Entrepreneurial Selling

10 More Reasons People Buy

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

What was the last thing you bought? Why did you buy it? You may not be aware of this but you could have been acting on fear or to boost your ego.

As we've outlined in other articles, people buy for a number of reasons.

Here are ten more for you to consider if you have something to sell.

1. Compulsory – You MUST buy

When an outside influence makes it compulsory for you to take action, you take action. In purchasing this can work with things like car insurance. If it's the law where you live to have an insured vehicle you are going to buy insurance. If you have to have a particular book for college, you buy it.

2. Ego Boost/Attractiveness

We buy things that are expressly designed to make us more appealing to the opposite sex. Or we want to seem superior by having a bigger and better car/house/speedboat than our contemporaries. Ego purchasing often takes place well outside any budget.

3. Group Identity/Niche Buying

You buy a T shirt with your favorite band's logo on it or your football teams strip colors. You wear a certain style of clothing. These are all things that help you form an allegiance with others of like mind. The internet has made it easier for niche groups to identify themselves and sell related products.

4. Everybody else has got one!

Oh it's time to stamp your feet and go red in the face, maybe even tell your parents you hate them! Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to 'Everybody else has got one' pressure. They want what everyone else has. They want it because it will make them fit in and they may be looked down on if they don't have it.

5. Philanthropic (or is it?) purchasing

People sometimes buy because it makes them feel charitable. They choose a product that shares profits with underprivileged hamsters for example. This works especially if the purchaser can be seen to be purchasing. They've done their bit, they can feel good now.

6. Reciprocal purchasing

Christmas, weddings etc. Someone buys you something, you feel obliged to return the gesture.

7. Empathetic purchasing

This is when you buy from someone because you feel they liked and understood you. Even if you can get the item somewhere else for less money.

8. Addiction

Certainly things like cigarettes and alcohol will be bought, sadly, due to addiction. But we can also form addictions to other things that aren't technically addictive. Ever hear about women being addicted or obsessed with shoes, or men who are simply crazy for gadgets?

9. Fear

Yes, fear. People make fear based purchases all the time. They buy things because they are afraid they will run out or they are afraid their lives will somehow be incomplete if they don't buy.

10. Pampering and Indulgence

Probably one of the nicer reasons people buy things. Because they feel they deserve to and want to treat themselves. Luxury bath oils, Belgian chocolates, champagne. We all deserve that from time to time, and it's nice to know that not all purchasing has to be analysed with a cynic's eye.

When you're selling, ask yourself what makes you buy. Think of the last thing you bought. What was it? Why did you buy it? Did you need it or want it? Did you opt for a particular brand?

If you get to know your own spending behaviors you'll be better equipped to understand those of others. Never kid yourself that you're not vulnerable to sales pitches, you are, we all are.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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