During the pandemic, an increasingly stressful life caused people to turn to retail therapy as a mood booster — the impulse to spend on oneself becomes stronger as shopping does tend to lift one’s spirits.
There are several patterns for which one overspends: for special occasion; for acknowledgement and sense of accomplishment for being able to splurge on someone for expression of adoration and peer group pressure. According to the Malaysian Finance Minister, 40 per cent of millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are spending beyond their means. Bank Negara Malaysia reported that 47 per cent of Malaysian youths (aged 18-29) have high credit card debts. These debts’ common internal factors include retail therapy, overspending on occasions, and a need to be part of the gang.
Spending for special occasions beyond one’s means can derail one’s financial planning. The urge to acknowledge how important an event is and getting a sense of accomplishment when splurge on the someone for expression of care. Peer group pressure on one’s spending and buying pattern is by prompting them to purchase the same items as their peers. This peer influence is further boosted by the frequent use of social media platforms.
As a result of overspending, there is emergence of re-commerce. Re-commerce is the selling of previously owned, new or used products.
The U.S. trend reports indicate consumers are shifting towards buying pre-loved items due to sustainability and caring about the products environmental impact. People are motivated towards buying pre-loved items such as clothing, furniture and mobile phones as they feel it could prevent wastage. This sentiment resonates with Malaysians too.
It is undoubtedly vital to raise awareness on pre-loved items as they may positively contribute to our environment. Celebrities, athletes and political leaders are trendsetters. They are known as reference groups that constantly spread positive, eco-conscious messages through social media. When these groups encourage the purchase of sustainable products, people are inclined to follow in their footsteps — using them as a standard of their purchase decision.