Posted by: isaacsmum
Posted: 29th Nov 2019
I’ve just spent a good half hour unsubscribing to newsletters as my inbox has been inundated with sales notices these past few days. It’s hard not to be tempted when all the brands you love (selling what I really don’t need) are offering big discounts (30% off or more)! So the best that I can do is to stop those emails so I am tempted less!
It’s particularly easy to justify purchases at time of the year - and that’s precisely why marketers strategically target consumers during the holidays. I like to think that I can outsmart marketing but who am I kidding I made two late night online purchases on items ‘I’ve had my eyes on’!
We’ve tried to make Christmas less about gifting and more about quality family time, however there is a genuine desire to exchange gifts as a token of appreciation and signal the end of another year. To combat the temptations and yield to my passion for shopping (finding bargains it’s a type of sport for me!) I have taken to shopping with a conscience in a big way. It’s a lot easier now to practice being a conscious shopper with so many more options of stores that are ethical and stock ethically. Usual items such as reusable or upcycled goods make great gifts and so are low-tox alternatives. Last year I used Christmas to introduce my family to beeswax wraps and bamboo toothbrushes and ‘green’ cosmetics which was rewarding and fun. I also love to support local makers so I shop on Etsy or markets. This year i have been following a similar shopping pattern. The hardest to shop for are my kids (a tween and a new teen). Their Wishlists are still very commercially driven. To satisfy this I do turn to department stores or large online stores for toys, books, clothes and sporting goods. Where possible I try to shop local even if it costs a little more.
Yes I have definitely been lured by these pre Christmas sales convinced that I am getting a good deal. However I am trying to make some amends by being more selective about who I give my dollars to (stores with a moral responsibility and sustainability mission - B corp certified and small businesses) and what I purchase (reusable, recycled, handmade). Taking myself off subscription lists is another small way to curb my old ways of shopping.
As for my shopping habit, you can say I’m a planner in that I shop in advance but that is only partially true in that I am a frequent shopper. As I become more time poor with life commitments I no longer enjoy crushing crowds so that’s another big incentive to shop early (and online). The decline in customer service instore has meant that there’s not much to get me out to physical stores - there are a few big name exceptions that still consistently provide customer service (Aesop, T2, Country Road Gorman to name a few) but apart from these handful that I enjoy visiting in store, the only other ones I frequent are local businesses. The guilt with online shopping is in packaging and the delivery, so I do try to do in store pick ups or carbon offset.
In conclusion the joy of shopping is from buying items you want rather than need - that’s where the dopamine rush comes from - sales and discounts feeds that so there’s no respite for a hopeless shopaholic (like me) from it! The best compensation is to become more discerning in where and what to shop. Reply