Would you spend $5,500 to see your favorite music artist?
For me, the answer is, “yea, but no”. I mean, if I could safely travel back in time as an adult to the late 80s to see the Michael Jackson “Bad” Tour, I would pay $5,500. Clearly that’s not an option in this universe (that I’m aware of), so there’s that.
But for this hardcore Taylor Swift fan that paid $5,500 for resale tickets for the singer’s “Eras” tour, she was willing to shell out a wild stash of cash.
Unfortunately, she now regrets making that purchase.
The fan explains herself in the article, and has many reasons to be frustrated with the whole purchasing experience during Ticketmaster’s sales fiasco. After the website stalled and resellers inflated ticket prices on third-party apps like StubHub, she fell into the trap of not wanting to miss out. In a panic, she ended up buying two seats which totaled more than $5,500 with fees and taxes.
To me, the guilt, stress, and regret she’s now experiencing boils down to feeling buyer’s remorse. And we’ve all been there at least once.
Buyer’s remorse is a feeling of regret after making a purchase. Typically, it’s felt after making a large purchase. But you can even experience it after relatively small purchases. Like the time I bought a $10 Adidas over-the-shoulder bag from Marshall’s, that I didn’t need, didn’t really like, and ultimately never used. That unused bag is currently rolled up in my closet.
Yep, we’ve all purchased something we later regretted for one reason or another, but why? Usually because after we make a purchase, our perspectives shift, emotions settle, and reality sets in. Then, our thoughts take over.
- “I spent too much”
- “I didn’t really need it”
- “I could have gotten a better deal”
And none of that feels particularly good.
In the case of our favorite Taylor Swift fan, her regrets are not just about the costs. Which, $5K for a one night event is pretty expensive, even if you have a strong emergency fund. But also, and perhaps more importantly, the impulsive emotional state she was in when making the purchase.
“I don’t feel good to have tickets anymore,” she told Insider.
“It wasn’t something fun, like it was supposed to be. I feel guilty. I feel like I did something impulsive in panic mode”.
Ahhh yea, there it is. It’s not just about the decision, but her feelings about the decision.
When we make financial decisions in a heightened emotional state without boundaries, there’s a good chance we’ll regret some aspect of the decision.
Ok, so is there anything we can do to not feel that way? Well, we are not always going to be fully rational when making financial decisions, so feeling some remorse in the future is to be expected. But, there are some things we can keep in mind to minimize the occurrence and severity of buyer’s remorse.
Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse
You’ll need to be thoughtful in your financial decision-making, but here’s what you can do before making purchases to avoid buyer’s remorse:
- Check in with yourself to be sure you’re in the right headspace and the purchase is aligned to your values.
- Do thorough research to understand what you’re buying, return policy, and fair value.
- Set boundaries by making a budget for the purchase. Know what you can afford, as well as what you WANT to spend, and stick to that.
That’s me being straight and to the point, but here’s some additional context from an article I wrote back in the day (Think Before You Buy: 3 Steps To Take Before Purchasing).
And if you decide to make a purchase, whatever it is, don’t forget there are usually options if you aren’t satisfied. In many cases, you can either return the item, or worst case, resell on various apps.
Perhaps I’ll take my own advice and throw my Adidas bag on Facebook Mareketplace to see if I can attract a buyer.
Actually, I will do that!
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