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A fantasy buy is also known as an ‘impulse buy’, or a waste of money, or where buyer’s remorse quickly sets in.

I fell prey to a fantasy buy!

 It is 9 pm, two nights before Christmas.  Presents are wrapped.  The Christmas menu is sorted. Entertainment via streaming online was not holding my attention.  I glance at my email inbox and see the subject title ‘Early boxing day Sale’.  This subject title now has my attention. 

I open the email.  I am scanning the various attractively displayed sale items.   “Oh my goodness,” I say to myself, “I have wanted this for ages.  It has been on my wishlist, and now it is for sale.”

So with minimal hesitation, I purchased the item.

Which one did I pick?

OR

You would be correct if you picked the cocktail arcade with 3500 game options. 

How did I know it was a fantasy buy?

A fantasy buy is related to memory.  My fantasy buy was related to a memory from 15 years ago.   A memory of myself sitting next to a gaming machine at a burger bar waiting for my order.  I started playing just one game called Space Invaders.  This game was around in the ’80s.  I realised I knew how to play the game and I was holding my own playing the game. It is that moment in time that held me.  These are called ‘hook moments’.  A ‘hook moment’ is a moment in time suspended with all the emotional content stored in your memory bank.   I had undoubtedly carried this with me from 2006 to 2021.  They are powerful ‘hook moments’.  They can be either a fantasy or a nightmare. (But more on hook moments in another article). 

How else did I know this is a fantasy buy?

Firstly, the cocktail arcade or game playing is not connected to anything I currently demonstrate or do regularly.  Secondly, buyer’s remorse kicked in quickly.

Can you now picture me with a cocktail arcade with 3500 game options in my lounge? I am enthusiastically playing the space invaders game with a console that clashes with my furniture and decor?  Or do you picture a large cardboard box with the cocktail arcade and 3500 game options sitting in the garage unopened?

Thankfully none of these options will happen as I went cap in hand to the company and asked them if there was any way they could cancel the order.  They obliged.  

This Christmas, I had the chance to make a fantasy purchase without purchasing and without buyer’s remorse. So this Christmas, I had the opportunity to clear a ‘hook moment’.  I am not suspended in time, holding the emotional content from 2006. Instead, I am free and freed from the ‘hook moment’. 

May your purchase choices fulfill what is truly important to you, and may you recognise a fantasy buy (before you purchase) and instead release the hooked moment you are holding. 

Read more about Why Are Certain Buying Impulses Harmful? by Internationally established psychologist Utpal Dholakia.

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Author – Adrienne Gulliver

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