Are raining offers really the retail therapy you need? Delhiites, psychologists take stock
How much have you shopped during this Black Friday sale? As Delhiites share their #ShopaholicConfessions of aggressive spending, psychologists take stock.
The buzz for the Black Friday sale is at an all time high with many shopaholics waiting to just press the button as soon as they see a discount on almost anything and everything! But, is it OK to shop aggressively if you are getting lucrative discounts? Well, when caught in the frenzy to bag it all, the shopaholics in Delhi-NCR confess that they only hear or see only the word ‘Sale’ flashing in front of their eyes and are unable to control the urge to buy.
“I have a drawer full of cosmetics from every possible brand, but the minute a saw a 40% discount on an eyeshadow palette last night, I couldn’t control myself and gave in to the temptation of buying it,” shares Kajal Aggarwal, a graphic designer who lives in Lajpat Nagar, adding, “Actually, I even bought 12 shades of lipsticks since these ones stay for 12 hours and I couldn’t believe it when I saw the deal I was being offered!”
Does reading this remind you of a certain film? Read: Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009). “In the era of constant consumerism, we have a use-and-throw mentality... This means most people are buying things without thinking about the longevity, or even its practical purpose,” informs Vandana Choudhary, clinical psychologist at AIIMS, Delhi. She adds how youngsters give in more easily to sales especially when its a time like Black Friday, which is heavily advertised across all social media platforms that are quite popular among the young generation. Choudhary adds, “Online flash sales compel shoppers to place orders abruptly rather than take the time to see and evaluate the options available. Retail therapy indeed is something that can help, but when done in moderation! Everyone has a different method of expressing themselves and having material possessions is not harmful in the long run as long as the locus of validation for the individual is not external. This means, if even after buying a gift for oneself, a person feels compelled to rush after more deals – it’s problematic.”
Rachna Bhargav, a child psychologist at AIIMS, Delhi, chimes in sharing how we are exposing young minds to excessive stimulation in the form of objects. “Social media has caused youngsters to consume more content and more items. There is certainly a need to show off your new things, especially among teenagers and adolescents. At this juncture, so many sales and the need to document them causes children to lose focus and only think about the race to have the most. If three different platforms are offering discounts, rather than choose one, youngsters are now choosing to buy multiple things from all platforms... Soon they also feel afraid of getting scammed because the offers seem too good to be true. So their mind is on the package, when will it arrive, when they will they get to open it and make a show of it. They also want to record opening the packets now, to alleviate the stress of ‘What will happen if something goes wrong?’ There is a lot of pressure being put on themselves via online shopping. This pressure cooker needs to be taken off the stove.”
Bhargav's point is valid for each time one looks around, there’s someone or the other waiting eagerly for their online order to be delivered. And since the number of orders are huge during sale, the chances of receiving a wrong package are also high, thus adding to the anxiety. Don’t believe this? Hear the case of Leena Sharma, a general manager at a pharmaceutical company who lives in Faridabad. “I had ordered a branded dress which was on 35% discount and cost me ₹5,999 at a luxury e-commerce portal during the recent Diwali sale. I had actually ordered it to wear on the day of the festival,” shares Sharma, adding, “To my dismay, when I unpacked the package, I found that the colour of the dress was not as per what was visible in the photo when the order was placed. This broke my heart because there was no refund or even replacement available for this due to it being a purchase made during the sale period. Diwali par dress toh pehen nahi payi, nuksan aur ho gaya. But I still can’t control my urge to shop during Black Friday sale, however, I’ll cut down on my anxiety intake by falling for only those deals that allow at least a replacement in cases of faulty products.”
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