Author Topic: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought  (Read 7713 times)

lifejoy

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Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« on: January 07, 2016, 05:44:00 AM »
I'm feeling stressed out. I keep dwelling on the $900 accordion in my basement, the $800 fashion ring, the $80 shoes. All the things I bought that now I wish I hadn't. I've tried selling some of them, but for these items (the ones bugging me) they would have to be sold at such a loss to get them out of my life, and I bristle at the thought of doing that.

How do you deal? I know I need to focus on how I'm doing now, and not on the mistakes of the past. But I'm feel stuck, and stressed. So I'm reaching out. Advice? Should I just stop by a pawn shop and cut my losses? :)


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Nickyd£g

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 05:50:50 AM »
Yes! I've had that too, where I looked around at everything stupid that I had bought and thought about how much richer I would be if I hadn't spent the money in the first place.  Over the last couple of years I have been slowly selling and giving away a lot of stuff - mostly at a loss.  But, just not having those items in my home, staring accusingly, was a huge relief! I've had to let it go, emotionally.  I still have lots of little items, like DVDs, books, knick knacks that I want to get rid of, and I know I will make pennies for them, if anything, but the feeling of freedom outweighs the profit.  Go for it!

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 05:54:00 AM »
Just sell the stuff. Like the title of MMM's post from July: If You Wouldn't Buy it [today], You Should Probably Sell it

The way I view it this is: if something isn't of enough value to me that I want to keep it around, even if I sell for a loss, I still come out ahead because if I didn't sell it, my dollar bill employees would be forever locked up in that "thing", unable to work for me, until said "thing" depreciates to $0.

Mr. Green

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 07:26:19 AM »
Out of house, out of mind. If those items are really things you have no intention of using ever again then get rid of them, whether it's selling them or giving them away. Your time its worth money and the fact that it's costing you time and mental energy stressing over those items means it's still costing you, even though they may be stored in the basement. We just purged a boatload of crap over the last 6 months and there were plenty of things I could have waited 6 months for a sale at a price closer to their resale value but I wanted them GONE, out of my life, so no further mental energy would be expended on them.

However, if you have something that may be genuinely useful in the future or is a sunk cost then you just have to figure out how to let your poor past decisions be the past. Take the ring for example. The money is already spent. Do you enjoy wearing it? What would you get for it if you sold it? Is your enjoyment of that object more than what you would get selling it? If so, keep it. It cost what it cost and you can't change that, but don't compound the poor past decision by selling something you do get some enjoyment from, just because you may not have made the same decision to purchase that item now.

GuitarStv

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2016, 07:35:08 AM »
Sell them, but don't put them out of mind.  The next time there's a burning desire to purchase something, think long and hard about how you felt the same pull to buy one of the ugliest sounding musical instruments ever devised.  :P

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2016, 07:36:10 AM »
Here are a couple thoughts I had:
1) Holding onto those things doesn't make them more valuable.  Keeping them only locks in your losses at 100% (assuming you don't use them).
2) The money is gone.  These purchases may have been mistakes, but you can't undo those mistakes now, and tearing yourself up about it doesn't do anyone any good.
3) These things are costing you, by occupying your time and attention.  Simplify your life by getting rid of them, either for free or for money.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2016, 07:55:18 AM »
I think the key with expensive purchases and whether you feel guilty or not is how much you use them. Just this past year I bought a new TV ($480), new computer ($350), and a couple other gadgets ($200). But I use them all the time and therefore have zero remorse about it--the new computer allows me to work from home on the weekends, the new TV is a draw for other people to come hang out at our place rather than go out, etc. We get great use out of them.

Conversely, there are other things I've purchased that now provide me with absolutely no use. And I just moved into my new house in November, and as much as it hurt, I just threw them away or gave them to relatives. Out of sight, out of mind has been great in our new house--it's so dramatically uncluttered and feels great.

A book I'd recommend is the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering/dp/1607747308). It's very popular and should be at your local library.

In the end, don't beat yourself up over these types of things. They are minor blips. Nobody is perfect. I myself lost $400 last year on a season of college football and soccer betting (first time I've tried it). Lesson learned. It's not going to effect my FI/RE date but I'm also not going to repeat that mistake.

