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The mouse did it! How to avoid online impulse purchases.

Yes, we’ve all probably done it a time or two – hit the submit button for the extra 50% off shirt we don’t need, bought another book just to get free mailing, purchased a pair of boots we really won’t wear.  “But they were half off!”  We can shop 24/7 from the comfort of our couch, too often falling prey to intense online marketing promotions that encourage consumption. All too often, we purchase unnecessary items that clutter our living space, draining resources that could be used more wisely to enrich our lives.  In the today’s depressed economy, smart online spending is more critical than ever.

Always plan your shopping.
Before you log on…make and prioritize a list of things you need and decide what you can spend on each item.  If used wisely, information available online can help you make a more informed purchase decision.

Be aware of marketing tactics that make you buy things you don’t need.
Research shows that free shipping, sales, promotions, and product recommendations promote impulse purchases. Even when it seems like a great value…if you don’t need it, it will be of no value to you.

Understand your own shopping habits.
Your personality can make you more susceptible to marketing tactics that promote impulse purchases. If you have a history of impulse buying in other shopping venues – stores, TV networks, direct marketing – be more mindful of your online shopping behaviors.

– Assistant professor Minjeong Kim, Design and Human Environment