Thursday, September 13, 2007

Buyer's Remorse and My Secret Weapon

I am a long time sufferer of buyer's remorse. You know, feeling guilty about a purchase after you get home.

When I am in a store, sometimes an item calls out to me. It will be the perfect accessory for my home, or the perfect addition to my wardrobe, or the perfect organizing tool that will solve all my clutter and time management problems. Apparently I am a marketer's dream. Somehow when I am in the store I manage to succumb to all the promises that the advertisers have led me to believe about their product.

Yes, I have an angel on one shoulder whispering in my ear that I don't really need it, that I shouldn't be spending the money, that it is a want not a need. But the devil on the other shoulder, assisted by the ambiance of the store, has often talked me into an unnecessary purchase.

As I walk to the register I am convinced that I am making the right decision. My heart beats a little faster and I have a slight smile on my face. This is a good purchase. It is going to make my family's life better. It is worth the money.

When I first arrive home, I am excited about my purchase. I take it out of the bag and smile. It feels good to have something new.

Usually it's not until the next day that I begin to question my purchase.

It doesn't match those pants quite as well as I thought it would. Or - isn't as comfortable as it seemed in the store. Or - doesn't look quite so fantastic in the living room. Or - doesn't occupy the kids like I thought it would. Etc.

Enter buyer's remorse.

I shouldn't have spent that money. I didn't really need that. That purchase was a mistake.

Luckily I have a secret weapon . . .

I return it.

Yup. That's it. My secret weapon against buyer's remorse is to return it!

It's so simple but most people don't seem to do it.

Now perhaps many people have more will power than I do and don't succumb to unnecessary purchases to the same degree that I do (a likely supposition that I am more than willing to admit!). But I am willing to bet that many people have items around their house that should have been returned.

When an item you purchased isn't just right you should return it.

Most stores will allow you to return an item within 30 to 90 days. If you have your receipt you can usually get your money back. If you don't have your receipt you can usually get a store credit.

I'm working on my willpower to avoid the lure of unnecessary purchases, but until I master it I'll hang on to my secret weapon!