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Shopping with your family could cost you more money, University of Florida study finds

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Posted at 6:33 AM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 07:50:39-04

TAMPA, Fla. — When you’re out shopping, you’re more likely to be swayed by those around you, that’s according to a new study from the University of Florida.

“We realized when we go shopping or when we have people go together with us, some of you may think oh how may of those people affect our decisions?” said Zhifeng Gao, Professor in Food and Resource Economics at the University of Florida.

This study might give us a clue as to why we buy items we don’t necessarily need when we’re out shopping.

Researchers looked into what and who affect people’s decisions, finding that the shopping response depends on who is shopping with you and takes into account a variety of factors like gender and age.

“We also found out that when people get different suggestions from different types of people, it depends on where those recommendations come from. Their response may be different,” said Gao.

The research shows the probability is higher you’ll buy something impulsively if you’re shopping with someone.

The closer the relationship you have with them, the more likely it is you’ll spend money on something you didn’t mean to buy.

The study found that a mom is more likely to do some impulse shopping when her kids are with her and they ask for something, while a dad is less likely to be swayed by his children.

“Our results show that actually a male is more likely to buy something if they get some recommendations suggested from their parents,” said Gao.

Spouses were also highly influential in impulse shopping.

The new findings suggest the best thing you can do to avoid wasting money and buying things you don’t need is to go shopping alone, especially without your family.

If you do go shopping with someone, take a minute before you purchase anything.

“Before you do this take action, maybe think a little before you make a purchase. Then maybe you can save some money to buy something more useful,” said Gao.

For retailers, this study suggests marketing and advertising for more family shopping could make them more money.