Just learn from your experiences and pick yourself up. Life is too short to be so hard on yourself.

ambimammular

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2016, 07:59:26 AM »
Try reading the Marie Kondo book. She sends her no longer used items off into the world with thanks for what it has taught her.

Thank you, fashion ring, for teaching me that my style has evolved.
Accordion, thanks for your music. I hope you find someone else to appreciate you.

Then past purchases feel less like mistakes and more like lessons about your identity.

As a mustachian I'd put them on Craigslist of ebay, and move them along.

MayDay

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 08:03:00 AM »
Just get rid of them!

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2016, 08:11:03 AM »
Yes! I've had that too, where I looked around at everything stupid that I had bought and thought about how much richer I would be if I hadn't spent the money in the first place.  Over the last couple of years I have been slowly selling and giving away a lot of stuff - mostly at a loss.  But, just not having those items in my home, staring accusingly, was a huge relief! I've had to let it go, emotionally.  I still have lots of little items, like DVDs, books, knick knacks that I want to get rid of, and I know I will make pennies for them, if anything, but the feeling of freedom outweighs the profit.  Go for it!

Freedom > profit.

Good point. Maybe I should focus on gaining freedom instead of the perception of *gasp* selling at a loss!!

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2016, 08:11:53 AM »
Just sell the stuff. Like the title of MMM's post from July: If You Wouldn't Buy it [today], You Should Probably Sell it

The way I view it this is: if something isn't of enough value to me that I want to keep it around, even if I sell for a loss, I still come out ahead because if I didn't sell it, my dollar bill employees would be forever locked up in that "thing", unable to work for me, until said "thing" depreciates to $0.

I like that line of thinking. Even if I free one employee ($1!) that's coming out ahead. I just have this natural urge to not want to "lose" on my "investment". HA.

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2016, 08:12:57 AM »
Out of house, out of mind. If those items are really things you have no intention of using ever again then get rid of them, whether it's selling them or giving them away. Your time its worth money and the fact that it's costing you time and mental energy stressing over those items means it's still costing you, even though they may be stored in the basement. We just purged a boatload of crap over the last 6 months and there were plenty of things I could have waited 6 months for a sale at a price closer to their resale value but I wanted them GONE, out of my life, so no further mental energy would be expended on them.

However, if you have something that may be genuinely useful in the future or is a sunk cost then you just have to figure out how to let your poor past decisions be the past. Take the ring for example. The money is already spent. Do you enjoy wearing it? What would you get for it if you sold it? Is your enjoyment of that object more than what you would get selling it? If so, keep it. It cost what it cost and you can't change that, but don't compound the poor past decision by selling something you do get some enjoyment from, just because you may not have made the same decision to purchase that item now.

Good layout of the cost/benefit analysis. Thanks for making it so clear. Now to ponder!

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2016, 08:14:26 AM »
Sell them, but don't put them out of mind.  The next time there's a burning desire to purchase something, think long and hard about how you felt the same pull to buy one of the ugliest sounding musical instruments ever devised.  :P

Not a fan? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvnVXLOWNxE

To each their own! ;)

Yeah I should just unload the mental weight, costs be damned. I come from a family of pseudo-hoarders... so it's hard NOT to keep things sometimes.

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2016, 08:15:07 AM »
Here are a couple thoughts I had:
1) Holding onto those things doesn't make them more valuable.  Keeping them only locks in your losses at 100% (assuming you don't use them).
2) The money is gone.  These purchases may have been mistakes, but you can't undo those mistakes now, and tearing yourself up about it doesn't do anyone any good.
3) These things are costing you, by occupying your time and attention.  Simplify your life by getting rid of them, either for free or for money.

OH MAN, how did I forget about the Sunk Cost Fallacy? I'm so rusty! Thanks for the reminder!!!

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 08:16:42 AM »
I think the key with expensive purchases and whether you feel guilty or not is how much you use them. Just this past year I bought a new TV ($480), new computer ($350), and a couple other gadgets ($200). But I use them all the time and therefore have zero remorse about it--the new computer allows me to work from home on the weekends, the new TV is a draw for other people to come hang out at our place rather than go out, etc. We get great use out of them.

