Shopping is merely a necessity to some people whereas it is a distinct pleasure to some others. It has been generally agreed that women tend to be more addicted to the ‘sins’ of shopping than men. However, in recent times, with the advent of the retail boom, this particular tenet seems to have been diluted, if not completely negated. The equation now exists between the buyer and the bazaar, the seller manoeuvring unobtrusively from somewhere behind. From simple grocery shopping, to selecting garments and accessories to items that require more deliberation and discernment, retail is here to stay.
It is easy to be distracted and confused by the all too tempting gallery of options that shopping presents today. And frankly, with the wide array of brands available for every single thing that the customer wants to buy, ‘display’ is also the most convenient means of comparing the merits of products. So, in order to use the benefits of retail to our advantage, it is better to keep a few things in mind.
· Make a list of things you want to buy and try to stick to it. It helps to control impulsive buying to a large extent.
· Check the product thoroughly for defects if any. Check the date of expiry if applicable. Do not compromise on the quality of the product at any cost.
· Try not to be too rigid while stopping. There cannot be anything, which is so indispensable. It is good to be brand loyal but it is also okay to try new products once in a while. It just may work better. When you are buying some consumer item for the first time, make sure you choose a smaller size or an introductory offer.
· Read about conditions applicable or guarantee when buying a product. Keep the receipt and other related document for some time in case you need to exchange the product.
· In case you are availing of discount offers try to visit a larger store. Often the options are better.
· When using a credit card, be very sure about what the limit is. Keep all the credit card transaction slips in order, for future reference up to a certain time.
· Definitely check the item list before making a payment.
· If you are not really interested in something, do not clutter the products just for the fun of shopping. Try to cooperate with attendants who are willing to help you.
· If you have a membership card for a big store, avail of the special offers that come with it.
· In online shopping, it is better to deal with trusted names. Never click on the ‘remember me’ options for user ID or password. Log out of the website properly after use.
· Visit online shopping comparison websites for better information on products. A discerning buyer is one who is also well informed.
Once in a while it necessary to forget all guidelines and indulge in pure impulsiveness. After all, shopping has been found to have a positive effect on people suffering from depression and loneliness. However, ‘retail therapy’ as such cannot be a permanent solution for persistent conditions and often ‘shopaholics’ themselves have to be treated for shopping addictions. It is always better to keep control generally and go berserk just on occasions.