The Wishlist Rule

The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion as of 2017.

Most of our shopping nowadays is done online. While this is convenient, it contributes heavily to all the excess we deal with – excess clothes, shoes, accessories, and the most dreadful of all, debt.

When we shop online, we are in a virtual world.

Shopping in a store, we feel the weight of what we are buying – literally as we carry our shopping bags. The act of physically picking up items makes us mindful of what we buy.

When shopping online, everything is in a virtual cart. Adding 10 items to our shopping bag feels no different from adding 2. Add to this, the discounts, limited time offers and an endless catalogue of items to look at. We are buying more than ever.

So how do we shop mindfully when shopping online so that we buy only what we need? Here is a trick that works for me.

The Wishlist Rule

We are most likely to shop in excess when we shop in an impulse. The mannequins in the store front, the huge sale signs and Zara’s business model are all built to take advantage of our impulse to shop. In the online world, the entire shopping app and one-click shopping are built to prey on this impulse. So, a simple trick is to distance the actual act of buying from the buying impulse.

I use the Wishlist feature online to do this.

When we feel the need to buy something, it’s very hard to fight that impulse. To stave off the impulse, I created a simple rule. I tell myself I we can add it to the Wishlist for now and buy tomorrow. The act of adding an item to a Wishlist is almost as gratifying as buying it.

Sometimes I don’t even get back to Wishlist because I have completely forgotten about it. And this is a good reminder that I never needed that item in the first place.

Sometimes when I get back to the Wishlist, I don’t feel the need to buy that dress anymore. It doesn’t look as appealing or I don’t see the necessity.

As I prune the Wishlist, I am left with what I truly want. Then I go ahead and make that purchase.

I feel better about what I am buying because I am bringing it into my life with intention and not in an impulse.