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Buyer’s Regret

8 years ago by

It’s the opposite of buyer’s remorse…

…And I have it. While out shopping the other weekend I came face to face with a beautiful pair of green croc-embossed leather booties from the spring 2013 Derek Lam collection. They were seriously on sale. They were the shoes that dreams are made of. I told myself that I wanted them but I did not need them. So, I walked away.

…Okay, first I walked around the store in them, and then I put them back in their box and walked away.

I haven’t stopped thinking about them. Yesterday, I showed a photo of them to my friend. “Wow, you have amazing self control,” she said as we both indulged in hot chocolates with giant marshmallows at City Bakery (that self control doesn’t apply to everything).

I’m experiencing a serious case of buyer’s regret. I’m feeling anxiety over not buying those shoes. It’s different than same feeling I had when I didn’t get my Stam bag. I was never on the hunt for them and I didn’t really even know I wanted them until I saw them (and yeah, the crazy sale price played an obvious role in my desire). Here I am, two weeks later, still thinking about them. Still googling them. Still planning out imaginary outfits around them.

Have you ever experienced this kind of buyer’s regret? What is the cure?


Add yours
  • totally. especially about things that really are unique – such as art (have this one a lot and finally started to go for it more last year) or something made to the highest of craft like really unique shoes or millinery. wtih a bit of age you have a good sense of when something strikes you because it’s something you’ll love over time – so strike if the iron is hot!

  • for years i have been honing my shopping skills. nowadays, i rarely regret what i purchase! try it! :)


  • Mon remède à moi c’est de retourner une deuxième fois dans le magasin. Si les chaussures me paraissent moins idéales que dans mes projections les plus folles, j’oublie et j’arrête de culpabiliser. Si je me mets à pleurer dans la boutique rien qu’en pensant que j’aurais pu passer à coté de ce miracle fashion, je sors ma CB !

  • Charlotte December, 18 2013, 5:12

    j’ai la même philosophie.. si j’y pense encore, j’y retourne et j’achète

  • Ouiii! Mais à l’envers de l’envers du regret de la shoppeuse! Mon problème c’est que je retourne tout!!! J’achète, je suis contente, j’angoise d’acoir acheter qqul que je navais pas besoin, je retourne trop fière, je regrette d’avoir retourner. Terrible! Et le pire, c’est cette robe martin margiela hyper soldée dont je parle encore 2 ans plus tard. Je lui ai trouvé un million d’occaz mais, j’ai plus la robe!

  • Mariateresa December, 18 2013, 1:05 / Reply

    Oh oui! Plus on y pende, et alors on doit acheter autrement le regret peut resister pour annèes entières…je pense ancore a une gonne Ter et Bantine, noire, merveilleuse…

  • Mariateresa December, 18 2013, 1:05 / Reply

    Pardon, plus on y pense!

  • Funny you’re talking about it; I always obsess on the things i didn’t buy, and I just wrote a post about this syndrom on my blog ten days ago !
    if you want to check; i’ll be honored :)

  • Totally recognize this regretting feeling.

    Love Bodil,

  • I know exactly how you feel! The same happened to me with a pair of Prada brogues, and by the time I decided to get them, they were sold out. Almost a year later, I’m still kicking myself for not taking the plunge. An awesome pair of Saint Laurent brogues went on sale this time and guess what? ;-) I’ll be wearing them as soon they arrive to my front door. The good thing about them, is that they are classic and timeless, so I will be wearing them for long time. Cure? there is not a cure for buyers regret…lol

    “Suede biker jacket and patent pumps” New post on:

  • Actually, what I generally regret is having bought something that I do not use/need.. while it never happens to me to regret for NOT having bought something.
    And this is a lesson I try to keep in mind when I am considering buying something (especially if it is very expensive).
    Am I alone in thinking this?

