The desire to replace an existing item in the home is often the justifier for the purchase of a discretionary item. In fact, this often becomes the catalyst for an extended spending spree. A worn-out chair, rug, or broken television is frequently the spur that moves buyers from their homes and into the stores. Over and over in focus groups, respondents explained how the purchase of one item led to a cascade of additional spending to buy new things to complement and match the original item that started the spending spree. "We had an old chair. It cleaned up well but still looked dingy, so I went out and bought a new chair. Then when I got it home, it made the sofa and love seat look dingy, so we just replaced that. Next, I need to get new drapes, because the new furniture makes them look really bad." Another participant explains about her latest home spending spree: "We just bought four reclining chairs, including a couch with a recliner. We like to be comfortable, very comfortable. Now we need to get new things to go with [the couch]. One thing leads to another so you can justify new purchases. I've got to get a new rug. I wanted new furniture for ten years, so now it is time to do it." A new backyard patio gives another respondent a justification to continue to spend: "We just finished the patio and sidewalk, so we needed plants to complement that. Then we needed patio furniture to complement that. It's a sense of accomplishment to show off what we've done."

The desire to replace an existing item often becomes the catalyst for an extended spending spree.

Part of the motivation that drives the spending spree after replacing an existing item is to extend the thrill and excitement of having something new. Another respondent explained: "I always find myself buying bigger and better kitchen appliances. The kitchen is so important to me. I bought a new coffeepot with a water filter. The first time I used it I thought it was the best cup of coffee I ever made. I thought WOW! But now I just take it for granted. I just don't notice it anymore. Something new is a WOW. Improvements are amazing."

Demographic Distinctions

Women say replacing an existing item is a more important motivator for them to shop than do men. Older consumers aged 45 to 64 consider this more important when they shop, compared with younger consumers aged 18 to 44. Moderate-income households rate replacing an existing item more important in their buying decisions than do households that are more affluent. Two-person and larger households are also more likely to consider replacing an existing item as an essential motivator to purchase.

Why People Buy Things They Don't Need. Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior
Why People Buy Things They Dont Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior
ISBN: 0793186021
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 137
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