Finances & Debt

10 Tips to Manage Impulse Buying

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Retail therapy is an easy trap. We’ve all bought on impulse believing we just had to have the perfect “whatever.” It’s easy to spend based on emotion, but remembering a few tips, such as these offered by, can help remind anyone to balance what you want with what you can really do.

  1. Budget before you buy. Know what you want and what you can afford.
  2. Research major purchases. Gather information about the item or service you want and the seller. Review test results and other consumer reports.
  3. Check out a company’s complaint record with the Better Business Bureau or your local consumer affairs office.
  4. Get a written copy of guarantees and warranties and compare features.
  5. Get a copy of the seller’s refund, return and cancellation policies – before you buy.
  6. Make sure the price you’re charged is the price you expected to pay. Registers are not always updated, so be sure to ask if you thought you would pay a different price.
  7. Read and understand any contract or legal document you are asked to sign. Make sure there are no blank spaces.
  8. Consider paying by credit card. If you have a problem with the purchase, you can more easily dispute the charge.
  9. Make sure you know who to ask if you have a question or problem with the product.
  10. Don’t buy on impulse or under pressure.


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