Why do People Buy?

It is a part of everyday life, but why do people buy things? Buying is a practice that happens when you want a product, or a service in exchange for something, usually money. Ideally, people should only buy something because they need it.

This is the reason why people buy food. We need food to eat. If we do not grow our own food then we need to buy it from someone. We buy clothes because we need something to cover our bodies and to keep warm. If we do not have the means to make our own clothes then we buy them. We buy things that help us to live in a degree of comfort. So we buy beds to sleep in, chairs to sit on, cooking implements to prepare food with and appliances to keep food from spoiling. So, it seems that people buy products and services that they need.

People also buy things that help them survive. This is the case when we purchase food and clothing. The actual things that people buy and the amount of things that we buy is dependent on factors such as the amount of money at our disposal and the availability of the product we want. If people were to buy only the things that they needed, there would not be any debt from overspending. People have become accustomed to buying more than they need. Why do people buy more than they need? Some explain that they buy more than they need so that they will always have what they want, even in times of potential shortage, although this does not explain why people stock up on non-essential items that get stowed but remain unused for months or even years.

Some people blame the media for making things so attractive that they make you think that you are lacking if you do not have the thing that is being advertised. Some have even said that today people are slaves to advertisers because they inevitably buy what is flashed in front of their faces. If this was the case, then it would certainly explain why we buy things that we do not really need. But it also classifies us as mindless zombies who can only follow the dictates of media.

Where does our purchasing power fit into all this? After all, the power does not leave our hands until we hand over the payment or sign the credit card receipt. The trend of ‘impulse buying’ makes us mindless morons who open up our wallets at the lure of a product. The reason why people buy in this case is the thrill of the purchase. But this thrill is very temporary. Inevitably the ‘high’ of the purchase is replaced with the stress of debt, especially when the purchase is charged to credit. If the answer to the question why do people buy? is that it makes a person feel good, then it is far too high a price to pay.

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