The Three Rules of the Intelligent Shopper

If you are heading for the shopping mall to buy merchandise at deep discount this holiday season, you better think twice. You may end up buying things you don’t need, wasting your time and money, especially if you are an emotional shopper.

Humans are both intelligent and emotional beings. As intelligent beings, humans make decisions by reason. They carefully examine the environment they live in, setting goals and priorities. They craft alternative strategies and tactics to reach them. Emotional beings decide by impulse, fueled by anxiety, anger, fear, greed, and other emotions

The intelligent and the emotional sides of human beings come out in shopping. Intelligent shoppers begin with the “Big Picture,” the things that are important in their lives, setting needs ahead of desires. Before they grab a piece of a merchandise and head for the cash register, they always ask three simple questions:

Do I need the product?
Is the price right?
Is this merchandise the best use of my money?
Emotional shoppers, by contrast, act by impulse, passion and hype. They rush and race to buy products filling the dreams and aspirations of ruthless marketers, rather than their own. They see the “Big Picture,” upside down, often placing desires ahead of needs. They rush to buy merchandise just because it happened to be on sale without asking whether they really have a need for it in the first place; whether the price is right; and whether it is the best choice for their money. They end up subscribing to magazines they never read; joining health clubs they rarely visit; buying clothing they never wear; purchasing tools and accessories they never use; and bringing home toys their children hardly touch.

Obviously, intelligent consumers allocate their resources efficiently and effectively, while emotional shoppers waste their resources. But why consumers do that? Why they shop with emotions rather than intelligence?

Because emotional shoppers allow themselves to be manipulated by marketers who hype their emotions by sales events like the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Black Saturday. They are too concerned with the prospect of missing out on sale opportunities on Sony’s flat panel TVs, Apple’s iPhones and the iPads, Decker’s  and Nike’s  shoes, and Ralph Lauren’s  and Coach’s   Apparel; they are buying merchandise indiscriminately, irrespective of the need for it, and its priority

The bottom line: Before you head out for the stores on this holiday season, ask yourself the three simple questions of intelligent shopping, so you can be a victor rather than a victim of this holiday’s shopping season.

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