Finder.com did a study on impulse buying and found that it is a $17 Billion industry annually. It is an epidemic that has plagued 95% of Americans, with 23% of them making impulse purchases on a weekly basis.
This would all be fine and dandy if almost half of those people didn’t regret their decision after they have made it, or if it didn’t cause 10% of people to fight with their spouse, and almost 20% of people couldn’t pay their bills because they spent their money on impulse purchases.
Another problem with impulse buying is that it doesn’t generally get you an item that you want or need. In fact, the majority of impulse purchases made are because it makes that person feel better, rather than being a useful or necessary item.
Online shopping has made it all more difficult to control. At least back in the day, an impulse purchase would take a bit of effort. You would have to get dressed and get to a store. These days, all you need is a laptop, a glass of wine, or an unfulfilling day to get you clicking and buying.
Here to help is Icebox; an extension of Google Chrome that leads you to think twice before clicking away your bank account. Icebox is a popup that replaces the BUY button on the top twenty e-commerce sites. It allows you to put your purchase “on ice” for up to 30 days. It has a page that shows you all of your potential purchases, and how much money you could save if you pass on the purchases. You can always override it and buy your item anyway, but having a wise machine make it slightly more complicated to buy your item can certainly help control the non-sensible purchases.
Not a bad idea for a generation that is drowning in impulse buying debt.
Now if only I could call on the Icebox team to make such a device for ice cream….
Illustration Credit: @butlikemaybe, http://www.butlikemaybe.com/
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