Do you spend more when shopping online?

This year researchers say the majority of holiday shopping will be done online.  That’s no surprise since it is so convenient.  But some shoppers wonder if it’s so easy, that we end up spending more!

Haley Donathan is buying all of her holiday gifts online, many on her phone.  She says she set a budget, but online shopping is so easy, that it’s easy to overspend.  “I buy way too much online,” she said.

Experts say that is a risk.  “The majority of time spent online is during the evening when you are relaxed with your glass of wine, sitting in front of your favorite tv show, being incentivized to buy things if you still watch commercials,” said Melissa Akaka, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Denver.

She says online retailers are trying to get us to spend more money by offering free shipping, price drops and add-ons.  And we are lured in by the convenience.  Our credit card information is saved.  Our addresses are preloaded, and in just a few clicks, we are done.  “The convenience of it absolutely makes spending money easier,” Akaka said.

To prevent overspending, experts have a few tips.

  • First create list, and a budget.
  • Set a time of day to shop, and really think about each purchase.
  • Try to slow the process down, and that means do not sign up for one-click buying.
  • Use an app like Mint to keep track of your spending.