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Spontaneous spenders: UK shoppers regret impulse sales purchases

Latest research has found that six in ten UK consumers admit to buying impulse purchases which they later come to regret.


Spontaneous spenders: UK shoppers regret impulse sales purchases

Latest research has found that six in ten UK consumers admit to buying impulse purchases which they later come to regret.

Demonstrating the extent of impulse buying behaviour, the findings from Barclaycard show that sales shoppers have splashed out an average of £183 each during the end of season sales period but have returned, or still plan to return, £128 worth of goods.

These “spontaneous spenders” were found to be unable to resist the temptation of a promotion or special offer, even if they did not need the item. Over three in ten shoppers admitted that items bought during a discount end up being used or worn “less than expected” or even “hardly ever at all”.

More than half of those surveyed admitted to impulse buying clothes in the recent sales, with 22% treating themselves to shoes, 16% to electronics and 15% accessories. Other popular items for impulse spending included cosmetics and home furnishings.

Some 17% of sales shoppers said they regretted some or all of their sales purchases with the main reasons cited as items not fitting, online purchases looking different when they arrived, and the shopper later deciding items they liked but did not try on did not suit them. However, almost two thirds of sales shoppers admitted to not knowing when their returns window closes.

According to Barclaycard data, Friday 30 December 2016 was the busiest day for end of year sales shopping. The number of transactions increased by 23% compared to the same day in 2015.

Sharon Manikon, customer solutions managing director at Barclaycard said: “Our data shows many shoppers can’t resist an offer or promotion and end up impulse-buying items which they don’t really need, and later come to regret.

“Retailers apply different policies when it comes to allowing shoppers to return sale items for a refund – and some also mandate that discounted goods are non-refundable or only eligible for a gift note or exchange. While impulse shopping can be fun, especially when big savings are made, shoppers should make sure they check returns policies before they part with their cash or else they risk losing more money than they thought they’d save.”

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