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Drunk Online Shopping

Drunk Online ShoppingDo you engage in drunk online shopping? Apparently, you aren’t alone.

Alcohol decreases our inhibitions, and removes that rational switch that normally intercedes between our emotional selves and a particular behavior. That’s why people drink in social situations — it makes it easier to engage in social activities without worrying about what others think of you or over-analyzing the situation.

Ki Mae Heussner has the story about drunk shopping online, over at ABC News. Drunk shopping is when you’ve had a little bit to drink, your inhibitions are down, and you decide to make a purchase or two that maybe you didn’t really need.

There hasn’t been any research done on this phenomenon yet, but we do have anecdotal evidence that drunk shopping online is something more than a few people do.

While inebriated Internet buying may not be be an epidemic, it’s also not that unusual. A spokesperson for an online retail site, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity, said that intoxicated-sounding shoppers regularly call the site’s customer service asking for help placing orders.

“They’re trying to get a little roadside assistance on the shopping piece,” the spokesperson said, adding that sometimes the customers need technical guidance, while other times it sounds like they just want to hear a friendly voice.

Usually these kinds of behaviors are fairly limited — people aren’t buying their next Mecedes Benz or their new house online. They’re buying a pair of shoes they’ve had their eye on for awhile but just put off buying. Or something they might consider a “luxury” item, that without a rational self interceding, they decide they “deserve it” after all. Take the case of the guy who scored NASCAR tickets that he always wanted to have:

And others say that, oddly enough, their moments of boozy buying have led to some great experiences.

After heading online after a night out, Noah, 30, from New York, said he threw down $400 at 3 a.m. to score tickets to a NASCAR race.

When he woke up, he felt no remorse.

“It’s one of the most highly sought after tickets on the NASCAR circuit, not an easy one to get,” he said. “When I realized that tickets were still available, I jumped at the chance.”

And he said he owes it all to the alcohol.

In moderation, drunk shopping is one of those harmless lifestyle trends you see reported on from time to time. If, however, you find that you’re buying stuff you cannot regularly afford, or find it is turning from a harmless game into a serious financial drain, you may want to seek out help for the problem.

Read the full article: Drunk Online Shopping: Should Friends Let Friends Booze and Buy?

Drunk Online Shopping

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Drunk Online Shopping. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 14 May 2010)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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