Conversely, there are other things I've purchased that now provide me with absolutely no use. And I just moved into my new house in November, and as much as it hurt, I just threw them away or gave them to relatives. Out of sight, out of mind has been great in our new house--it's so dramatically uncluttered and feels great.

A book I'd recommend is the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering/dp/1607747308). It's very popular and should be at your local library.

In the end, don't beat yourself up over these types of things. They are minor blips. Nobody is perfect. I myself lost $400 last year on a season of college football and soccer betting (first time I've tried it). Lesson learned. It's not going to effect my FI/RE date but I'm also not going to repeat that mistake.

Just learn from your experiences and pick yourself up. Life is too short to be so hard on yourself.

Such kindly expressed and sound advice! How about I go RE-READ Marie Kondo's book? Or maybe pick up her new one? ;) Haha! I've already read the first, but seem to have forgotten her sage wisdom...

You're right - nobody is perfect. I just have to keep on this path and learn along the way.

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2016, 08:17:21 AM »
Try reading the Marie Kondo book. She sends her no longer used items off into the world with thanks for what it has taught her.

Thank you, fashion ring, for teaching me that my style has evolved.
Accordion, thanks for your music. I hope you find someone else to appreciate you.

Then past purchases feel less like mistakes and more like lessons about your identity.


As a mustachian I'd put them on Craigslist of ebay, and move them along.

Beautiful way to look at it! I'm feeling more positive already!

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2016, 08:17:53 AM »
The feelings of remorse/regret are just blinking light signals for you to not do some thing again.

Learn your lesson and move on. Sell the junk that isn't worth it in your life and move past those feelings they generate. If you've already learned the lesson and have changed your spendypants ways then acknowledge the feeling and move past it into your awesome life where you don't buy useless junk.

:)

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2016, 08:18:01 AM »
Just get rid of them!

How succinct! A hoarder, you are not! :)

I'll do it!

lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2016, 08:18:43 AM »
The feelings of remorse/regret are just blinking light signals for you to not do some thing again.

Learn your lesson and move on. Sell the junk that isn't worth it in your life and move past those feelings they generate. If you've already learned the lesson and have changed your spendypants ways then acknowledge the feeling and move past it into your awesome life where you don't buy useless junk.

:)

So true. Thanks. I try to remind myself that if I keep everything I've ever owned, how much crap will I have when I'm in my 80's? *shudder*!!

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2016, 08:49:49 AM »
Your original post sounds like me! The accordion reminds me of the $500 cello I bought on a whim in college which has moved to 6+ apartments in 3 different states. I've played it maybe 10-15 times (in the first apartment and first state). It is currently wasting space above my bedroom closet collecting dust. Its cracked, was cheap (for a cello) so it sounds pretty bad, and is likely worth nothing. Yet I keep it and feel bad every time I see it up there which is nearly every freaking day (I actually covered it with our extra pillows and sleeping bag!). I still feel like I should keep it because I played for 9-10 years and its not like I'll get money from selling it. But maybe I should just get rid of it just to stop having the negative feelings.

GuitarStv

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2016, 09:00:33 AM »
Sell them, but don't put them out of mind.  The next time there's a burning desire to purchase something, think long and hard about how you felt the same pull to buy one of the ugliest sounding musical instruments ever devised.  :P

Not a fan? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvnVXLOWNxE

To each their own! ;)

Yeah I should just unload the mental weight, costs be damned. I come from a family of pseudo-hoarders... so it's hard NOT to keep things sometimes.

I've seen what real hoarding looks like (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/helped-my-dad-clean-out-an-old-hoarder%27s-place-this-weekend/) . . . it kinda made the getting rid of stuff I don't need a much simpler process.

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2016, 09:41:50 AM »
Sell them, but don't put them out of mind.  The next time there's a burning desire to purchase something, think long and hard about how you felt the same pull to buy one of the ugliest sounding musical instruments ever devised.  :P

Yeah, don't put it out of mind. Use this and the hassle it is to get rid of stuff as incentive to not buy stuff. Mindfulness is power.

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2016, 04:35:12 PM »
Let it go. Move on.  Be happy.  :)

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Lots of other stuff I was gonna say, but it was already said, so those are just my final closing thoughts on the matter.