  • en général, quand j’hésite dans la boutique, je ne prends pas et je me dis que si j’y pense encore un quart d’heure après, c’est que je dois y retourner et acheter! c’est radical… souvent je n’y pense plus un quart d’heure après…si ça n’est pas le cas et que le porte-monnaie est d’accord, demi-tour et je fonce avant que quelqu’un d’autre n’achète! et là je ne regrette jamais…

  • Je fais exactement la même chose! =)

  • Absolutely, and I hate that feeling! Poor you :( xx


  • Oh, Alex… That’s the story of my life. As much as I love clothes, bags, shoes and make up products I always say to myself that I don’t need them, I always find something else to spend my money on, I convince myself that I have to save that money, I find a thousand reasons not to buy those shoes, or that bag or that coat (my soft spot)… But I always, ALWAYS, regret it. In fact my best friend and my mother always laugh at me because I’m always anxious about something that I didn’t buy. As I told you before: the story of my life. Sigh.
    We should start a group or something: Regreters anonymous?

  • The only cure comes when you do not pass up the next great thing that comes along just as suddenly and at such a bargain!

  • Yes! The learning of the lesson!

  • I had the same feeling with an Isabel Marant dress that was on sale at Outnet, I gave myself the whole night to think about it and in the morning it was sold out. Till today I regret not buying it right away.

  • Oui tout le temps…. Une sorte de trouble obsessionel de l’accros du shopping ;-) mais heureusemen t, ca passe avec une nouvelle envie :-) hahahah

  • ahah très souvent !!!

    j’ai même gardé la photo d’une robe que j’avais screenshoté en hésitant à l’acheter … il y a 4 ans … je ne l’ai toujours pas oublié !


  • In clothing, as in love, we ask ourselves countless questions about what went wrong, why we didn’t buy those shoes, that belt, why we didn’t take that trip, let that argument go. However, as in love when the next great thing comes around we often forget about the heartbreak of the past. Here’s to hoping that next great thing comes around ;)

  • Beautiful, romantic response :)

  • Just buy them!! YOLO!

  • Tu es victime du buyagra :
    http://www.stylelistquebec.ca/2013/10/23/accro-aux-soldes-ce-nest-pas-de-votre-faute/ en Fr et en anglais : The Genetics of Bargain Hunting

    1 in 4 people is physiologically more prone to splurge on sales

    Read more: Mark Ellwood: The Genetics of Bargain Hunting | TIME.com http://ideas.time.com/2013/10/21/the-genetics-of-bargain-hunting/#ixzz2nr6LdBqH

  • take the money that you would have spent on those booties and donate to a homeless shelter in NYC. you will make someone very happy

  • The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it!! ;)

  • You have to buy them — it is the only way to cure this longing.

    Sadly I could write you a list of things that I’ve passed on and deeply regretted over the years — a so-great jacket that I would have worn & worn, the perfect turtleneck, boots on sale, a red silk dress, etc.

    I tend to pass on something when it is a little more than I want to spend — even if it’s great. But I think those are the pieces which, in the end, elevate a look because they are distinctive both in their design and their quality — and so unique.

    RUN, RUN back to the store and if it was meant to be they will still be there!!!

  • I usually wait a few days on big purchases on things I think I really want and in the end go back and they’re not there anymore… so I was going to say buying them would be the only cure until I read Doreen’s comment. That is a really great idea – to donate the money you would’ve spent on a cause you support. There’ll always be another pair of shoes!

  • Le seul remède est de céder à la tentation. :)

  • LaBouyxonne December, 18 2013, 3:37 / Reply

    Je n’ai qu’une chose à te dire, si c’est encore possible : “ACHETE LES!!”

  • Think about it this way, whatever the reduction, their actual value probably amounts from to 5% of the number in the tag, so either way you’re being ripped off. Another way could be thinking in people out there walking practically barefoot in the snow, but that’s quite another story right.

