People all over the world are different, maybe a little bit weird. There are those who are fond of buying expensive or luxury goods and then there are those who would rather stick to the typical options and channel their money somewhere else. The question is, why do people buy expensive goods?
Buying designer shoes, high-end smartphones, or other accessories today is as common as passing by the streets and buying a pair of beat shoes.
Undeniably, the appeal of owning a luxury good places you high in the mouths of the society. Well, there’s the positive and the negative talk, but we can all agree that that luxury shoe has a softer leather, is more comfortable and will keep necks craning your way.
However, the common folks can’t afford it because the price is off the roof! You can only afford it if you have a really good job, a savings account that brings a smile to your face, or if you are a Luo, who have apparently been stereotyped to believe they can afford all the luxury goods in Kenya.
When people have money, very few of them can behave rationally. But what do you expect? Homo sapiens are the irrational lot in the animal kingdom.
Statistics from the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) in the country show that many Kenyans have enormous outstanding debts, which shows that these people clearly don’t act in their best financial interests.
Luxury goods are a great example of how irrational people are; for example, some women in Kenya can buy a good handbag worth 1,000 or 2,000 shillings, but there are those who will spend more than 10,000 shillings for the accessory.
Similarly, a man will spend more than 50,000 to purchase a suit where the common one will spend between 7,000 and 10,000 shillings and still look classy as can be.
It would seem some people are just concerned about owning the finer things in life and it is a phenomenon that will never change.
The psychology behind this has to do with the way we obsess about owning that luxury product and completely forget about its disadvantage. Every time this happens, luxury goods companies only smile as you enrich them.
Picture this, people love iPhones, especially Kenyans and they wait overnight for the next big release every damn time. Somehow, in Kenya, when you own an iPhone, people think you are rich. Truth is, these phones aren’t technologically unique or superior!
What people choose not to see is that brands like Samsung (although it also has some high-end products) makes phones with amazing features. Also, for the price of one iPhone smartphone, you can buy several Xiaomi phones with amazing features.
But no, people stick to Apple products and regard other brands like trash meanwhile as the company break sales record every year.
There are people who consider cheap cars that need repairs some junk with shoddy construction but refer to their expensive that need repairs as machines suffering from minor wear and tear.
Somehow, the statement that “cheap is always expensive” has driven people to spend more on luxury goods while forgetting other important stuff. They just spend even when you expressly point out why how their counterpart is better than what they are buying.
As some would say, “Oh self-esteem, thy heartless buffoon!” Far from driving others into depression, it is also a reason why people buy expensive stuff. Poor people who can’t afford to buy something of luxury spend years coveting it and feeling inferior as opposed to those who can afford it.
Majority of people living in institutionalized poverty or those who can hardly afford anything until the next check find a sense of pride and belonging when they buy a luxury good; it goes a long way in improving their self-esteem.
In this case, expensive things from luxury companies act as the best therapy, and thanks to Amazon, Alibaba and the like, they are readily available for when you are vulnerable and impulse buying stuff.
Self-esteem itself has bred fear. Fear, in turn, has made people buy fancy things in life in a bid to try to look the same as those who own such luxury goods. Poor people somehow think that buying luxury things is the roadmap to richness. Owe unto you!
Another reason is a sense of accomplishment. People figure that after months of hard work, the least they could do is reward themselves with something they can’t typically afford.
All right, before you argue that the majority of stuff sold in the street is counterfeit, you should know that some of them are, you just have to know your product well. However, because you are seeking authenticity, you are led to believe that owning that good you bought in the street isn’t a luxury product you wanted, please!
Researchers have noted that the quest for authenticity results from the sentimentality of the item. That feeling of pride or memory of owning something like that before will drive you to buy expensive things. Your judgments lead you to believe that without it, you haven’t treated yourself well at all!
The bottom line is, there are myriad reasons why people buy fancy things in life. For others it may be greed, others do so to show off, then there are those who buy because they can afford. Nevertheless, all these reasons are attached to strong emotions people carry.
Now that you understand the psychology behind why people buy luxury goods, why not take some time to teach them how to quash down that impulse that will cripple them financially?