Why I need to stop buying things (and other reasons why I don’t want to end up like everyone else)

We are a nation of shopaholics. No matter how much we buy, no matter how much we spend, we always want more.

The problem is, we like things. It could be clothing. Or jewelry. Or media. Or designer handbags. Or electronics- including the latest phones and tablets and other techie gadgets. It doesn’t matter. As soon as we have something new, we want something else, something better. It’s a never-ending cycle that companies in retail love and I hate (to love).

Sure, I bought all this at one point or another. But this photo is staged- it took me a long time to acquire all these bags. 🙂

Now that the biggest consumerist holiday is finally over, you would assume sales would slow and people would reel in their credit and debit cards, at least until the next gift-buying holiday (which, since I don’t count Valentine’s Day as a holiday, shouldn’t be until Easter). But no. I don’t have any concrete facts, no statistics or polls or surveys to support my views, but anyone out shopping yesterday and today would certainly agree there are even more shoppers out now than there were before Christmas. Sure, a lot of people are making returns. But with all the sales stores are boasting already, it’s too tempting to avoid another purchase or two. Or ten. So in reality, yes, you are making your return-something stores hate. But with the appeal of any sort of sale or store clearance, you’re actually more likely to buy and spend more than you brought in to return. And more times than not, you think you’re getting a good deal, because after all, it’s a sale. But if you think about the outrageously high cost you would have (or did) pay before Christmas, when everything was in high demand, and you’d pay anything to get the last iPad or Xbox Kinect, (regardless of how much it was), you’re really not saving anything at all. You’re merely paying what you should have paid in the first place, without the inflation. Stores in general overprice merchandise; they can especially get away with this if they are a popular store with highly sought-after merchandise-I should know, I worked at one most notorious for doing this (oh, Victoria’s Secret, how I do not miss you). Unfortunately, there’s no way around this; if you truly want the label or brand, you’re going to have to pay for it. Unless you forgo the designer label, in which case you can just go to Walmart. Or the dump.

Overall, it makes me sad to think that shopping is one of our society’s favorite pastimes. We care more about material things than we do about anything else. Sure, I won’t deny I like to shop. But there’s a limit, and most people don’t seem to know they’ve already far exceeded it. It seems the more progressive our society becomes, the lazier and more consumed by superficial things we become. If this is what the rest of the world is envious of, if this is what the rest of the world strives to be like, I’m not looking forward to what’s coming next.



Filed under community, Consumerism, Cynicism, Entertainment, Money, Opinion, shopping, Society

4 responses to “Why I need to stop buying things (and other reasons why I don’t want to end up like everyone else)

  1. Believe me when I say this, but Singapore as a culture is probably worse than you guys. There’s just nothing much to do in this place other than eat and shop, and there’s only so much eating you can do without turning to bulimia. My mom is psychologically unable to sit still at a mall. If she has to wait 10 minutes, she do it shopping, instead of just chilling at a cafe.

  2. ecraigr

    It’s also interesting to think that more and more individuals are working in the service and retail industries, and then these people go and spend money in stores quite similar to the ones they already are working at and backwards and forwards to infinity. It’s like a vicious palindrome of spending.

    • It’s also especially difficult to avoid spending your hard-earned paycheck at the store you work at. I swear they give you a discount just so you’ll be tempted to boost their sales.

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