  • À vrai dire, je n’ai pas saisi, pour quelles raisons ne les as-tu pas achetées?
    Il faut S’offrir ses rêves, même les plus infimes…

  • can totally relate.

    i think fundamentally we who love fashion are storing and filtering images in the mind on a subconscious level. when we see an item that matches with the result of data collecting and purging, we want to take it home. however, to be prudent, we wait and see if the desire is real or just a passing fancy.

    then again, we all pine for the ones that got away, don’t we? Even a passing fancy can turn into a major obsession if said fancy was sold out when we check back.

    at the end of the day, most of us are on limited budget therefore can’t buy all we really desire to own. Maybe it’s good to dream about them but not own them.

  • You know the cure–go get them.

  • I recently had the same exact thing with a scarf from Zara (though it wasn’t on sale). I wound up buying it on eBay for waaaaaay too much. Sigh. But I couldn’t get it out of my head!

    Shani x

  • Ummm, why don’t you just get it? Or, it’s no longer available?

  • I’m afraid there’s none.
    It ends with another regret over another something you don’t need, you really want but never bought.

    What helps me and controlling my purchases, is to buy an expensive piece that’s on your 2 year wish list ; that makes the piece so irresistible that you just are not interested in something else for at least 2 months or so.
    This is what I do with shoes/boots ; I buy a crazy priced pair and no other shoe can tempt me for at least 8 weeks.


  • I often think about a beautiful paisley silk chiffon dress I didn’t buy – 10 years ago! It too was on sale but it wasn’t really ‘my style’ (or what I thought was my style) and I didnt think I would wear it enought to justify even the sale price. I wish I had a dollar for the number of times that dress would have saved me from an “I have nothing to wear” situation….

  • If I’m still thinking about something a week later and planning outfits around that thing, I know it must be meant to be, so I go back and buy it! This is difficult if it’s already sold or not on sale anymore, but then I tell myself, ah well, it wasn’t meant to be after all, and walk away with closure (and feeling righteous)!

  • No cure – but I think the solution is being confident in differentiating between an impulse buy and a belongs-eternally-in-my-wardrobe buy. My trick? If the cost (high (within reason!), low or somewhere in between) doesn’t cause me to flinch at all because I KNOW it will pull (just about) everything together, and I can picture wearing them a hundred different ways. If I have to overthink it, forget it.
    Still pining after the perfect sophisticated and sexy black stretch wool dress that I let go…

  • I swear I feel regret when I do buy something and then half the time feel it when I do as well (could that money have gone towards a holiday? Something more worthwhile? etc), but like with most things eventually you forget….well, that, or you will be spending your whole Christmas on ebay seeking them out.


  • I have a rule for Buyer’s Regret:

    If I dream about it (yeah, like dream about it in my sleep), I buy it the next day.

    PS: There’s no such thing as self-control when it comes to hot chocolate ;)

  • stella White December, 19 2013, 8:57 / Reply

    Je suis pour la retenue…car le pire-du-pire-dans-le-sommet-du-pire qui puisse arriver à l’acheteuse indécise est la chose suivante : hésiter, s’en aller, y penser tout le temps, y retourner, débourser la somme avec la lèvre tombante (imaginer le regret qui repointe aussitôt et fait pencher imperceptiblement la bouche pendant la digitation du code CB) et ensuite…;se rendre compte qu’il fallait pas!!! même pas le temps de poser l’achat à la maison que déjà on sait qu’il ne fallait pas. Moi ça m’est arrivé tellement des fois que je m’en méfie comme d’un lundi matin..;oui…je me méfie toujours des lundi matins….

  • My biggest regret is not buying a MacBook Pro and went for MacBook Air instead.
    Sure, the Air is great, but I can’t shake the feeling that I need Pro more than Air. Especially after signing up college applications for design major. Macbook Air = not for graphic designers.

  • I used to feel that… And then, I just gave up. I guess I’ve reached the point where I have too many clothes (or, as I’d rather think, I’m much wiser than I used to be…). Anyway, you’ll get over it. In the meanwhile, you can spend that money on people you love. Or people you don’t know but who are in need.

