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The Psychology Behind Buying Luxury Goods

The psychology behind buying luxury goods comes with many reasons. In some cases, low self esteem can be a factor that influences whether or not a consumer purchases luxury goods. It impacts a person especially if they can not easily afford the cost of luxury items. With the take over of online shopping, luxury brands have made it easy to buy luxury goods, a 500 hundred dollar shirt is a click away. 

However, to some people, buying luxury goods is also a sense of accomplishment. To reward themselves for their hard work by treating him or herself to something they typically would not buy or afford regularly. Although some consumers do not act rationally, someone who’s rational would always act in their best interest, including in their own financial situation. 

Here’s a question - Are higher priced goods really of higher quality? Humans tend to perceive non-luxury goods as inferior simply by virtue of them being non-luxury. People believe that you get what you pay for regardless of whether the goods are actually better. There’s also the difference between fake and authentic luxury goods, so what if it’s fake they look identical, so similar that you can't even tell the difference. Despite looking the same, owners of the luxury goods know it’s not authentic, it turns out that people have sentimental attachment to the item, the memory and feeling it comes with when buying an authentic luxury item. The whole process of choosing, paying and getting treated with respect at a store is also something people enjoy and crave for, it just does not have the same effect. 


The psychology behind buying luxury items is relatively straightforward to understand – luxury is attractive and for those who can afford it, that’s all well and good. The more bemusing psychological aspect is why people who cannot afford hundreds of pounds on a pair of shoes, buy them anyway. Apparently the short-term boost to self-esteem, the momentary sense of accomplishment and belonging is enough to outweigh the longer term problem of accumulating debt.