Five easy ways to avoid fashion buyer's remorse

Friday, August 30, 2013

You might not be surprised to hear that most of the people in Scotland (82% - or 3.5 million!) have suffered from buyer's remorse at some time or another - according to new research by Debt Advisory Centre Scotland.

Fashion is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to regretting purchases. 62% of Scots with buyer's remorse regretted buying clothes and 38% regretted shoe purchases.
And when it comes to fashion, women seem to be the 'usual suspects'. 71% of Scottish women with buyer's remorse regretted buying clothes (compared with 49% of men) and 45% regretted buying shoes (compared with 26% of men).
If you're prone to suffering from bouts of fashion buyer's remorse - never fear. Debt Advisory Centre Scotland has put together this list of five handy tips to help you avoid it in future.

Consider what you already have 

'Didn't need it' is the second-most-common reason for fashion buyer's remorse in Scotland (26% cited this reason for clothes and 20% for shoes).
So before you put your item in your basket (or your online cart) think back to the rest of your wardrobe. Is the item you're about to buy similar to anything else you have? Are you adding a new 'little black dress' to a collection of ten other 'little black dresses'?
You might also want to draw up a few outfits in your head. What will you wear this item with? Does it go with at least some of the other clothes you own?

Check your bank balance

You've decided that the item you're buying will complement and add to the rest of your wardrobe. However, don't rush to buy it just yet.
First, check your bank balance. 'Couldn't afford it' was the reason given by 13% of both Scottish clothes and shoe buyers who'd regretted their purchase. Do you have enough money to buy your item and live comfortably until your next payday? It might help to visualise it as 'hours worked' - so, for example, if you earn £7 an hour and your item costs £50, you might have worked nearly a whole day in order to buy it. Is it really worth spending that money?
Remember that regular overspending can turn into a quite an issue. At Debt Advisory Centre Scotland, we talk to a lot of people who have got into debt problems because they spent too much - and perhaps didn't realise the scale of the problem until it was too late. If you're struggling with debt issues, there is help available - so seek professional debt advice as soon as possible.

Read reviews

This is mostly useful for people who love to shop online. How do you know the item you want is as good as it looks onscreen? An easy way to tell is to read the reviews. Most online fashion retailers have a 'reviews' section for each item. If there's a problem with the product, it's very likely that other buyers will log on to register their dissatisfaction.
From reviews you can learn whether the product is well made, whether the colour you see in the picture matches the 'real thing', whether it is correctly sized and other important things. That could help you avoid the biggest reason for fashion buyer's remorse in Scotland: that it didn't fit, you didn't wear it or just didn't like it (cited by 47% of remorseful clothes buyers and 43% of shoe buyers).


One of the most effective ways to find out whether you really want an item is to just wait. Set yourself a deadline - for example, a day, a week or even a month - and see whether you still really want the item after that time. It might also be worth waiting for the next big sale and seeing whether your desired item gets cut in price.

There are also rumours on the internet that certain retailers will send you a discount code if you keep items in your online shopping basket without buying them for long enough. Who knows whether this is actually true? It might be worth a try.

Make sure you can return it

So, you've gone through all the steps above and you still have your heart set on your purchase. The final thing you should consider is the retailer's returns policy.
For example, it's likely that you will be able to get a refund if your item turns up and it's poor quality or broken (like 5% of regretted clothes purchases and 9% of regretted shoes). However, what if you just decide you don't like it? Many retailers will give you a refund or an exchange no questions asked, but it's still well worth checking.
It's interesting to note that only 18% of Scottish people who regretted buying clothes and 12% of those who regretted buying shoes actually returned their item for a refund. The majority (60% and 51% for shoes and clothes respectively) simply kept it.

*This is a sponsored post in association with Debt Advisory Centre Scotland

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