  • Rather than “buyer’s remorse” I call this “passer-byer’s remorse.” The real question, is this item that haunts you for your fantasy life or your real life? I have multiple dresses that I love that are perfect for my fantasy life as a classy executive, but alas, my current job is more scrubs and sneakers. So if green crocodile skin booties would become your signature, go for it. But if they fit into the life you wish you were living, they will get the most wear in your closet.

  • 20+ years ago I had the opportunity to buy a vintage Chanel dress for $35 – it had hand written notes in the tag and all [must have been a working sample] I was a college kid that had $44 dollars in her bank account and it had to last me another 10 days. I was responsible and didn’t get it.

    I STILL regret not buying dress. I will never recover from almost owning Chanel, because lord knows it still hasn’t happened as an adult.

  • I used to shop with only metro fare in my pocket. If I saw something I liked,I would have the saleslady put it “on hold” for me (24hrs to 3 days). If it was memorable I brought it.
    I did not do this often – every time I intended to buy it – but often I even went back and realized it didn’t measure up to first impressions.
    It saved me a lot of bad purchases – probably stores want you to “impulse buy” – but I also got some nicer splurges, because I remembered them with desire.
    Better yet – Shop online, plan it like a commando rescue mission!

  • My husband and I experienced mega buyers regret when we found a vintage Art Deco clock on sale and decided not to buy it. Ever since then we regretted not purchasing the clock, so now we have rules when it comes to one of a kind clothes and decorations.

  • tout le temps. Parce que je n’achete jamais rien. J’ai TROP de ‘self-control’ et je me dis
    toujours que ‘j’en n’ai pas de besoin…’ Bref, quand j’y reviens, elles sont toujours ‘out-of-stock.’

  • Non, je ne regrette rien.

  • My goodness, yes.

    I still regret not buying an absolutely gorgeous pair of Gianvito Rossi high-heeled suede sandals that were waaaaayyyy too expensive for something I would not be able to wear very often–well, just way too expensive no matter what. I could not easily afford them so I stayed away from them. That was two years ago and I still regret not just buying them anyway. They CAPTURED my heart. I still keep a lookout for them. Sigh.

    This is how I’ve taken care of Buyer’s Regret: now I think about what it is that my wardrobe, home, or beauty regimen needs–an updated sweater since my favorite wore out, a sugar bowl now that I have sugar with coffee in the morning, a new eyeliner, etc.–and keep an eye out for THAT OBJECT ONLY. I only have eyes for that item. I don’t shop around in the shoe section when I’m on the hunt for a sugar bowl. I don’t run my eyes over the newest lip glosses in stock when I’m looking for eyeliner. And so forth.

    Honestly, this has helped me a LOT.

    And, if I DO come across something that makes my heart sing but which I already have three of, or would never use, etc–if my heart really, really sings loudly at the sight of it, and it fits, and it flatters–

    –Then to hell with it. I just go ahead and buy it.


  • I regret not buying the giraffe patterned calf hair mary-jane pumps from Linea Paolo in the Fall/winter of 2009. Those shoes HAUNT me to this day… and what’s worse is I know I will probably never find them :( comme ci, comme ca.

  • well the financially stable side of your brain won….think of it a a gift…because there will always be another great obsession

  • When I’m fixated on an object I desire, I think of nothing else until it is in my possession. But when I consider how many of these ‘must have’ items later ended up on eBay for a fraction of the original cost…I question how something once so valuable and desirable can become worthless and even a burden as it clutters my bloated wardrobe. What changed? At the end of the day…it’s all just STUFF. On its own, it is meaningless and powerless. We give it power and value and render ourselves powerless.

  • Yes!! A pink Chanel suit (skirt and jacket) in west palm beach at a vintage shop.
    A crazy sale and I walked away for 30 mins and when I went back…it was gone.

  • Ça m’arrive tout le temps! Comme le dit ton amie j’ai pas mal de self contrôl, je me donne une date limite, si j’y pense encore dans 5 jours je les achèterai. Ça marche plutôt bien!

