Author Topic: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?  (Read 6017 times)

catalana

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Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« on: March 26, 2012, 07:34:16 AM »
I just went to the shopping centre (mall) at the weekend for the first time in ages.  It was a Sunday morning, so pretty quiet, but I still found it really overwhelming!

I used to wander around there to kill time not that many years ago, but I have cut back my shopping so much, that it is now really alien.  I felt absolutely bombarded and couldn't wait to get out.  Bizarrely though, I really wanted to buy things.  When I called in regularly I used to be able to walk around and not want to spend anything.  Now that I am tee-total, it seems that I am really susceptible to even small amounts of advertising! 

Anyone else experienced the same thing?

arebelspy

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 07:56:15 AM »
I used to wander around there to kill time not that many years ago, but I have cut back my shopping so much, that it is now really alien.  I felt absolutely bombarded and couldn't wait to get out.  Bizarrely though, I really wanted to buy things.  When I called in regularly I used to be able to walk around and not want to spend anything.  Now that I am tee-total, it seems that I am really susceptible to even small amounts of advertising! 

The opposite for me with regards to advertising.  It's so blatant it's just hard not to laugh at it.

Maybe though your wanting to buy things based on the ads and thinking you didn't used to want to buy things as much is mostly perception. I'd wager that you spent more before, when you think you didn't want to spend anything, than now, when you think you do.
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FactorsOf2

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 09:24:42 AM »
I'm not sure whether I feel more or less of a "craving" to buy than I used to - even before mustachianism I didn't really shop much or enjoy shopping.  I definitely agree that it feels very alien now, just Walmart (where I do my grocery shopping) is a crazy sensory overload and causes me to enter a zombie-like state.

Matt K

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 09:30:54 AM »
I felt absolutely bombarded and couldn't wait to get out. ... Anyone else experienced the same thing?

Yup. I walked into the local Walmart for the first time in over a year and felt completely overwhelmed. It had recently been expanded. The store had a high warehouse like ceiling and you could see just how far back the store goes. It was (is) huge. Big box stores are nothing new to me, but having stayed clear of the biggest of the big for over a year, I felt like a caveman walking into times square. I think the most amazing thing is that this huge store sells almost nothing of real value, it's all disposable cheaply produced crap...

(and while writing this up, FactorsOf2 posted. Glad to see I'm not the only one)

Quote from: arebelspy
The opposite for me with regards to advertising.  It's so blatant it's just hard not to laugh at it.
I feel that way about radio advertising. (Generally, ther are execptions) I just hate it. It is so blatant and annoying. I think all the local advertisers have gone the route of annoy-your-customer-into-remembering-your-brand-name.

Side track:
Since starting out on the frugal path, I've really noticed just how painfully deep the consumer mindset is entrenched in all advertising. Even when advertising for something not directly consumed. Here's a radio advert that gets a lot of play around here (and yes, I've pretty much memorized it):

Male voice: "My wife and I agree on everything, like say the best exercise:"
Male & Female in unison: "Spinning"
M: "The best place to watch a sunset"
M&F: "Punta Cana"
M: "My Mom's best recipe"
M&F: "Chinese take-out"
M: "We even agree on the best type of mortgage ..." at which point they disagree, and the ad is for a mixed variable/fixed mortgage 'so you can agree'.

Anyways, what gets me every single time I hear it are those three answers. Three wonderful free things turned into goods that have to be paid for:
Exercise: Not biking. Spinning, paying for a class on an indoor trainer.
Sunset: Not local, but a big all-inclusive vacaton hotspot
Recipe: Not home cooking, but take out.

What's it say about us when even our mortage lenders are telling us the best exercise, food, and yes, sunsets, have to be paid for?

Not surprisingly I've also heard a lot of adverts for debt consolodation and bankrupcy protection...

shedinator

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 09:43:50 AM »
I've always laughed at the advertising ploys. My favorite ones are in the food court, where you can buy a meal, and then have food containers which try to convince you to buy the very food you just bought (ie, a container of McDonalds' fries[chips] that tells you how delicious McDonalds' fries are).

