How To Talk Yourself Into Buying Anything on

Last week I decided to buy a book online. The book cost $11.53 at so after I added it to my shopping cart, I saw this message: message

What follows is the inner dialogue that allowed me to spend far more than I intended to:

  • Impulse Buyer Me: Hey, I only have to buy one more thing and I’ll get free shipping!
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: But the shipping only costs $3.99. There’s no need to spend another $14.
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Yes, but if I have to pay nearly $4, I may as well tack on another $10 and get something I want. Let me check my wishlist.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: That is the tool of a consumerist devil!
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Settle down Karl Marx! It’s just a list of some things I like.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: But your list is 22 pages long and has more than 500 items. Doesn’t that say something to you?
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Yeah, it says, um, “I dream big!” Besides, it’s just Amazon’s way of helping me out. It’s thoughtful of them really.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: Let’s assume I’ll agree to this. What do you want?
  • Impulse Buyer Me: How ’bout the 2009 Cute Overload calendar?
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: That’s only $10.39. You have to spend $13.47 to get free shipping.
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Ok, well how about a DVD? Like, Season 1 of Strangers with Candy. It’s $19.61.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: But that’s waaay more than you need to spend.
  • Impulse Buyer Me: It’s close enough. And come on – who doesn’t love Amy Sedaris?
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me:
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Oh, wait a second.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: What now?
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Well, it looks like I can get all three seasons of Strangers with Candy for only $42.99.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: So?
  • Impulse Buyer Me: If I buy them separately, I’ll spend an extra $20 – that’s ludicrous!
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: What’s ludicrous is how you’ve rationalized this totally un-necessary purchase in the midst of one of the worst financial crises in the history of the United States!
  • Impulse Buyer Me: But in hard times like these, don’t I deserve a laugh to lift my spirits? If I don’t enjoy myself, I could end up in a mental hospital and think how expensive that would be. Is that what you want? Me in a mental ward??
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: No, of course not!
  • Impulse Buyer Me: *sniffle* Then why are you trying to suck all the joy out of my life?
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: I just want to make sure you aren’t wasteful and foolhardy.
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Haven’t I suffered enough? Do I need to remind you that I fell and cracked my head open? I COULD HAVE DIED!! Then what good would all my saved money have done me?
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: Um, remember what the therapist said about catastrophic thinking? You didn’t nearly die. Take it down a notch or two.
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Isn’t it enough that I clip coupons?
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: Thanks to those fabric store coupons, you now have enough fabric for everyone in the free world to have two yards. Don’t talk to me about coupons!
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Look, if you think I’m going to miss a chance at free shipping, you’re crazy!
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: But don’t you see? That’s what they want you to think!
  • Impulse Buyer Me: They? Who is “they?” Are you getting paranoid again? It’s like how you make me check 100 times that my skirt isn’t tucked into my panties after I go to the bathroom.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: HEY – you would be mortified if that happened! You should be glad I’m so careful. Do you want to be strolling down the freeway of life mooning innocent bystanders??
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: Fine. That’s great. Go ahead! But if you lose your job and are forced to traffic drugs for a living, don’t come crying to me!
  • Impulse Buyer Me: I knew we should never have watched Maria Full of Grace. You’re such a worrier!!
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me:
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Hmm.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: What?
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Well, Strangers with Candy reminds me that I’ve been wanting to get one of David Sedaris’s books. He’s Amy’s brother, you know.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: RELEASE THE MOUSE AND STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER or I’ll stir up a panic attack that will make The Great Meltdown of 2007 look like a cakewalk!
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Ok, ok! Please, anything but a panic attack! I’ll just get the book and the DVDs. That’s it! Sheesh. *grumble*
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: WHAT? What was that?
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Nothing! Go back to obsessing about all the things you wish you would’ve said in high school.
  • Fiscally-Conservative Me: Oooh, can we role-play again later? This time I’ll be the class hunk who spurned your advances.
  • Impulse Buyer Me: Shut the f…

6 Responses to “How To Talk Yourself Into Buying Anything on”

  1. westwardbound Says:


    I always buy more for the exta shipping. Marx is going to kick my ass in heaven. (or hell??)

  2. westwardbound Says:

    FRee shipping. Not exra. Damn sleep deprivation.

  3. Amy Says:

    You will single handedly save the economy! Buy more.

    Also, my dentist ruined the ending of Maria Full of Grace for us. She’s from Columbia and we hadn’t seen it yet!

  4. lydia Says:

    There is always something you want at Amazon so you can get free shipping! I just went through this last week. 🙂 I did manage to find something that was only, like, $1 more than what I needed to get free shipping, so that was good.

    Also, yes, move to VA. You can teach me to sew. 🙂

  5. PastaQueen Says:

    That free shipping thing is marketing brilliance. It’s gotten me many a time.

  6. Amy Says:

    Amazon and free shipping don’t bother me so much since there’s always something I NEED on there, like printer ink or groceries.

    But here’s one I fell for last week: I needed a $1.28 item, but their shipping policy was anything up to $20 was $6 shipping. So I caved and bought other stuff for $20 I could have lived w/o, but would have gotten someday I guess. Then I got the stuff and the $1.28 thing doesn’t work for what I need to do with it!

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