  • I get it, but if it’s really haunting you, you could put some good karma points into your life by donating the money you would have spent to a charity of your choice? That way, when after Christmas sales are happening, karma will bestow you with it’s good graces…

  • I always end up deciding to buy the item and when I try to, it sells out. Something that I keep having trouble with though is buying something and then 2 weeks later or a month later they go on sale for like ridiculously low prices (ex: opening ceremony boots- purchased for $390 on sale currently for $144). My friend always reminds me that at least I have the item and in my size (my size no longer available).

  • cette capacité que l’on a à acheter des choses pour les regretter ensuite (parfois) et pour ne pas acheter celles qu’on devrait ;) moi si j’y repense encore quelques jours après en général je ne tiens pas et je fonce! je marche pas mal au coup de coeur ;)

  • Pour la plupart de mes pièces qui me tiennent vraiment à coeur, je les aies vues une première fois en magasin, ensuite j’y ai pensé pendant plusieurs jours d’affilés. Ensuite je vais acheter les pièces. Comme ça, je suis sûre que ce n’est pas un coup de tête mais bien quelque chose qui me plaît vraiment !

  • Are you kidding? There are two times that I will always regret. Once was just about a year ago, it was at H&M, there were these magnificent high waist, orange, wide leg, raw silk slacks. They fit wonderfully, made my waist seem teeny, my ass looked great and they were bright and colorful. Just what I needed for winter in New York. But, ah but, I let my sensible brain take over, I to
    D myself, come back on two weeks after your paycheck. They will still be there.

    They were most assuredly not there nor at any other H&M in the city two weeks later. I still look for them every time I enter a store.

    The next time it was a boating hat. Think that scene in the Great Gatsby when they are frolicking around d Gatsby’s mansion and Lana Del Rey is singing Young and Beautiful. The boating hat Gatsby is wearing? It was an exact copy. Found it for $8 at a thrift shop, decided to check out the rest of the stores before making that purchase. I leave, decide I must have it go back and some clever soul has already snatched it up.

    Oh just find it on eBay you say? The cheapest one is about $75…….,

  • Ohhh yes… there was that cute crop top from Express, that Bebe hat, those Michael Kors shoes, that Nike bra in that perfect color, the Calvin Klein pumps and oh, yes those other shoes and that shirt which I should’ve gotten instead of the shoes I got, yes–the ones I’ve yet to wear.

    Ughhhh. No overthinking it anymore. No more. And when I think of it, they were all staples that I would have gotten lots of mileage out of.


  • I have learned to buy the item and tell myself that I can always return it if need be.

  • It happened to me so many times! Should learn my lesson by now…

  • Happens to me all the time, only solution, buy them! I usually use this as a test before I buy something i dont need. If I still think about it after 2 to 3 days, it means its meant to be!

  • If it’s been two weeks it’s time to hunt down those bad boys and get them on your feet!! :) I had so many incidents where I tried to have self control and walk away from something only to realize that I really needed them. And lo behold…they’re all sold out. Most horrible feeling ever.


  • I have a “rule of 4.” If I see something I love like that but don’t really need, I move on. But if I go back because it’s that alluring for a second time and a third time and a fourth time, then I buy it without remorse.

  • Luelle Lev January, 6 2014, 7:34 / Reply

    The one that got away…it’s so painful when this happens. For me it was the Stella McCartney patent wooden wedge heels circa 2007. I still occasionally trawl eBay lusting after them now – six years later, just in case!

  • j’ai de la peine mais çà fait des économies pour acheter le caprice suivant et les avoir essayées c’est un peu les avoir possédées…

  • Oh, how I can relate, Alex! The cure? Pretend they never existed and try to fill that predesignated space in your shoe closet I know you are still holding for them with another pair of boots you need to put into rotation. Good luck!

  • Silvia Golita January, 28 2014, 1:10 / Reply

    I have a tone of regrets like yours. Even though my mom always told me to buy the items I fall in love with. My mom is a big spender! You will never get your regrets back but you can always make your remorses a great gift! Happy shopping!

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