Minimalist Solutions To Online Shopping Addiction and Overspending
Online Shopping Addiction
You don’t have an online shopping addiction to benefit from shopping less. Most of the stuff purchased online will become unused clutter stored somewhere in your home.
Americans are amassing a lot of stuff like shopping online became as easy as click and buy. If you don’t watch out online shopping addiction could become a habit that wrecks your finances and quality of life.
Can you benefit from tips to lessen your online shopping?
Americans and others are amassing a lot of stuff
Americans are amassing a lot of stuff. Before the internet shoppers actually had to leave the house and go to multiple stores with limited selections to make a purchase.
Now, we can shop from anywhere at any time with an overwhelming selection of product providers and product selection than ever before.
Shoppers literally have the world at their fingertips as they are able to purchase almost anything instantly form a laptop, phone, or tablet.
Americans are amassing a lot of stuff. The internet makes consumerism as easy as a few clicks. With growing online shopping addiction on the rise, shoppers don’t even browse or shop anymore. They just go to their favorite websites and click to buy.
Shoppers can shop from anywhere and products can arrive at the shopper’s doorstep as soon as the next day. This ease and convenience feed the growth of online shopping addiction.
As a Minimalist, this trend alarms me. Americans are amassing so much cheap useless junk our living spaces are bursting at the seams.
For example, we spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($100 billion) than on higher education ($99 billion).
There are 300,000 items in the average American home.
The U.S. has 3.1% of the world’s children but consumes 40% of the world’s toys.
The average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years.
The number of people per TV home holds steady at 2.5, carrying on the trend of more TVs per home than people.
Online shopping can be pleasurable to many people for a variety of reasons. Some people love the thrill of finding deals in the guise of saving money.
Others shop and a way to bolster their self-image or to impress others. Research shows shopping can cause the release of dopamine that is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.
The problem starts when online shopping becomes out of control. The number one sign of developing online shopping addiction is when friends and family begin to point it out to you or when you begin to hide your purchases from them.
Does any of this sound familiar?
What Ever Happened To Quality?
I was recently at an Old Navy store as they were having a 40% off sale. This woman caught my attention as she frantically ran back and forth from the cash register to a shoe rack.
I could hear something about the 40% off and another 10% off if she does this and another 10% off if she does that. Then noticed this trend as shoppers added more stuff to their purchases as they get more information from the staff.
I wondered if they really needed the extra stuff and like I always do, wondered where they were going to put it. I mean if this happens on a regular basis the stuff must accumulate and have to live somewhere. LOL.
I decided to check out the shoes and some of the products these shoppers were so happy to purchase. To my surprise, they were poorly made junk in most cases.
The shoes were anyway. They felt as light as a piece of tissue when I picked them up. They looked like they would last less than a month of normal use.
Maybe storing this stuff will not be a problem as the lifespan will be very short and actually become a landfill problem.
Because of the rapid globalization of manufacturing, products are cheaper than ever before. Products are so cheap that shoppers add them to their offline and online shopping carts without a second thought.
The products are so cheap that when baited with the thought of saving money the offline and online shopping addiction kicks in. The shopper says why not?
But are they really saving money? Do they need more of a cheaply made product? Or really believe they are saving money? Do they really believe the mega-retailer is helping them out?
As you may have guessed or even noticed Americans are not curtailing their shopping habits.
The rising demand for cheaper clothing, electronics, and other goods entice manufacturers to spend less to make them with almost no downside.
We all know the effects of that, which means they often fall apart more quickly. I experienced poor quality products when I experimented with simplifying my life with a Minimalist Uniform Wardrobe.
I learned the hard way of purchasing higher quality products saves money in the long term.
While these practices may scratch the shopper’s online shopping addiction itch short term, cheap poor quality products actually cost all involved more money in the long run and fill our homes with more useless stuff.
Don’t Become An Online Shopping Sucker
Online retailers make it too easy to buy products you don’t need. Pop-ups and ads about a product you recently Googled follow you around the internet for days. LOL.
