Impulse buying happens when you get caught up in the hype of a situation and you buy something without thinking much about it. Impulse items may be new products, samples or well-established products at unexpectedly low prices.

Situations that play on shoppers’ impulsiveness include: items on sale tables that advertise 'huge bargains' or '10% off all items' or the enticement of announcements that something is ‘half price for the next 5 minutes’. Impulse buying makes you spend money on items you may not really need or want. To avoid impulse buying you need to ask yourself if you really need the item or just want it.

Shopping tips

  • Have a budget made up and don't spend over this amount;
  • Have a list of items that you intend to buy and stick to it;
  • Be wary of enticements like “red-hot specials” where an item is advertised in the store as reduced for the next 5 minutes or telemarketers saying that if you buy a product or service during this call they will include something else for free;
  • Compare prices between sellers. You may find that someone is selling an item at 10% off and another seller is selling the same thing at a lower price and they're not having a sale;
  • Compare items for price and quality;
  • Examine the goods carefully. Are they exactly what you want? Sometimes packaging can mislead you about the actual quantity supplied;
  • Keep all receipts;
  • Check out the warranty