Updated on 08.09.2023.
This quick list will let you find out whether you are prone to compulsive online buying disorder.
In recent months, more people than ever turned to online stores to buy daily use products, gifts, clothes, books, and luxury goods.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, shopping malls are closed, and you are forced to stay at home.
But your needs have to be met. Suddenly, you realize buying a pair of shoes online, without trying them on, is not a problem. You can easily return or replace the shoes, and no questions are asked.
There is, however, one question you should ask yourself – and do it right now: am I prone to compulsive online buying disorder?
If you think that something has to be done, make sure to check out these simple ways to avoid an online shopping addiction.
Early signs of online shopping addiction – do you have them?
1. You start a day from checking out new deals
What’s the first thing you do after you wake up and open your computer? Is it checking the latest news, emails, or Facebook likes?
Or maybe it is going directly to a deal page of your favorite online store and exploring newly added deals?
2. You have lost track of your orders
You place so many orders, that you are lost in:
- Which products you have ordered at which stores.
- Which products have been shipped.
- Which orders have been delivered.
Does it sometimes happen that a doorbell rings, and you see a delivery man with a parcel you haven’t expected?
3. You compulsively check out order status
Checking a status of an order placed online can be a source positive feelings. You expect something good, and you can actually see it coming.
The thing is to find out whether is goes one step too far:
- Do you analyze a status of a single order multiple times?
- Do you track shipping of your order several times a day?
- Is it important for you that the order has reached a certain transit point?
- Do you calculate when the product would be out for a delivery?
4. You reschedule meetings to give priority to awaited parcels
Many delivery companies provide back-up options for packages that have not been successfully delivered. You would receive the order the next day or go to the nearest parcel point.
Do you prefer to receive the order personally, and tend to reschedule your meetings and errands to make sure you are at home?
5. A day without a delivery is a day lost
What happens when you learn there is no order planned to be delivered today:
- Does it affect the way you feel and what you plan for the rest of the day?
- Does it make you visit online stores and look for new random products and deals?
6. You read email newsletters from online stores
Many people mark as spam email newsletters from vendors that want to sell something.
- Are you the one who opens and reads emails from shops and stores?
- Do you mark promotion newsletters as important?
- Do you check spam folder from time to time to move commercial offers to your main inbox?
7. You spend more time in online stores than on social media
You probably have an account on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media network.
- Are these social networks still relevant for you?
- Do you spend more time looking for new products to buy than checking out a Twitter timeline?
- Are you getting more excited when you find a new product to buy than when you see new likes of your Facebook status?
8. You click on online ads more often than before
Online ads are nasty, and you have learned how to ignore them. Many of these ads display content from online stores that you have recently visited.
Suddenly, these ads become a relevant source of information. Is it your case? Are you still ignoring these ads or clicking on them?
What happens after you land on an advertised online store: do you automatically start looking for products to buy?
9. You buy products you don’t need
Christmas is over, but you are still in a middle of shopping frenzy.
- Do you get interested in products that you would not probably use?
- Do you try to find secondary reasons to buy a product (“I will gift it if it doesn’t suit me,” “It’s a deal,” “I can always return it”)?
- Do you buy products well in advance? For instance, you buy a Christmas gift in the middle of summer (and open it right after it arrives).
10. You visit an online store as a way to reduce stress
Trying to find out whether you are prone to online shopping addiction is about observing how your mood swings and what you do to improve it.
Do you visit online stores after having a stressful day?
Remember, you can considerably reduce stress by reading a book for about 6 minutes. You don’t have to buy anything on Amazon to bring back the good mood.
11. You enjoy new products less than before
You buy so many products, in so many stores, and so often, that any new arrival gives you less and less pleasure.
The unboxing moment is not as exciting as it used to be – is it what you experience?
12. You hide newly bought products from your family members
Do you buy so many products online (with some of them being useless for you and your family) that you have a repeated feeling of guilt?
There is always a feeling of uncertainty when you complete a purchase, but the point is to find out whether it translates to a more visible behavior.
Do you impatiently wait for a delivery man to quickly grab the parcel, hide it somewhere, and open when there is no one at home?
13. You can’t identify transactions on your credit card statement
Checking a transaction history on your bank account or credit card statement becomes more and more frustrating.
Your payments are surprisingly high, and you can’t match the growing number of transactions with actual purchases.
Online shopping addition – further reading
- How to know if your online shopping habit is a problem — and what to do if it is – The Conversation
- Shopping addiction fueled by online shopping – Addiction Center
- 10 signs you’re addicted to online shopping – Psychology Today
- Pathological buying online as a specific form of internet addiction – U.S. National Library of Medicine
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