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Does Online Shopping Cause You To Spend More Money?

With the advancements made in modern technology, everything is much simpler to access, complete, and even become distracted by. Usually, when a person is shopping, they are looking to get a specific item or items, whether it be the fancy black dress for the office party, a new pair of earrings for a birthday of a loved one, or needed household items. Nowadays, everything is just a few clicks away on our tablets, laptops, smartphones or computers, and the accessibility of everything makes spending much easier to do. So, does shopping online actually make you spend more money?

The answer to this, for many, is absolutely. When you’re in the store, outlet, or a shop in the mall, it’s easy to look directly in the direction where you’re meaning to go (aisle 4, or right to the dress pants, etc.) and get what you need and leave. Sure, the end caps of aisles and the red signs that read SALE in large letters are a bit distracting, but it’s easy to walk past it and leave. This simply isn’t the case for many people when it comes to shopping online. There are many factors to how online shopping not only makes it easier to buy more, but also encourages you. Take a look at a few of these following points.

  • When shopping online, your cart ALWAYS has room, no item is too big, and the cart never overflows like in real life. You can always fit more items to buy.

  • Free shipping encourages you to buy items you may not necessarily need, but most of the time there is a minimum amount of money spent before you can get free shipping on your items, so while you’re getting the free shipping, you’re being encouraged to spend more to get it. So, is it really free?

  • Browsing made easy. It’s a great concept, until you realize while you’re enjoying yourself you’re also being made into a profit. There is ease of accessibility when shopping online, and a lot of websites off categories of “things you might like” or “other users who bought this item also bought ---“, and while it seems personalized towards your shopping tastes and needs, it’s not. It’s a way of tracking consumerism and encouraging you to spend more.

  • It’s easier to spend money that you don’t physically have. Sure, you need an item, but when you buy it in exchange for cash or swiping a card, it’s a bit more difficult to part with the amount of money. When you shop online, it feels as though your virtually gaining something without real payment. Many sites offer a user login where your payment information is stored, so all you have to do is click around until you find something to buy. Many people have less acknowledgement of spending money when it’s done online because of this.

While these patterns and details are true, it’s important to be aware that it’s not true for everyone. Some people may have the strength and willpower to refrain from buying add-on items that they don’t necessarily need, like those frilly doilies or those beachy looking curtains for the guest room, of which no one has ever actually slept in. With this in mind, maybe we should individually take a look and reflect on our spending patterns and trends and see which category we fit in to.

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