Badgering you to “BUY ME NOW!”.
Amazon’s patented one-click buying process can be deadly and I am sure fuels many online shopping addictions. With just one click, your credit card is billed and products arrive at your doorstep a soon as the next day.
There is something sinister about that as small children mistakenly order products that arrive at their home to their parent’s surprise. LOL.
Amazon launched its Prime program in 2005, and now more than 100 million people have signed on to pay $119 a year for “free” two-day shipping. As a result, free shipping is quickly becoming the norm for online shopping.
Returning these products is not as easy. It requires the online shopper to actually get up and do something. LOL. Because of low cost, low quality, buy one get the other half off and deep discount shoppers feel not pain in keeping products they would normally return.
Pet shops used this hustle for ages. “Take the puppy home for a few days to see if you like it”. LOL.
With that said at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned as compared to 8.89% in brick-and-mortar stores. I believe that speaks to the ease of buying junk sight unseen online.
Still, 70% of online shoppers keep the products they have purchased.
Like they say “The house always wins“.
More Online Shopping Suckers Everyday
Americans spent more than $130.6 trillion in 2017, nearly 3 percent more than the total amount spent in 2016. Holiday spending has also increased – the average adult spent nearly $800 during the Christmas season, which includes Black Friday shopping.
Americans spent, on average, $971.87 on clothes last year, buying nearly 66 garments,” which was “20 percent more money than they spent in 2000.” We also spent $240 billion on electronics and accessories — twice as much as we spent in 2002 — and a large nation’s GDP more on “self-care products – The Atlantic.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
The Hard Facts About Online Shopping Addiction
Online shopping addiction is what many call a first world problem. If you earn a low income and don’t have access to technology online shopping addiction will almost never be a problem.
I say almost because poor people shop also and they can also suffer from online shopping addiction.
There is good news. Not everyone has fallen prey to online shopping addiction. There are people like me who embrace the Minimalist Lifestyle and others that embrace the Zero Waste movement or are just smart.
The growing ease of recycling stuff you no longer want has two effects. Some people see the vacuum of vacated stuff and a cue to buy more.
Others see the vacuum of vacated stuff as a relief and vow to enjoy it. Americans are quickly becoming a country of hoarders and online shopping addiction is fueling that growth.
Just 9 percent of plastic is recycled in The United States and only 15 percent of textiles according to the EPA. How does clothing get recycled?
A lot of clothing in the waste stream gets sent to the developing world, used for rags, or sent to a landfill. Even this absurd solution for sustainability cannot keep pace with the steady flow of purchasing.
American homes will get larger, more filled with junk and more off-site storage units will be built.
Simple Ways To Avoid Feeding Your Online Shopping Addiction
Online shopping addiction, hoarding, and clutter saps energy for our being and prevents people from living the quality of life they would like to live.
Many sufferers seek ways to remove the guilt and emptiness associated with an online shopping addiction and overspending.
Do you suffer from online shopping addiction? If you have reoccurring evidence of crossing the line, take ownership. If you acknowledge it you have taken one of the most important steps towards a solution.
Sufferers should try taking a deep dive to figure out why they prefer shopping online. If it’s the ease and speed purchases can be made they should think about buying most of what they need locally.
They should try using cash to make purchases. Using credit cards or other electronic methods are less painful than using cash. The finality of counting out cash and handing it over can ground shoppers in the reality of their purchase.
Before shopping locally make a list of the items to be purchased and STICK TO IT!
There are products that will not be found locally or just makes better sense to purchase online. Before shopping online try these Minimalist Living tips. Before I make a big purchase I follow these simple steps:
- I ask myself if I really need the item.
- I wait at least a week before buying to see if I really would like to buy the item.
- Then ask if there is another item I already own that will satisfy my need.
- I ask myself if I could borrow the item.
- I ask if buying the item used would satisfy my need.
If you realize your online shopping addiction and overspending is a larger problem than you can handle please seek professional help.