How to reduce regret after shopping

Buying a new TV with tens of millions of dong is reasonable, but a few tens of thousands of dong to buy a scarf is a waste if one knows how to classify goods according to levels of demand.

“No matter how much money you spend or how long it takes to consider, the biggest thing buyers usually get after each sale is their disappointment and guilt,” said Master of Psychology Nguyen Xuan Phong said.

There are many reasons such as the unsatisfactory quality of the item or the appearance of other more attractive products. In order to “appease” ourselves, we continue to shop again and eventually fall into a cycle of promotions – buy – regret.

Basically, according to Phong, regret after any action is a matter related to perception, not emotion. “The regret after shopping is always repeated because we chose the wrong person to deal with. Instead of adjusting our perception, we focus on our emotions,” said the analyst.


To end the sale-buy-regret cycle, you should label every new purchase as essentials, evolutions, and luxuries.

Essentials are must-use items. Without them, even for one day, life would turn upside down.

Developments are items that are used for at least 3 to 5 consecutive days with the aim of increasing personal experience and discovery. They differ from essential items in that they require time to get acquainted and applied.

Luxury items are things that are rarely used, only used when you want to increase the experience, without affecting your life.

“If labeled like that, you will be surprised that a winter scarf costing VND79,000 can be labeled as a luxury and a 65-inch television becomes essential,” said Dr. Phong.

Thanks to the above method, you will force yourself to use new items and learn from wrong shopping decisions. Instead of continuing to fall into the “sale trap”, you will realize your true need, differentiate between useful and unhelpful, and eventually make a more conscious shopping.

Minh Trang


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