Why You're Self-Gifting This Season
So I went out to buy gifts for family members and friends
the other day and ended up buying something for myself.
And it felt good. Really good.
Turns out, I'm not alone in feeling this gravitational pull to buy things for myself over the holidays. Self-gifting is on the rise and apparently has been for several years. According to the National Retail Federation, self-gifting has reached an all-time high this year: in a holiday consumer spending survey, almost 60 per cent of participants admitted, on average, they're likely to spend $237 dollars on themselves this season. So why are more consumers shopping for themselves this time of year when the focus is on giving to others? Let's look at the possibilities. You may just decide it's time you treated yourself too.
1. Recession fatigue.
Some experts say people are self-gifting more now, having suffered from recession fatigue. Since the beginning of the financial crisis, everyone has been watching their wallets, practicing a strictness with their spending amidst constant reports of a gloomy global economy. But the arrival of the holidays seems to have prompted a willingness and freedom to spend in many shoppers. Hallelujah!
2. The holidays put people in shopping mode.
It's the season of gift-giving, and to fulfill certain expectations, most of us (except for the few talented knitters and DIY gifters) have to hit a shopping mall or browse on line. According to consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, browsing usually leads to buying and the more minutes a person looks around a store, the more money she'll spend there. (This effect, according to Yarrow, is heightened during the holiday season when retailer's stock their shelves with more tempting items than the rest of the year). And really, we're only human.
3. You can get more for less.
It's true. You can get so much more for less these days with stores like Best Buy, Indigo, The Bay and H&M offering great deals. And Canadian retailers getting into the Black Friday/Cyber Monday spirit a few weeks ago made boxing day sales available to shoppers before Christmas. So, with all of our deals and subsequent "savings", we've got more money to burn.
4. Everyone is doing it.
The malls are packed with people making purchases, and whether they're buying for themselves or not, the hype certainly encourages buyers. When I was shopping at an Indigo store the other day, I noticed a special on throws. Once one man inquired about the deal and purchased a throw, all the shoppers around him wanted the same deal. It's contagious.
5. It feels good.
Like I said earlier, shopping for yourself does make you feel good. And there is research to prove it. A recent study published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing reported that "retail therapy purchases were overwhelmingly beneficial, leading to mood boosts and no regrets or guilt." In the study, shoppers were asked to carry diaries with them to record their purchases and mood swings. Although the effects may be short term, it might be worth treating yourself during this hectic, exciting and often stressful time of year.
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