Of course, since we've started living in a place that has several thrift stores closer than the nearest mall, we haven't spent much time in malls. my wife's parents will insist on taking her when they visit, and from time to time we'll have some very specific reason to go- Can't think of any recent examples off the top of my head... maybe the last time was when we bought our iPod shuffles at the Mac store while they were making room for the new models.

Sunflower

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 12:11:27 PM »
  Bizarrely though, I really wanted to buy things.  When I called in regularly I used to be able to walk around and not want to spend anything.  Now that I am tee-total, it seems that I am really susceptible to even small amounts of advertising! 

Anyone else experienced the same thing?

Yes! I've never been a spender before but also never really thought too much about money until the last few months. I was at a mall this past weekend though and I really wanted to buy a million things. I think part of this is because I'm working in a forgein country for the month and have a small stipend from my advisor here so I'm torn between my natural inclination to save it, and feeling like I should spend it here since it was meant for me to live off of during the month (in addition to my normal salary at home). I have bought some gifts and am trying to decide on one thing I actually would like to treat myself to before I go shopping again. Then, whatever's left over I'm going to convert into USD and stick in my savings account.

catalana

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2012, 03:02:34 PM »
Maybe though your wanting to buy things based on the ads and thinking you didn't used to want to buy things as much is mostly perception. I'd wager that you spent more before, when you think you didn't want to spend anything, than now, when you think you do.

Oh definitely, I spend less nowadays, much less.  It is just astonishing the craving to buy totally pointless things that I probably didn't used to feel because I was spending more often.

I'm obviously at the start of this mustachian journey!  :-)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 03:04:29 PM by catalana »

Brett

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 03:20:09 PM »
I do tend to think more about advertising when I encounter it, and it is annoying. But what surprised me was the effect of the crowds on me when I went into town recently to visit the shopping centre. Maybe this is less to do with shopping and more to do with my having had no reason to be around large crowds, but the people in the shops just seemed a bit overwhelming and mostly ignorant of what/who was around them.

Also, I think my concept of frugality has gone a bit too far in some areas. I haven't bought new clothes in a loooong while that didn't have a specific purpose like work, or a funeral (my cousin decided everyone had to wear something pink to her funeral). When just browsing waiting for the SO to get through the tills (buying shoes for a wedding) I found a shirt that was awesome and cheap and fit really well, but I couldn't bring myself to make purchase because I don't really need a new shirt, except for work (for which this definitely was not) and I hadn't gone out specifically to get clothes. Not long ago I would have happily treated myself without a second thought, knowing full well I would get a lot of use from the shirt. Not sure if I'm being a good mustachian, or strict to the point of foolishness.

zoltani

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 05:51:10 PM »
Yes, but I have never really like malls and large shopping centers.  I went to target a couple of weeks ago and it was a little daunting how large it was.  Going into a costco would probably be a complete overload.

Mrs MM

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 07:04:13 PM »
I actually feel a little sick in malls.  The excess is overwhelming.  I haven't been to a mall in years, but even Target gets to me.  I used to sometimes get impulses to shop, but now I actually have trouble finding something even if I'm specifically looking for an item.

I'm not sure how you can overcome wanting to buy things.  I think it just comes with time.  I think I went through a similar phase (particularly with clothing), but then you sort of move past it...

Guitarist

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2012, 07:37:40 PM »
I probably went a year in college without going into a WalMart. The first time back, my eyes hurt. Literally. Their lights are made to keep your focus straight ahead and down: always keeping your eyes on the merchandise.
I laugh now. All the techies and their crap, clothes and shoes shoppers, the people who pimp our their cars (this one gets me the most).

dancedancekj

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2012, 08:12:00 PM »
Not weird necessarily, just... annoying for me. And a bit amusing.
I've still to reach my calm, serene, steady zen-like faith in Mustachianism, because it still bothers me quite a bit that people purchase so much stupid junk and pay for overpriced items. No, that jar of pasta sauce you bought does not taste as orgasmically delicious as you think it does, nor is it all that healthy for you, and no it is not all that cheap seeing as how you could walk twenty feet and get all the ingredients to make 5x the sauce for 1/4 of the price.
I also tend to snoop and see what people have in their carts, and the snarky person in me critiques their purchases. I caught myself at Costco looking at the people in front of me and thinking as they unloaded each ridiculously overpriced and non-essential items "Non-Mustachian, Non-Mustachian, oh good lord why would anyone WANT one of those..." To be fair, I think other people must judge me since I usually purchase only $20-30 worth of goods at Costco when I do go.
The other part of shopping that really gets to me are people pushing unwanted goods, services, credit cards, e-mail lists, and all sorts of other ridiculous items and programs that nobody needs. Retail annoys me since they're always trying to get me to buy more clothing on top of the items I want to purchase. No, I don't need that shirt and belt and socks, since I came here for pants. No, that lady does NOT need a store credit card, since she isn't able to manage the one that she already has.

