Online Shopping Addiction


by Katherine Todd


Due to the rising presence of the internet in our daily lives, online shopping addictions are becoming more common. Like compulsive shopping, online shopping addiction is detrimental to one’s personal, professional, and financial lives. In some ways, though, online shopping is more hazardous to one’s finances than offline compulsive shopping. Because credit cards are used to pay for purchases instead of cash, it creates the illusion of not actually spending money.Susan Krauss Whitbourne says the same thrill is reached without the person making a connection to the impact of their finances.

Auction websites, like eBay, are especially easy to become addicted to for many reasons. Unlike online shopping, it goes beyond just purchasing an item and becomes acompetition to outbid one another person. Also, because auction sites often sell memorabilia, users feel comforted being surrounded by things that are nostalgic. There is also a sense of community and support with such items. There are often chatrooms and forums where collectors interact, creating a confidence boost.

Similar to compulsive shopping, online shopping is usually considered just a hobby. But, it is deemed an addiction when online shopping begins taking over your daily life. There are five criterion for online shopping addiction.

  • When the addict isn’t engaged in online shopping, they are thinking about it.
  • They often knowingly overspend and buy useless items.
  • They tend to neglect their jobs and families.
  • They lie about their purchases and what they spent.
  • They accumulate massive amounts of debt.

Treatment for online compulsive addictions are identical to treatments for compulsive shopping. These treatments focus on learning how to manage the addictive behavior. This type of shopper need to find what causes them to spend, and learn how to avoid those triggers. Erasing any saved credit card information from all websites is also largely recommended. Most importantly, the addict must set his or her own money and time limits.

Read about Understanding Compulsive Shopping

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