Picture the scene. It’s Friday night, and you’ve had a busy week. Rather than cooking you’ve ordered in some takeaway – because you deserve it. The TV provides a background but you’re not really interested. You pick up your phone or tablet in one hand while holding your third drink of the night in the other.
Before you know it, you’re shopping online for things that you wouldn’t even consider buying while sober. That could be flights to the North Pole, a leather onesie or tickets to a Justin Bieber gig.
Sip and click, also known as being drunk while shopping, is more common than you think. If this sounds like you, then read our four top tips that could keep those pennies in your pocket.
Hang out with someone more sensible than you
If we were to advise that you spend evenings with a sober and sensible person, who can help you make rational decisions during a night in, you’ll probably laugh at us (a cat or dog does not qualify btw). So we’ll compromise.
While it may not be as much fun, having a ‘sensible friend’ can be the difference between ordering £20 of perfume rather than £200 of eau de toilette that you’ve never smelt.
And for those of you who have friends that are likely to encourage not-so-sensible behaviour, just try to consider what you’re buying – or skip straight to our bonus tip!
“The most popular time for drunken shopping to occur is usually in the early hours of Sunday morning.” – online marketplace Flubit via www.retailgazette.co.uk
Keep your phone or tablet out of sight
There’s nothing wrong with spending an evening looking at your phone or tablet while the TV is on, but after you’ve looked on your favourite social media sites you might find your fingers getting twitchy. If you leave temptation nearby, then one thing could lead to another…and you may wake up the following morning with the UPS delivery guy holding a mountain of purchases.
So ignore the 20% offer voucher you have for your favourite store, and if you can survive without your phone/ tablet/ laptop for an evening it may help you avoid buying rubbish when alcohol is a key factor in your decision making.
What exactly are drunk shoppers most likely to purchase online at midnight on a Friday, right after they’ve gotten back from the bar? $300 worth of lingerie and heels so expensive they wouldn’t have bought them in the light of day. Research from Lyst.com via racked.com
Remove payment details after you shop sober
Many shopping sites will give you the option to store payment details that make it easier for you to shop. What you may not have considered, especially after a few drinks, is that the ‘one click to buy’ button can be dangerous. Especially if items that didn’t look good a few hours ago, suddenly appear to be the thing that you’ve always wanted.
An easy way of potentially stopping that embarrassing purchase is to clear your payment details after each ‘sober’ transaction. So if you’re under the influence while shopping then it may stop you in your tracks before you end up with a singing garden gnome.
Like to gamble? Online gambling is more prevalent among inebriated men than women www.casino.org
Use parental controls – even though you’re not 5
No regrets for including this top tip – it may seem simple and commonsensical – but it will do the trick!
By using the parental controls on your phone you can restrict the use of apps and browser if you think that you may end up buying stuff that you don’t need, and even worse, stuff that you can’t afford.
Anyone with an apple device can read how to apply restrictions on the apple website.
And for Andriod and Windows users – in case you decide to log on to your laptop and go shopping, here’s a handy Google chrome extension that you can use to block sites for any reason as required.
Bonus TIP – Get clued up about the returns policy
You could call this your get out of jail card, but this is pretty much the last resort before you eventually wave goodbye to your cash. If you’ve managed to drunkenly buy something online, then regretted it, you can always fall back on the returns policy. If you shop online you normally have up to 14 days to return goods once you receive them. Look up the refund policy before you buy.
Products that are linked to a specific time and date, such as concert tickets and flights, have different refund criteria to buying regular products online, so you may not be able to get a refund on items like this. Personalised goods may also be exempt from refunds unless the goods are deemed faulty.