Buyer’s Burden

Dear Reader,

Since the beginning of October I have been seriously considering my Halloween costume. I know that this isn’t the best use of my time and energy, however, I love Halloween too much to not think about it for 31 days out of the year.

In my preparations, I have unfortunately experienced strong feelings of buyer’s remorse. I have been so excited/ focused on Halloween that I have even accidentally purchased items that were not even related to my intended costume (more here). Besides buying too much, I have also experienced buyer’s remorse in the opposite case, when I have decided against purchasing anything at all.

This afternoon between jobs I gave myself a 45-min window to buy black high-heel boots to go with my vampire costume (and could ideally wear to future professional events). So I went to the DSW in Downtown Crossing to look at my options. There were literally aisles of shoes that had the type of shoe that I was searching for. I felt like that I had gotten so lucky! However, upon closer inspection, the shoes seemed less perfect. Some of the heels were too wide, too narrow, too short, or too tall. Some had laces, others had bulky buckles, and others were just way too expensive.

At the end of the day, I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase anything. After having left the store, I found myself fixed on women’s feet. So many women were wearing shoes similar to the ones that I had just viewed. Why couldn’t I just bring myself to make a decision? My indecisiveness could be explained by the paradox of choice — too many choices can leave shoppers feeling indecisive and with lower levels of satisfaction after purchase.

So, I am now left with ambivalent feelings about the matter. On the one hand, I feel like I missed out on purchasing something that I was very interested in, while on the other hand, I’m feeling good that I didn’t squander my money on something that I don’t exactly need. I don’t think there was really a right answer here — to buy or not to buy that is the question. At the end of the day, I think it’s just how you justify your answer to know whether you’ve made the right decision. As a rule, Dear Reader, there are no right answers; there are just decisions that will give you more or less happiness. I suggest you go for the decisions that will bring you more 🙂



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