Scots' impulse buys defy reputation

The stereotypical reputation of Scottish people as being 'careful with money' has been blown out of the water with the findings of a recent survey by Debt Advisory Centre Scotland, which looked at the spending habits of almost 3,500 UK adults, of whom more than 400 were Scottish residents.

Although you might think a Scotsman - or woman - would be particularly considerate before making a purchase, the survey found 82% of people there, roughly 3.5 million people, have made a purchase in the past before realising that they regretted it for one reason or another.

In 18% of cases overall, the regret stemmed from the fact that the individual later felt that they couldn't afford the amount of money they had spent - perhaps restoring the stereotypical reputation somewhat - but the high proportion of Scottish consumers who stick to their guns once they have made a purchase could still be surprising. 

Overall, three fifths (60%) of the Scottish respondents to the survey said that they never returned the unwanted item to the store, while only 8% tried to directly get a refund; 17% of generous Scottish people would give the item away to somebody else, and 14% would sell it on.

"Spending money on an item you can't really afford can make you feel better temporarily," says Ian William of Debt Advisory Centre Scotland, "but when you get that item home and your wallet is that much lighter, it's easy to start regretting your purchase."

However, it was not only the cost that was a cause for dismay for Scots - and some of the other reasons given for regretting the purchase might also reduce the potential to sell the item on and recoup some of the cost. In 29% of cases, the regret was simply due to the fact that the item was not really a necessity.

One in five Scots said they would rarely, if ever, use the item, while the same proportion said that it didn't fit or that they didn't like it; in 12% of cases, the item was either broken on arrival home, or was simply of poor quality to begin with.

Despite the potential negative impact on their household finances, it's good to see Scottish people silencing their critics and proving that the traditional stereotypical image of the nation's citizens is not really deserved; now it would be nice to ensure that nobody encounters financial difficulties due to an impulse buy.

As well as simply cutting down on impulse purchases, selling items as second-hand goods could prove to be a useful way for many Scots to get rid of some of those more regrettable purchases, as well as getting back some of the money they shelled out in the first place in order to buy them.

About Emmy Dinsdale

I am a retail therapist, specialising in helping you to make only the purchases that will leave you feeling positive, as well as to sell your second-hand stuff as a source of income, and to prevent you from becoming a hoarder.

Photo credits: adamr - FreeDigitalPhotos.Net


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