Monday, May 18, 2009

Sympathy Shopper

Going Shopping

Words women usually love and men usually hate. Guys are the get in and buy what I need  and then get out in under five minutes variety (in my experience). Women will browse, look, browse again and then maybe try it on. Then we need to look some more, after all we might miss something that's even better or an additional 20% off (we are in this to save you money guys!) 

Okay not true, if it's 20% off that means depending on how much we save we might also now be able to afford those red sandals we've had our eye on.  The great thing is you'll compliment our bargain shopping selves for getting so much for so little.

Have we got you snowed or what?

But my point is really about how we buy what we buy.  Are you a sympathy buyer?  I am.

A sympathy buyer is a person (my definition anyway) of someone who knows this person who has something to sell (a book, a new super cool toy or product) and I feel like I have to buy it. Because I am supporting another mom/blogger/friend/person I sorta maybe know.  It's the same reason little kids selling crap (um stuff) ring my bell.  If I have cash it'll end up in their pockets.

When a guy is confronted by the same person?

They say no.

How?  How is it guys can simply say no when confronted by Buy This guilt?  Is it that I am too invested emotionally?  (You know in almost virtual strangers.)  Is it a man's more practical manner that allows them to say no? 

I have a lot of stuff; books, tokens, things someone I vaguely knew was selling and when confronted with their smiling face I couldn't say no.  

I was too afraid of offending someone by saying "No, I don't like XYZ or need QRS".  I worry if I say no I've just sent the person into bankruptcy or down a  slipping slope into depression because I didn't buy The Thing they are selling.

Does anyone else have this problem?  Is your significant other the buyer or the say no person? What about the singles reading this blog?  Is it easier to say no when you don't have to justify it to someone else?  

I'm curious how I go about saying no so tell me how to say it! (but if you're selling something you can reach me via email).

Venus and Mars


K said...

Oh Yes! I think about 80% of the things I own I purchased as a sympathy buyer, whereas Hubby owns maybe 1-5% sympathy bought items. My biggest problem is the bookstore. I take my toddler there once a week, so she can play with the toys they have out and look at books. I feel like since we're 'using' their toys we have to buy at least one book. But when Hubby comes with us we always leave empty handed and it doesn't bother him. I wish I could learn from him how to do it. But in almost every store I enter I see the person working there or the owner and I think "they need me to buy something so they can be happy, have their business survive, or have something to do." I wish I knew how to break myself from thinking this way, so I'm glad you posted this. Maybe I'll get some advice on how to do it!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

My husband happens to be the one in the store that takes.forever! I'm in and out. Now if I'm shopping for clothes, shoes, or purses... I'm forever. Now sympathy shopping is only when I've been invited to a discovery toys party or something similar to that... I'm guilted into going and I'm guilted into buying. But as I get older I don't have as hard of a time turning people away at the door! Even kids! But ur right... My husband... Doesn't phase him to say no and he can be quite rude about it if its a door to door thing!

Cameron said...

I'm always like, "Oh, sorry man, I just spend my last ten bucks....catch me next time." Or, "My wife would kill me if I bought that, but good luck." In other words, I lie :)

valerie said...

lol I do what Cameron does. I lie. I tell them that some little kid just came over and I bought from them, or I'm out of cash and hubby is gone. Now if it's shopping then I like to browse but I don't have to look at every single thing. Hubby is get the goods and get the heck out of there.

TisforTonya said...

I have LOTS of issues with spending...

a shoe party? I have 469874 pairs already, but if it will help I'll come (and find SOMETHING that I would wear...)

a tupperware/pampered chef/stampin/discovery toys party? I probably could use some new something cheap from the catalog...

The store is having a sale? Don't get me started.

I'm currently grounded from the shopping... and no, hubby didn't ground me, I grounded myself... I don't NEED anything... and unfortunately since CostCo sells books and movies I find it hard to just pick up groceries...

Shoot me now.

"Cookie" said...

My husband and I are your opposite as far as "guilt" buying. I have no problem saying no....certainly to door to door sales..even if they are children. (I know I know..I'm heartless) But my husband, he will. As far as general shopping goes, my husband doesn't mind going with me b/c I'm an abnormal girl where that's concerned. I'm in, out and on to the next store. If something doesn't jump out at me, I keep moving. And lots of times, my hubby will find clothes while we're out that he thinks will look good on me and THEY DO!

Unknown said...

Kim - Yea! Someone else like me. I just can't resist the kid selling me candy bars or wrapping paper. I worry I'll get labeled the bat down the street who never buys anything! lol I do resist at stores though.

Shelle - Yes, guilt by party. I can't stand pampered chef parties!

Cameron - I like the "My wife would kill me." That's a good one.

T - Shoes, a girl after my own heart. I just bought a pair yesterday yesterday actually... Can I be grounded with you?

Cookie Crums - I wish I could be heartless. I am very lucky (in a small way) that my niece and nephews don't live near me. I would never be able to tell them no! I would just say "here, take the cash! take the cash!"

valerie said...

Andrea-Oh really? You'd just give cash? HAHAHAHA (laughing in my best evil voice) I'll remember that next time the kiddos are selling something. You can always buy from the website. ;)

Anjeny said...

I really hate going shopping with my hubby. He takes so long with the boring stuff, browsing at Home Depot, but as soon as we get to a craft store, he intentionally missed the turn-off.

And whenever I want to buy something, he either says "we" don't need it or he'll ask me a hundred questions to why I want to buy it. So, I usually take mental notes of all the things I know I want to get and make another trip by myself and buy them...

On the other hand, I love shopping with my girlfriends...I don't like window shopping when I am with my hubby but I find I actually love doing that with my friends, even if I don't buy anything, it is actually more fun just hanging out with them.

Anjeny said...

Oh I forgot...I haven't made up my mind if I'm a sympathy buyer or not. I guess I've bought something off my friends a few times but I haven't done lately.

You are such a good friend for doing that to your friends.

wendy said...

Oh yes, I am a sucker to buy whatever someone is selling --going to a good cause I say. Sometimes if I see a "youth" at my door and I know they are there to sell stuff, I JUST CAN'T ANSWER TO DOOR or I know I'll get sucked in. But ya know what, My Husband is as bad!! We have to hide and close the blinds.