December 2, 2019
Too Much of the Giving Spirit
Jodie Leister MSEd, LPCC-S, CEAP

No matter what secular or non-secular holiday you may or may not celebrate, there is nothing like the joy you can feel by giving a gift to someone you love. While December is particularly known as a gift-giving month for many, the effects of that gift giving can last all year. Have you ever purchased a gift for someone else, or yourself, and immediately felt that sting of buyer’s remorse?  It doesn’t matter why you feel the pull of regret. Rational or not, it is there nagging at you and now you are left with an item that no longer brings you joy. Buyer's remorse can be thought of as a negative emotional response to having purchased something. This can be especially true with online shopping. 

According to the New York Post, Americans bail on nearly half of their online purchases and feel buyer’s remorse within 22 seconds of online purchases. A study found that whether or not shoppers actually make a purchase may heavily depend on how long the process takes from start to finish. This is important to think about because the very thing that attracts us to online shopping—convenience, speed and ease—are the exact factors that lead us to make hasty decisions. 

To stop yourself this season from over gifting and overspending try adapting these simple tips to your shopping experience.


1. Apply some spending filters: a question that you can use each time you feel the need to make an impulse buy, or each time you are buying something moderately+ priced such as “do I need this”.

2: Challenge the “I can return it later” mentality. With Amazon Prime and free shipping most places it is difficult to remember that some websites charge restocking fees. 

3: Leave your shopping cart. Before you it purchase leave the website and do something else for 10 minutes. If you go back and still want to hit that button then go ahead. If not, then move on. 

4:  Set limits and stick to them. No one wants you to go broke giving a gift. Know your limits and follow them.

Finally, if you do find yourself in the unfortunate place of having some serious buyer’s remorse know your rights. There are many Buyer’s remorse laws in place to help you should you need it.  Also, think about contact your OSU EAP for help with Budgeting and spending so you can be sure to not regret your purchases big and small. Contact us as or 800-678-6265.