Why don’t we think more about what we buy?
It crossed my mind the other day that being such a society of consumers, it’s kind of odd that we don’t think about all the aspects that go into what we buy.
I mean we do… but we don’t.
When we go to buy something, we think about the price, the value, the usage and then perhaps aesthetics, like the colour or shape.
IT COMES DOWN TO PRICE
The higher the price tag, the more time people tend to spend in researching on something to buy.
A $30,000 car?
People spend days researching what brand, what model, which year, and then scouring the ads or forums to find out what the best price is.
A $3 plastic bowl?
Barely any thought given. It’s a bowl.
What more does it need to do, other than hold something?
IT COMES DOWN TO PHYSICAL GOODS
But that above “law” of price doesn’t apply to intangible goods.
People will buy stocks for thousands of dollars without thinking very hard about it, based on some stock tip someone gave them.
They won’t do their research on their own (lazy?) and will go on whatever hype is being pushed about the stock itself.
In contrast, a $30,000 car is something physical.
You can sit in it, you use it daily, it’s easy to figure out whether you should buy THIS $30,000 car that has a space for your daily coffee, or the OTHER $30,000 car that has no space for your coffee but comes with heated seats.
IT COMES DOWN TO EMOTIONS
Wanting it is a big emotion.
Ever watch House Hunters or other home-buying shows?
After they see a house that is just PERFECT for them, they stress out and can’t think about anything but buying THAT. PARTICULAR. HOUSE.
Even if it means spending more than what they wanted.
Their invested emotions into something that they don’t even own, plays a big role into how much they’re willing to compromise on a mortgage that will basically be a monkey on their backs for 30 years.
In 15 years, will they have wished that they didn’t spend that extra $20,000 to get their “dream” home?
IT COMES DOWN TO THE EASE OF PURCHASE & DISPOSAL
Something that is disposable and easy to purchase (a plastic bowl), versus a car (not as easy to dispose of), has less thought given to it, when in fact, there should be more thought given to items that we purchase on a regular basis.
It’s interesting to me that the more disposable the item, the less thought we give it, even though it has a greater impact on the environment or on our bodies (absorbing the toxins).
It’s also easy to purchase what’s in front of you in the store at that time, rather than spending the time and effort to find something that for instance ISN’T plastic, ISN’T made in China, ISN’T going to break in a year, and ISN’T something you will dispose of within a short period of time.
it’s so much easier to buy it off the shelf in that moment.
SAYING ‘NO’ TO SOMETHING, IS THE HARDER PATH TO TAKE
It’s a lot harder to say ‘No’, put it back and try to search for a better alternative that meets all your personal values in where you choose to spend your money.
I’ve noticed this behaviour in myself, and it is mentally exhausting to go to the store and run through my list of whether or not it’s suitable to purchase.
The sheer effort of having to research stocks that I am thinking of buying, reading opinions on both sides of the fence, running the numbers and then coming to the conclusion that it is not something I want to put my money in, is a lot harder than just buying it on a whim.
The work that it takes to research a product to buy, is even worse. I have to run through a list of whether ir not I think it’s something I will keep or not, if it’s environmentally the best choice I can make, if I can live without it, if it was ethically made and lastly, if it is something that may harm me in the long run.
Or maybe I’m just neurotic and making my life harder than it should be.