Archive for July, 2009

Consumer Behaviour

July 3, 2009

Via Martin Klasch

During Consumer Behaviour 101 we were told to keep track of our purchases for two weeks so we could analyse our purchasing motivations. Basically to discover how many times a day we’d been ‘had’ by marketers. The lecturer warned us that taking this class would prevent us from being able to freely purchase any item ever again. We laughed, blissfully unaware of the shopping problems that would lay before us. 

Being hyper aware of motivations for purchases + messages cajoling you to “buy, buy, buy!” is great, sometimes. It saves money. It allows you separates needs from want. But for me it has meant also never, ever, ever being able to enjoy the blissful ‘happiness’ that comes from buying something fabulous for no other reason than…just wanting it. 

To make the art of “buying stuff” even more fun, Dutchboy has a marketing background as well. So our conversations generally go like this:

Me: I think I should buy some new boots.

DB: Do you really think you need new boots?

Me: Well…I’ve been thinking about it for a few months now + have scoped out a pair for $49.95. The dark brown pair I’ve had for four years have bleach spots all over them from that time we bleached the balcony last year + people have started joking to me about them, not that I care what they think, it’s just that I don’t think they’re appropriate to wear anymore to social functions because it kind of looks like I just traipsed in from doing the gardening + my light brown pair have worn through the heels so the wind blows through them + makes my feet cold + if I step in a puddle my socks get wet which is sort of stupid because I should just try to avoid puddles more…or wear thicker socks…I guess. 

DB: If you want to buy boots you should buy boots…

Me: But?

DB: But do you reeeeeally need them or did you just see a pair that you liked?

Me: I don’t know!

DB: Well, you should buy them but only if you think you need them. 

Me: I do kind of think that I need new boots…

Repeat exact conversation a few more times.

NORMAL people would have bought new boots the minute their old ones stopped functioning as footwear. Perhaps even before. Normal people don’t feel guilty if they own more than ONE pair. 

One of the ways I can get over this + feel some sort of shopping-joy is op-shopping. Today, in celebration of finishing my oh-so-interesting exams (a post on the horror of that soon), I treated myself to a $4.50 teal Bonds hoodie + a $2.00 gold butterfly necklace from a pokey little shop around the corner from my house.

I never feel guilty about op-shopping + the happy glow feeling means I can probably hold off buying those boots a little bit longer.

Winter is nearly over anyway…