What's YOUR buyer identity?

What's YOUR buyer identity?
19 December 2012

WE ALL have buying habits – yes, even you! And recognizing them just might be the first step to curbing our spending.

Ever heard of ‘behavioural triggers’? They’re the small things that set off a chain of habits, a behaviour, in the same way that a smoker might crave a cigarette after a meal, or an emotional eater might be tempted to binge after a break-up or bad day at the office. In much the same way, we each have a pattern when we trawl those malls. So today on cashy we’re asking YOU – what’s YOUR buying identity?

The SALE buyer – Discounted prices? You’re there! And what could be more logical than spending your cash in sales, right? Wrong! Here’s the thing with BOGOF offers or flash cuts in prices – companies are always going to ensure that they get your money somehow. Those ‘Buy One Get One Free’ deals are often devised to shift products that aren’t moving so well without dropping prices. Sale prices are also often focused on items which are moving out of season, which in consumer terms means you’re more likely to forget about that gorgeous winter coat you got on sale in spring by the time next November comes around. And those bundle offers? Watch for the small stuff! Companies will often bundle travel-sized items in with a larger premium item to charge a higher price to unsuspecting fans of the full-size product.

The SOCIAL buyer – You spend with friends! We’ve all been there – you hit up a mall with your pals and the next thing you know, you’re at a checkout with a full basket, talking away to your bestie as both of you hand over your charge cards. It’s always more fun to make things a social experience -but beware! These purchases often fall into the ‘red light’ category, things we don’t need, nor do we have the budget for.

The ZOMBIE buyer – You arrive home, look at your bags and wonder: when did I pick THAT up? So many of us aren’t even aware of what we do when we’re surrounded by our favourite shops and begin picking things up and flashing plastic mindlessly.

The RAINY DAY buyer – When you pick something up, you’re buying it ‘just in case’. You buy running shoes ‘just in case’ you decide this is the year you FINALLY run that marathon. You buy that cute sweater just in case it ever gets chilly enough to wear it. In other words, you’re a little stockpile-r! So many of us have bought things and let them sit in a storage cupboard or unopened in their box, and it’s very easy to get caught up in buying things for a ‘better version’ of you.

The GOTTA HAVE IT buyer – A frequent fever brought on by anticipated releases – think of the queues outside an Apple store on the day of a new release! The problem with this kind of buying is that, although you may feel you are staying ‘ahead of the curve’, you’re actually often paying the highest premium with impulse buys. Consider this – how long will it be before there is a new ‘must have’ product, or (as is usually the case with technology) an upgrade?

The SPECS buyer – How many times have you found yourself looking to buy a phone, or camera, or laptop, going to the shop and being talked into buying something that was just over your price range? A lot of us get blinded by features or specifications that we don’t even understand, buying much more powerful pieces of equipment than we actually need.

Pic credit: freedigitalphotos.net

So we’re putting it to you cashy community members – comment below or tweet us @cashyme with YOUR buyer identity!


  • Colin

    Hmmm tough one Tami. Friends would say I am a rational buyer or optimal buyer. But without question there is often a 'human factor' in my buying style or identity. Not sure it is ever truly optimal as it depends upon cognitive, social and emotional factors. 

    I would introduce a new category to your list a GIFT buyer... I get far more inner esteem when buying for others and that is certainly where the vast majority of my consumption goes. Maybe that is ego driven seeking a positive self-image?


  • tamirahamam

    I completely agree with you! I love to spoil those I love, but I often find myself holding it against them in times when I'm not so in love, shall we say? Hahahah! So yes, my kind of gift buying definitely comes from a selfish place, wanting to have it reciprocated, wanting to be seen as the 'best friend' or 'best girlfriend' by my peers. I know I did it so often when I was younger, I would try to facilitate for my friends endlessly, I would always want it to be my house, my parties, my gifts to people. After half a year of such behaviour when I lived in Lebanon, I was then ostracized and really badly bullied by my group of girl 'friends' that I had assumed would always stick by me. The victimization got so bad in the end that I had to drop out and only attend school for exams as I was having panic attacks before every day of school. It was only on the last day of the school year that the girls even acknowledged me, and even then it wasn't to say sorry - it was to ask where their end of year gifts were! It was a lesson learned, and not one I'd like to learn again!

  • ConsumerWatch

    Looks like you started a trend Tami. The global consultancy firm McKinsey have set up an online tool to identify your 'Conscious Consumer Quotient.' Based on the answers to a short online questionnaire linked to consumer activism campaigns you will be able to identify your Social Q! The test can be taken here... 

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