I talked about a purchase I regretted making back in July. Though I was able to get a full refund from returning the item, it got me thinking about the number of times I had buyer’s remorse. While most of the times I shopped made me happy, there have been times over the years that made me go “Sayang pera ko” (Money wasted). Here are a few items from recent years I could remember regretting making a purchase.

Neutrogena Fine Fairness Light mask

Neutrogena facial LED mask gave me buyer's remorse

This was a new and interesting product of Neutrogena in 2017. I recall stopping by Watson’s at SM Mall of Asia’s Department Store then. Not sure whether I was there to shop for skincare essentials or just to window shop. But anyway, I got curious when I saw this on display,

The product’s promise? Glowing skin! Just have to consistently use this for 30 days, every night. I was never one to get tempted before to buy anything like this but it was 1)Neutrogena – a really good beauty brand in my opinion and 2) It came with a lot of freebies! That’s really what sold me – the freebies. Because a purchase of this came with 1 activator plus a full set of Neutrogena Fine Fairness skincare line. I thought what a steal!

Did I see results? Oh yeah I did. I remember getting compliments about my glowing skin. So why the buyer’s remorse? Well, one the activator was expensive – I believe it was around Php500-1000 per. I didn’t realize initially how that was going to put quite a dent on my monthly budget! So first, I didn’t buy religiously. Until I couldn’t find the product anymore. Not online. Not in stores.

Definitely a waste of money. It was quite an expensive purchase too. This light mask was worth Php4,000.

Samsung Wireless Charger

buyer's remorse: samsung wireless charger

Another purchase I regretted not long after buying was this wireless charger from Samsung. I came to Samsung store intending to buy a charger because I unfortunately left mine on a trip abroad. I couldn’t buy the usual charger though because I was told it came packaged with phones. So the sales guy recommended this “fast” wireless charger. And it was on a buy 1, take 1 deal for Php2,500. Again, I thought what a steal! I only needed one so I could give the other one to someone else.

It didn’t take me long to realize it doesn’t charge as fast as the usual charger. Plus I was the type who used her phone a lot so I couldn’t leave the phone alone long enough for it to charge to full. Definite buyer’s remorse. I kicked myself really for buying this without thinking about it for a while. Also didn’t know better. It’s only recently that I actually realized I could have bought a charger online via Shopee or Lazada.

Miniso Facial Brush

buyer's remorse with this miniso facial cleansing brush

The last on my list of items I regretted purchasing is this facial brush from Miniso. Another beauty tool! My feeling like a rich girl drove me to buy this. It’s not as expensive as the two other purchases I made. This one’s just about Php500 and technically I didn’t shell out money for this. I was able to purchase it with a gift certificate I got for free from viewing ads on an app. Still I had buyer’s remorse. I could’ve bought some other things with the gift certificate.

Why did I buy this in the first place? Well, what I really want is the Clarisonic Facial Cleansing Brush. That’s what beauty editors and beauty bloggers rave about. But Clarisonic is expensive AF! At Php12k – 14k, I wouldn’t dream of buying one so I looked for a cheaper alternative. I used this double A battery operated facial cleansing brush for a while every night. Then I eventually got tired. It’ is quite heavy to hold.

And I just found out Clarisonic has closed down! If I had bought the Clarisonic facial cleansing brush like I wanted, my buyer’s remorse would have been greater!

I still have these items with me. While I am thinking of getting rid of them, right now they serve as a reminder for me to be more careful with how I spend my money. After all, the goal is to have financial freedom. So how do you avoid buyer’s remorse? Here are some tips!

How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

  1. Avoid Impulse Buying

I realized that this has been really been the main cause of buyer’s remorse for me. The items I bought and later on regretted were all because I bought them on impulse. Before purchasing something, especially big ticket items, it’s best to take time to think about the item. How much time? Some say 24 hours while some say 72 hours. Some even go as long as 7 days. Regardless, the point is to not act on it right way.

2. Research

When I bought the cabinet in July, not only did I give in to impulse buying (hello, buy 1, take 1!), I also did not do my research. I didn’t ask the vendor anything instead I assumed things based on photo. When it was delivered, I was surprised to realize that I had to set up the cabinet and that the item wasn’t really of quality.

For big ticket items like furniture or appliance, I think it’s really best to see the item up close so you can inspect it for flaws and its quality. Since we’re in a pandemic though with cases rising, this may be a challenge to do. So in this case, online purchase might be better. Still before buying, ask around for recommendations from people you trust and have first hand experience buying big ticket items online.

3. Think long term

There’s nothing wrong with buying expensive items. But think about the price of the item and how often or how long will you be using the item. I only used the facial cleansing brush a handful of times and now it’s just gathering dust. If I was honest with myself, I would have admitted I wouldn’t use it for long because I’m really not the type to spend so much time with cleansing. Not the best purchase in the long run.

And if I had considered the monthly cost of the Neutrogena light mask activator, I might have realized I wouldn’t be able to sustain it for a long time – not without going broke. Plus now it’s not even available anymore! Not a very good beauty investment.

These are three lessons I learned the hard way – money wasted. And while I wrote these tips in consideration of avoiding buyer’s remorse when buying expensive things, they can also apply for other purchases specially non-essential ones. We work hard for our money so it’s definitely best to be careful with the way we spend it.