Holiday shoppers give in to 'self-gifting' temptation

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

Ted Pierce usually spends his holiday budget on his two young kids. Until a great deal on that gadget he's been wanting stops him in his tracks.

"Oh all the time," he said. "All the time I see that."

He said he normally resists - though some deals are too good to refuse.

"Sometimes it's tough to pass up, especially when you can rationalize that you need it, instead of a wanting it," he said.

Carla Fanning, Grayson County College psychology professor, said more than half of shoppers will "self-gift" this year.

Self-gifting, meaning shoppers buy for themselves while doing their holiday shopping.

"It is up," she said. "And when you look at the deals, again those Black Friday deals, when you can save $300 on a flat screen, it's tempting."

Many shoppers say they're usually pretty good about holding off on impulse buys. Until they start thinking 'if I don't buy this today, will it still be here tomorrow?'

Fanning said that's where it gets tricky.

"Because at Christmas, you are having these deals that are gonna go away tomorrow, or will run out," she said. "So you can easily talk yourself into it."

Carol Brunk said that describes her mentality.

"I go for it, because I know if I don't, it won't be there. I go for it," she said.

She mostly shops for others. But if she sees a great deal on something she wants - she doesn't hesitate.

Fanning offers some tips for shoppers to avoid impulse self-gifting:

- Make a list and stick to it.
- If you see something you want, leave the store and think it over first.
- And if all else fails...you can still return it later.


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