Why do People Buy Things They Don't Need?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by §outh§tar, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. §outh§tar is feeling caustic Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,830
    What motivates buyers to shell out money because some 30 sec commercial said so? We've all seen the "place your order now and get your free towel!" ads and wondered who'd be stupid enough to fall for them. But the madness doesn't stop there. People at the counter will at the last second grab a useless magazine, a bag of sweets, or even a key chain for no reason at all.

    Does the consumer buy for fun? Do we just buy to look better off than our peers? Or is there subliminal messaging still going on in advertisements? :bugeye:

    I think if we understand the motivation, we can better understand how to manipulate demand. Thoughts?
     
  2. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,624
    I think it is a sub conscience reaction from the consumer to not passing up a bargain . When I go out downtown and see a linen bedset for half price I would buy it even though I didnt really need too . Mind you I have disciplined myself through experience not to do this anymore I just buy what I require and when I need it .
     
  3. otheadp Banned Banned

    Messages:
    5,853
    marketing and advertising are basically propaganda campaigns. only the propaganda is not about the evils of another country, but about how good product A is, how much you need it, how shopping in general is good (apparently, now shopping is a 'therapy' [???]), etc.

    it really is disgusting. the system is such now that a company will have a better marketing campaign than the product that it sells. and individual companies can't help it - they have to provide equal propaganda or their products, even if better, simply won't sell.

    that's one of the things i really dislike about capitalism.

    why do we keep buying? because we are helpless to stand against the assault on our senses. well, most of us. the pattern of shopping for new things is a normal distribution.
     
  4. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    743
    I buy what I want when I need it. If I find a sale or a good price on something that I need or use on a regular basis, I stock up. I'm pretty immune to these "...only $19.95, and if you call in the next 10 minutes, we'll..." TV ads or "loss leaders" in stores.
     
  5. daydream_believer Et in Arcadia Ego Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    126
    Because the majority of the human race is easily manipulated and foolish. Mundanians (a useful term I dsicovered to describe the masses) buy what they're told to buy and don't think about why they do it.

    That sounds very elitist, doesn't it?

    But it's intellectual elitism, something I've never pretended not to take part in.
     
  6. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,053
    Now that's strange! Your basic post is a rant about advertisers manipulating the buying public, yet that's exactly what you're wanting to do, too. ...and you don't see any hypocrisy in that???

    Baron Max
     
  7. §outh§tar is feeling caustic Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,830
    As otheadp clearly pointed out, I can hate it all I want. But in the end, I too, want the moo-lah in my pocket.

    "Simple economics"

    Will be back later to post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2005
  8. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    743
    Some people have trouble differentiating between "want" and "need".

    Some people feel they "need" only because they don't already "have".
     
  9. duendy Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,585
    In order to really explore this question you M U S T checkout about Edward Bernays. He was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, and used his uncles psychoanalytical theories to promote a manipulative strategy aimed at people so they would/will buy what they dont need!...He is called the Father of Spin,
    basically it is a manipulation of desire, hence the use of sexual imagery etc so as to sell products

    a particular pernicious technique--i was reading about the other day--as its aimed at little children is this: they put cartoon characters of the kids fave programmes (the ones they push at em) on the front of packets of cerals etc, which are saturated with sugar and salt and very deleterious for the health of the children. Then they stick them at child's height so the kids will badger their mums to but the crap. Evil
     
  10. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,053
    And you don't see anything wrong with being a hypocrite?

    Baron Max
     
  11. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    743
    What's evil about that? It's called "marketing". Parents, that is "real" parents, don't have to listen to their children.

    Brand names with the highest quality and the highest mark-up are usually placed at eye level to adults. Less expensive store brands, with quality almost as good, are stacked on the top or bottom shelves. It's the dumb shoppers that can't figure that out. Caveat emptor.
     
  12. otheadp Banned Banned

    Messages:
    5,853
    the job of the marketer, following the bottom line, is to make the consumer believe, via relentless propaganda, that the want is in fact a need.

    then there's that thing, i think it's called the technological imparative - what we used to think of as a nice convenience, once we start using it, becomes a necessity.

    the marketer's job is to turn it into a necessity. once you think of it as a necessity, then the fair transaction can be made. i.e. he provides you something you need, and you pay a fair amount for it. tho before the propaganda you don't really need it and he's just being pushy with his useless products.
     
  13. otheadp Banned Banned

    Messages:
    5,853
    one new concept i saw on TV recently, a corn-flakes brand introduced the concept of "comfort food"
    i.e. everyone should have a certain food that they eat when they're down. and their product is the ultimate comfort food because A B and C

    so you don't eat conflakes cause you're hungry or cause it tastes good, but because it's g-ddamn comfort food. your comfort directly relates to their corn-flakes! what are they going to come up with next?
     
  14. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,831
    People buy things they don't need because they believe -sometimes rightfully- that the items will improve their quality of life. Voluntary simplicity only goes so far.

    *$I buy music CD's for their superior quality to mp3.

    *$I buy my own books over ebooks because they're easier on the eyes and library fines usually amount to the price of books anyways

    *$Money is an unstable form of wealth. If I had enough, I would keep it in the form of bullion. Even though its useless to me. It doesn't depreciate in value.
     
  15. Odin'Izm Procrastinator Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,851
    Why do people buy things they dont need: capitolist instinct = hunger for ownership of property.
     
  16. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    743
    ...so...
    ...inferring that MP3 somehow contributes to the quality of your life...?

    Just out of curiousity, how many of you "need" cell phones, MP3's, PlayStations, etc? Do you really need the computer you're using to post to sciforums? Or have you just convinced yourselves that they are necessities.

    If you've been duped by the manufacturer's "propaganda" into thinking you can't get along without them, trash them. Otherwise, maybe you're just a dumb consumer who can't resist marketing. Try dividing the things you own into "necessities", "convieniences" and "toys". Then ask why do YOU buy the things you have.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    22,697
    Buying is like eating. These days, most people in prosperous nations don't eat because they're hungry and require nutrition. They eat something particular because it tastes good, or they have a meal in order to socialize, or they eat because it takes their mind off of their problems. Generalized "consumption" of any sort fills the same need. It feels good to watch some wonderful gizmo go into a bag and become yours. You feel like one of the guys or gals by buying the same things they buy. You can stop worrying about your love life or your kid's bad grades or your long commute for a moment by spending some money in the mall.

    Shopping has even acquired one of the same psychoses as eating. People buy stuff and then take it back for a refund. The home shopping TV channels have lists of people they've had to blackball because of too many returns. Many stores have similar but shorter lists. Since these purchases are invariably performed with credit cards that barely have any limit left, I call it "bulimia plastica."
     
  18. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,831
    Absolutely. Anything that I spend enough time using affects the quality of my life. So I want good quality. I also do it to show my appreciation to the band. It has nothing to do with compulsive buying
     
  19. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    743
    Xerxes, you sound like the ultimate consumer! "Quality of life" = "just having fun". And just how does the "band" show your appreciation for them? By selling you more CD's?
     
  20. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,831
    Having fun is a huge part of 'Quality of life'. But the fun is not in the buying of the music, and I'm not a hedonist.

    Any CD's I buy contain almost no filler. Bands show their appreciation by continuing to make good music (granted they're still around.)
     

Share This Page