velocistar237

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2012, 07:40:17 AM »
These days, my purchases mostly come from Amazon and Goodwill, after letting the thought sit with me for a month or two. The local grocery and home improvement stores are a little overwhelming. I get really tired in those places. Come to think of it, this might be by design, because studies show you can get people to buy more stuff if you overwhelm them with choices, at least if you do it in a controlled manner.

Arbor33

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2012, 08:58:05 AM »
Similar to dancedancekj:

I've got to say, I've tried my entire life not to judge people, but when I find myself in one of these giant stores you guys are talking about, I always see someone falling prey to marketing and I feel bad. It's a borderline condescending feeling though similar to "Look at that guy, can't believe he's dumb enough to waste his money on that.". I feel like I should sit at the door handing out MMM.com flyers... Maybe I will when my stache is sufficiently burly!

It's not something I like to see/feel so it definitely keeps me out of the places I shouldn't be in the first place.

Anyone else get any sensations like that?

Matt K

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2012, 09:47:37 AM »
I also tend to snoop and see what people have in their carts, and the snarky person in me critiques their purchases. I caught myself at Costco looking at the people in front of me and thinking as they unloaded each ridiculously overpriced and non-essential items "Non-Mustachian, Non-Mustachian, oh good lord why would anyone WANT one of those..." To be fair, I think other people must judge me since I usually purchase only $20-30 worth of goods at Costco when I do go.

When that judgemental voice raises up in your head, remember you aren't seeing all of what a person is buying.

My better half and I sometimes feel rather awkward in the lineup at the grocery store. Looking at what is in our cart you'd think we live on frozen pizza, soda pop, ice-cream, and all manners of processed food. The reality is quiet opposite. We do most of our shopping at a locally owned produce store that has a wonderful produce and meat selection. But they really don't carry much in the way of anything else. We like to have some convience foods (like frozen pizza) just in case we are too tired to cook one night, and we indugle in ice-cream, pop, and other things. So when we go to the normal grocery store, those are the things we are buying. We had a good giggle at just how utterly-unhealthy and insane our grocery cart looked a few weeks ago (no veggies, no meat, just ice-cream, milk, 12 cans of pop (a 3 month supply for us), frozen pizza, hot-chocolate powder, and come cans of curry paste).

James

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2012, 10:00:23 AM »
Similar to dancedancekj:

I've got to say, I've tried my entire life not to judge people, but when I find myself in one of these giant stores you guys are talking about, I always see someone falling prey to marketing and I feel bad. It's a borderline condescending feeling though similar to "Look at that guy, can't believe he's dumb enough to waste his money on that.". I feel like I should sit at the door handing out MMM.com flyers... Maybe I will when my stache is sufficiently burly!

It's not something I like to see/feel so it definitely keeps me out of the places I shouldn't be in the first place.

Anyone else get any sensations like that?

Absolutely

velocistar237

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2012, 10:02:05 AM »
I feel like I should sit at the door handing out MMM.com flyers...

Interesting, mmm.com redirects to 3m.com, good ole Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing.

When that judgemental voice raises up in your head, remember you aren't seeing all of what a person is buying.

The David Foster Wallace speech "This is Water" that's been making the rounds sounds relevant here.

http://www.bravenewlife.com/03/core-principle-6-this-is-water/

Arbor33

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Re: Anyone else find shopping a weird experience now?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2012, 10:10:44 AM »
Interesting, mmm.com redirects to 3m.com, good ole Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing.

Lol actually, that might work out well! 3M is a dividend aristocrat and has had dividend increases for 53 years!!!