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lifejoy

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2016, 04:41:56 PM »

Your original post sounds like me! The accordion reminds me of the $500 cello I bought on a whim in college which has moved to 6+ apartments in 3 different states. I've played it maybe 10-15 times (in the first apartment and first state). It is currently wasting space above my bedroom closet collecting dust. Its cracked, was cheap (for a cello) so it sounds pretty bad, and is likely worth nothing. Yet I keep it and feel bad every time I see it up there which is nearly every freaking day (I actually covered it with our extra pillows and sleeping bag!). I still feel like I should keep it because I played for 9-10 years and its not like I'll get money from selling it. But maybe I should just get rid of it just to stop having the negative feelings.

Super similar situation to mine! I bought an accordion when I moved across the country and was all alone. I'm just glad I bought an instrument instead of a pet! Overall, cheaper and less commitment ;)


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galliver

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2016, 06:21:51 PM »
Give it away or sell cheap...to someone who will appreciate it. Does your friend, sister, cousin, mom, etc admire your ring? Is there a local (or online) accordion community where someone might be interested in yours, possibly a student looking for their first (or their teacher)? (I took acoustic guitar, I don't know how accordions work!)

You may not make your money back, but you'll get goodwill, and the new owners won't have your negative emotions attached to these items so they will be able to enjoy them more.

I had this problem with clothes...I had pieces I really liked but just didn't fit anymore. No resale value (not designer, or brand name), but I had sentimental attachment to some of them, so I hated to give them to Goodwill and think they might be shredded/thrown out. Last time I moved, I started a fb group of giveaways and had friends come over to try stuff on. Lots of people took me up on it, abd left with things that looked great on them (and it was an excuse to see each other one extra time :) ). And a funny thing happened: once I started, it was easier to pile up (most) unclaimed items and drop them off.

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2016, 07:27:10 PM »
I went through the same!  It's funny how your brain will attach the value that you paid for the item, when if you had forgotten what you paid, it feels more like found money when you sell it.  I'm down to just a couple of items lingering on eBay but the other stuff found new owners with some patience!

You will definitely feel much freer once you sell the items, but I don't think it should necessarily be at the cheapest rate possible-- I'd try a bit higher than what you think someone would pay and drop the price over time if they haven't sold.  If you have an item that you've tried to sell for a while but haven't, it'll be much easier to let go of it cheaper.  Either way, it'll feel good to actively make an effort to purge these items from your closets  :)

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2016, 07:42:51 PM »

Give it away or sell cheap...to someone who will appreciate it. Does your friend, sister, cousin, mom, etc admire your ring? Is there a local (or online) accordion community where someone might be interested in yours, possibly a student looking for their first (or their teacher)? (I took acoustic guitar, I don't know how accordions work!)

You may not make your money back, but you'll get goodwill, and the new owners won't have your negative emotions attached to these items so they will be able to enjoy them more.

I had this problem with clothes...I had pieces I really liked but just didn't fit anymore. No resale value (not designer, or brand name), but I had sentimental attachment to some of them, so I hated to give them to Goodwill and think they might be shredded/thrown out. Last time I moved, I started a fb group of giveaways and had friends come over to try stuff on. Lots of people took me up on it, abd left with things that looked great on them (and it was an excuse to see each other one extra time :) ). And a funny thing happened: once I started, it was easier to pile up (most) unclaimed items and drop them off.

Good idea. And didn't you say you like to give gifts?

galliver

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2016, 08:03:27 PM »
Good idea. And didn't you say you like to give gifts?

I do :)

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Re: Buyer's Remorse for Everything I've Ever Bought
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2016, 08:15:55 PM »
Oh I have definitely had this! What has helped me greatly is Kondo's book, budgeting, and minimizing. I haven't had much success selling anything. However, just moving things out of the house, with the recognition of "what a waste" or "I can't believe I did that" helps me *not* do it again. The only thing I can do is going forward make more mindful decisions about what I purchase. So, I'd say sell if you can, give yourself a short period of time to list the items (say 2 weeks), and then gather them up, recognize you aren't going to sell them, and move them along to charity.