Dangers Of Impulse Buying: What You Need To Know

The last couple months or so has been a very trying time for us because of the coronavirus pandemic. And from the looks of it, it seems like this will continue still. As a result, people’s shopping behaviors have dramatically changed, often resorting to panic buying in order to make sure we have everything we need. But is it good to do so or is it actually harmful?

The Dangers Of Panic Buying

Now, dramatic changes in shopping behavior during times like this aren’t new. For example, the 2008 recession made people more frugal and sensitive to the prices of goods, while the infamous 9/11 incident pushed more people to purchase sweets and other types of comfort food.

Unlike those, however (which can be seen as positive in some perspectives), this year’s coronavirus pandemic has made people panic buy for weeks now, which can do more harm than good, if there’s ever even a good in the first place.

This is because, for one thing, not everyone is privileged, and the less fortunate ones are often the ones hit the most since supplies and other food essentials have already run out before they even get a chance to buy them.

And then, there are the psychological effects that it can impart, which can impair how our brain works. For example, most of us experience the consonant buying impulse, which is when we go with the flow and act on impulse, like buying ice cream when we feel like it.

The problem, however, starts with what we call as “dissonant buying impulse,” which is when we try to stifle control over our impulses and end up buying something that’s too expensive, too unhealthy or, in the case of a panic buyer, too excessive. This is because our judgment has already been impaired, making us buy something when we know it can cause harm, or when we really don’t need it at all.

Behavior and impulses such as this need to be self-regulated because it only furthers up our panic buying and unnecessary impulses, even making us cultivate bad habits along the way.

Shopping As a direct result of the pandemic, Americans have taken to panic buying in order to prepare for the quarantine. Jeremy Smith / Pixabay