Online shops are a gift for those who do not like to spend hours in the mall looking for things. Just sit in front of your computer or scrolling through your smartphone’s screen, and you can have the items delivered to your doorstep. It’s very convenient, safe, and hassle-free. There are also lots of discounts and promotions that seem harmless.
If you enjoy online shopping, pause and reflect – are you addicted to online shopping?
Check out these signs that you might be an online shopaholic:
You memorized your credit card number (and the code on the back)
You know your credit card number like it’s written on the palm of your hand. You do not have much time to dig your card out of your purse. Some sites might even have your card information saved. You know that you cannot assure that it is safe, but you’ve never had problems before. The only problem you have is a huge credit card debt.
You subscribe to those e-newsletters
You are always the first to know if there are some discounts on your favorite sites or products. You check your inbox every day, looking for some ‘hot items’ and ‘special prices’ on those promotional emails. Since you are a royal customer, you also always get special discounts on your birthday (from multiple sites). Oh yeah.
You memorize the size chart
If you love to shop for clothes online, you must memorize the size chart of any types of clothing. You are fast to convert inches to centimeters and you know the exact measurement of S, M, L, or XL sizes. Because you have shopped clothing online for many times, you even understand that certain brands have different cutting sizes.
Your ‘Wishlist’ is full of items
Sometimes you need to hold back the urge to shop (or your tears) because the item you’re looking for is out of stock. You put it on your ‘Wishlist’ so you can get an email notification when it’s available. The wish list is also full of the items you want to buy on your next shopping spree.
You can’t remember when was the last time you shop in a store made of bricks and mortar
Yet, you have the latest items. You wear the latest fashion trend, you have that new release of gadget, and you know that certain brands just released new products last week. Now you feel that spending time and energy in a physical store is not convenience to your liking.
You make online shopping as an escape
For you, traveling, cooking, reading books or meditation is not your way to escape from your daily problems and stress. The world seems better, nicer, and friendlier after you get the notification that reads “your order has been shipped”. You are satisfied, and this quick satisfaction leads you into the cycle of cravings and rewards.
If those signs are way too familiar for you, you might be addicted to online shopping. But it does not mean that this is not curable. Here are some steps to stop those compulsive online orders:
Know the root of the problem
You need to think about that it is you’re really shopping for. It could not be that brand new shoes or that sophisticated bag. The addiction to online shopping could be rooted from dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, stress, or any other emotional issue. Those emotions can trigger spending, along with fear, guilt, shame, doubt or feeling of inadequacy, according to psychologist April Lane Benson. Starting from today, every time you feel the urge to go online and visit your favorite online marketplace or sites, write down the reason that leads to the shopping.
Replace shopping with something healthier
We know that when you go shopping online, you have that rush in your blood that feels similar with the feeling when you’re looking forward to something exciting. You can channel this excitement to something healthier. Your family, children, spouse and friends have more value than the things you find online. Rather than spending more on online shopping, you can use the budget for monthly family dinner or your gym membership. Whatever it is, you must link how continuing to shop will destroy what you value most.
Pay in cash
Consumer research psychologist Kit Yarrow has found in her research that people typically spend more money when they pay with credit cards or debit cards. Spending is more real when you actually have to take physical money out of your purse or wallet. She recommends immediately setting aside money from paychecks for bills and taking out the rest in cash. You’ll be much less likely to go on a compulsive spending binge because you’ve got a limited amount of money to spend. Even if you have to shop online, use the “Cash on Delivery” option instead of debit/credit card.
Unsubscribe from all promotional emails
Maybe it’s time to unsubscribe from all of those beautifully-designed promotional emails. When you receive those emails tomorrow, do not click on “display the images”. Go straight to the bottom of the message where the “unsubscribe” link is located. You will not receive those flattering emails any more.