Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Is Your Brain On Shopping!

Style Shout Out to Jean Chatzky author of "Money 911" and Today Show contributor for her financial savvy and style.

Jean Chatzky on The Today Show
Yesterday when I sat down to write about the Jean Chatzky segment I had seen on the Today Show my thoughts followed a tune all their own.  The great thing about writing is that you can continue your thoughts any time.  There is no wrong time to write.  So today I have driven my daughter to school, fed the puppy, made my coffee and after checking in with the New York Post, LA TimesFashion Wrap Up and Style Republic I am ready to continue my thoughts from yesterday.

Now I know that maybe you wouldn't place a financial mind like Jean Chatzky in a blog about style but first of all I think that Chatzky has impeccable style and second she always has the best and most useful financial information.  The Today Show is known for having some wonderful contributors and besides Jean Chatzky, Dr. Michele Borba has the most relevant information for parents and Bobbie Thomas always brings something stylish to buzz about and it is especially fun when she is on with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

What intrigued me about Chatzky's segment was that it involved how your brain works when you are shopping, especially when items are on sale.  She spoke about the battle in your brain between pleasure and pain and how when you see an item on sale the pain center eases which means it is easier for you to make that purchase.  This explains why it is so easy to over spend when there is a sale, and it also explains why we sometimes experience buyer's remorse.

Hudson Jeans
My hubby says knowledge is power.  So if you are equipped with this information going into the store, you won't feel bad on your way out of the store.  According to Chatzky the key questions to ask yourself before you make your purchase are: "Do I need this?" and, "Where would I put it?"  Perhaps the best question when you are deciding on an item that is on sale, and the one I always ask myself is, "Would I buy it if it was full price?"  If the answer is "no" then walk away, but if you find yourself continually gravitating toward an item hoping it will go on sale,  buy it when it does go on sale.  Chatzky's advice to avoid buying on impulse is wise, but sometimes this is easier said than done.

Even the most savvy shoppers, me included, sometimes buy on a whim.  This Winter I bought some boots on impulse.  I had seen them online but couldn't find my size.  When I saw them in the store I was on the fence but when the sales associate said he couldn't hold them and they were the very last pair I pulled out my wallet.  The boots were great but when I got them home I realized they weren't as versatile as I had hoped, and so I returned them the next day.  My story did have a happy boot ending because that is the day I wandered into the Stuart Weitzman store and found the fabulous Linear boots that I had been looking at for a few months.  The best part was that they had my size and they were on sale!

Another great tip from the Today Show was that you should not try on the clothing if you are the least bit uncertain about the item.  According to Chatzsky, "There is a Psychological Phenomenon called Loss Aversion - as much as we  really like getting something we hate losing that thing even more."  So Chatzky said, "Once you try it on your brain basically takes owenership of it."    Then, if you don't buy it your brain feels this as a loss and seriously, who wants to feel bad while shopping?

Chan Luu Bracelet from Gilt
The last piece of advice is to steer clear of final sales unless you truly love the item.  I have found fab items at J Crew, Loft, Piperlime and Gilt that were final sale but they are pieces I knew would work with my wardrobe and therefore no buyer's remorse.  I mean where else but Gilt could you find a deal on a Chan Luu bracelet?

And lastly before you head out to do a little Spring shopping, remember to use cash not credit or debit cards because it truly is harder to part with those actual bills, especially if they are big bills.  Credit cards and especially deferred payments make the purchase seem less real and therefore more pleasure in your brain and less pain which could lead to spending more than you really want to spend.

So keep Chatzky's helpful tips in mind and have a pleasant shopping day!  Who knew there was so much psychology to a simple shopping trip.  Having worked in marketing, the advertising executives understand how to position products because they know that "This is your brain on shopping!"
Burberry Glasses 

My Style Shout Out Tip:  If you are looking for fab finds check out Nordstrom Rack, Loehmanns (we don't have one here but fingers crossed), Neiman Marcus Last Call, and Saks Off 5th!  In the past few weeks at Nordstrom Rack alone I have found Burberry Sunglasses, Hudson Jeans, 7 For All Mankind Jeans, Harajuku Lovers tees for my daughter and yesterday, I kid you not, they had the most beautiful Burberry shorts, dresses and tops...sadly I did not have to put any of Jean Chatzky's expert advice to use because they were already sold out in my size!

No comments:

Post a Comment