI I was reminded of and then heard the term "buyer's regret".

I thought this might be quite relevant to SF and those who are into pursuing a style and frequently let's face it, are quite OCD over details. (is the shiver of break on my pantaloons too much?)

I wondered then, what your general rules are for those starting out and buying, to avoid buyer's regret and getting bogged down in details over fit and the like.

Think of it as Cognitive behavioural therapy for Clothes buyers ; )

I will start with some of my rules which stop me sweating the small stuff:

1.\tDon't buy what I can't afford. In fact the more I can thrift something the better. Something at much lower cost and good quality, means the stakes are lowered - you don't question a decision so much as if it's not quite right, it's no big loss from your wallet.

Combining thrift with quality also allows you to focus on the inherent value and therefore smugness derived from the buy, rather than details.

2.\tWhen starting out accept it is a journey and mistakes are all part of that. Therefore at the moment I view buys as for a year only, so if I go off something quite soon it's not a problem.

I also tend to wear something I later decide I don't like quite often still for this year, so I haven't wasted my money.

An upside - those things like a coat I've had for 6 years and still really like, are a bonus.

This runs contrary to the Flusser "˜style is timeless idea', but it takes mistakes + time + money, to develop that timeless style of your own.

3.\tTake SSRI's (joke)

What are your ideas for good buying decisions for someone relatively new, and if you're a big timer, what mistakes did you make along the way?
 

Cant kill da Rooster

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I could add...

a) Shop around. I do this a lot before buying. Doesn't work for the impulsive types but it reduces buyer's remorse.
b) Donate it. I like a streamlined wardrobe. I donate what I can't fit in it. This sometimes involves new purchases I later regretted, but if a friend can be a benefactor, I feel much better about it.
c) Don't ask SF what they think of your purchase. A sure fire way to want to slit your wrists after buying that $1000 lime green sports coat.
 

bellyhungry

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I am both a compulsive and an impulsive shopper.
 

Eight

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1) Learn to love things that are way above your budget and know the details that make them such, so that settling for less becomes much less attractive.

2) Ask yourself if the fact it is currently on sale means many others have passed on it for a reason.

3) Think you'll have to store it somewhere...
 

TheDarkKnight

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Originally Posted by voxsartoria
If you had to start over tomorrow...

- B



Fantastic! I will read this in full this evening.

Originally Posted by Eight
1) Learn to love things that are way above your budget and know the details that make them such, so that settling for less becomes much less attractive.

2) Ask yourself if the fact it is currently on sale means many others have passed on it for a reason.

3) Think you'll have to store it somewhere...


As per the above thread, it will be interesting to get a range of perspectives from a range of lifestyles. I certainly have the desire to buy much better things, but sadly not the resources ; )
 

Nicola

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Originally Posted by TheDarkKnight
Think of it as Cognitive behavioural therapy for Clothes buyers ; )

I will start with some of my rules which stop me sweating the small stuff:

1.\tDon't buy what I can't afford. In fact the more I can thrift something the better. Something at much lower cost and good quality, means the stakes are lowered - you don't question a decision so much as if it's not quite right, it's no big loss from your wallet.

Combining thrift with quality also allows you to focus on the inherent value and therefore smugness derived from the buy, rather than details.


While I agree with not buying what you can't afford with just buying on price you're facing a different problem. Sooner or later you'll figure out you've spent more money on things that aren't 100% what you want then if you had paid the full price to begin with.

BTW the details are part of the value. Settling for something that isn't right is a waste of money. Sooner or later you'll replace it.
 

GasparddeColigny

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Buyers regret is very much a symptom of people with a high Maximizing Tendency; B Schwartz has done a lot of research on the topic. The neverending search for the latest and greatest casts a shadow on the most recent purchase. People that score low on maximizing tendency often opt for an option that suffices, making life easier.
 

reachforit108

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Interesting thread.

i think the number one tool in avoiding bad purchases is patience, especially not building a wardrobe too quickly. i personally have a tendency to buy multiples of an item if i like it, only later to realize that i would prefer more diversity. also, patience allows you to study/test your new item(s) to see what changes you would like in a future item.

that being said, wardrobe building ain't easy and i don't personally know anyone who has not suffered from buyers remorse at one time or another.
 

TheDarkKnight

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Originally Posted by GasparddeColigny
Buyers regret is very much a symptom of people with a high Maximizing Tendency; B Schwartz has done a lot of research on the topic. The neverending search for the latest and greatest casts a shadow on the most recent purchase. People that score low on maximizing tendency often opt for an option that suffices, making life easier.

Very interesting, I do have a tendency to seek excellence in all things I care about, or to not care about something much at all. So the typical black and white thinking which can be a tad unhealthy ; )

I try to moderate this by explicitly trying to accept "quite nice for now" as opposed to "outstanding" hehe.

I have found an article on Schwartz and shall read this shortly.

EDIT. Schwartz study read. The 2008 study concludes:

Our results suggest that — aside from being more prone to experiencing regret — maximizers are just as happy as satisficers, and are no more likely to be indecisive, avoidant, or neurotic. In light of the shortcomings of Schwartz et al.’s (2002) Maximization Scale, we developed a theory-based measure of maximization tendency. This new scale had strong measurement properties, did not generally correlate with maladaptive traits, and allowed for construct valid inferences. We found that Schwartz et al.’s measure had poorer measurement properties, correlated with maladaptive traits, and was less predictive of behavioral outcomes (i.e., as assessed via situational dilemmas and behavior reports).
 

TheDarkKnight

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Originally Posted by Cant kill da Rooster
Is there anything you haven't covered?

Interesting stuff so far.


+ 1. On page 5 so far and both the similarities and differences of opinion are very interesting. I think I'll post the highlights which resonate best with me.
 

Doc4

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Originally Posted by TheDarkKnight
I certainly have the desire to buy much better things, but sadly not the resources ; )

Originally Posted by Nicola
BTW the details are part of the value. Settling for something that isn't right is a waste of money. Sooner or later you'll replace it.

Originally Posted by GasparddeColigny
Buyers regret is very much a symptom of people with a high Maximizing Tendency; B Schwartz has done a lot of research on the topic. The neverending search for the latest and greatest casts a shadow on the most recent purchase. People that score low on maximizing tendency often opt for an option that suffices, making life easier.

I think the main key is to research product details and plan an overall strategy in advance, so you know what you need, and what you can afford, before you stumble on something you want. Knowledge is key ... from time to time you will see a killer sale discount, and the only thing more
than not buying something you should have bought at that moment is buying something you shouldn't have.

Keep the 'experimantal buying' to a minimum. You will need to do some, but as much as possible buy items for "where you want to end up".

When it comes to not having enough disposable income to buy everything you want (and we're all in that boat), again, planning is key. You need to make priorities for what you really want to spend the money on, and what you can sacrifice to make it happen. Maybe you will survive with one Timex watch, dress shirts from Walmart and Gold Toe socks from Costco ... so you can afford those C&J dress shoes.
 

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