Buying Regret

Ms. Savitha works for a large software company at Bangalore. During lunch hour, her colleagues mentions about a book exhibition running at their office. So, couple of them, let’s call them as ‘lunch mates’ decides to visit the exhibition. The main attraction of any exhibition is the Big Board ‘30% discount!’ Ms. Savitha is no different for not getting attracted by the discount and decides to buy couple of books. The exhibitors are also smart; they carry Point of Sale, debit or card machines wherever they go. When you have (a) discount and (b) Card payment facility, decision of buying becomes quicker and thus Rs.2000+ worth of books lands at Ms. Savitha’s home.

In another instance, Ms. Kavitha happens to get Metro Cash and Carry card. She thinks that is one of the world’s most prestigious privileges! At home, she lists out items to be purchased and decides to visit Metro. On her way, she feels very proud that she can save a lot of money, through discounts! However, this happiness lasts till her way back home. She would have burnt twice or thrice the amount of savings, which of course come from discounts, in buying unwanted/unnecessary items.

On a pleasant Sunday, Mr. Ramesh as a wise man could have stayed back at home, instead of visiting Sapna Book Stall. The impulse buying habit of his makes him to buy 3-4 books, couple of DVDs, etc., costing 1500.

Ms. Revathi purchased cloths for her kids a week before and these cloths would have been sufficient for attending upcoming functions. God must tell what prompted her to buy some more cloths now. Maybe, I guess, some of her friends at office would have told that they have found nice patterns/designs in a particular shop.

Likewise, there are many reasons for buying; some of them are so shy that they feel very awkward to say no to a goods sales executive; so they buy! Buying mobile phone, just because you were feeling bored sitting at home, so as outing you visit a mobile store in a mall and buy a mobile!

Sometimes I wonder why we buy things irrationally. In this internet era, I personally feel we can mostly avoid buying books or magazines. You can read any eBooks as and when you have time. Don’t you think, of late, we are not finding a lot of time, the way we were getting it in the past? The modern society is offering so much to do; thus we are left with a very little time for reading. I barely remember reading a book of 500 – 600 pages in the last decade.

So, the books which we are accumulating at home will only add as show pieces; I mean Old fashioned show pieces.

Coming to professional reading, you can find dozens of online sites which offer acts, rules, case laws, etc. If you subscribe to these sites, you can read the required and relevant piece of law at your convenience. There is no point in buying bulky books and store at office.

One of the main reasons of regrets is ‘buying’.  Impulse buying, buying unwanted or unnecessary things, buying out of compulsion, buying because you are also in the group, buying when you are in a hurry to go, buying because of discounts or promotional offers, buy and wonder if I had been fooled by the retailer, buy and check about the better deals in e-tail stores!, Some of us would have had very positive emotions about the product before it is purchased and develop a sense of self-hatredness for having taken such decision, etc., are the main types of buying which generally, causes ‘Regret’

Before buying a product, though the product looks good, you may have to ask couple of questions to yourself – whether it suits me? Whether I really need this product? Whether this will serve any purpose? If I won’t use, how can I dispose off? If I postpone this purchase, what are the disadvantages? Whether it is the right choice? 

Basically, why we resort to buying anything? Buying for getting extra comfort, for getting extra pleasure, for earning satisfaction or may be feeling great by possessing such a pricy one! None of us, for sure buy things for regretting! But most of us will regret by tendering hard earned money wasting in buying things which could have been easily avoided.

Next time, when you decide to buy or spend on anything, please pause for a while, think logically and rationally. If it is an absolute necessity or it will enhance your happiness or image, then alright, you can buy. Don’t Buy Regret – so, think before you buy! 


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About B E Kumar Prasad

B E Kumar Prasad
He is a Practicing Chartered Accountant in Bengaluru, India. He has 28+ years of experience in income tax, business setup, and NRI matters. He is also an Insolvency Professional, Registered Valuer (F&SA) and Social Auditor.Prasad welcomes your comments and questions. Please email him at

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