Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need

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Date Submitted: 11/26/2012 06:42 PM

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Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need

Many marketing books are written today about how/where/what to sell to consumers, but this book gives an in-depth description of what happens in the consumers’ minds during an actual purchase and why they have purchased it. Written by marketing connoisseur, Pamela N. Danziger, “Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need” presents accurately intriguing information into the psychology of whim buying and out of control consumerism, also why consumers are such impulse buyers, replacing products that are still fully functional with a newer model. This book has an unyielding and enlightening exposition looking into the controversy and the concealed depths of the human mind during a purchase and how marketers can manipulate the constant conflict of the consumers’ psyche.

Danziger explains that buying needs and wants are two totally different feelings to a consumer and that contemporary Americans feel uncontrollable desire purchasing their wants. Americans are on top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and are searching for self-actualization”. The subject of this book is “The act of consuming, rather than the item being consumed, satisfies the need” and with a consumer-driven society, satisfying consumer needs has less to do with the practical meeting of physical needs and consuming. The author does not delve into charts and graphs that educate the reader of what consumers buy, where they buy it, when they buy it, and how much they spend, but instead, understanding the “why” that ultimately drives consumer behavior. Danziger states that, despite the tragedy of September 11, and the immense decrease in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the United States is a consumer nation, and nothing will ever change that.

Consumers that purchase things that they do not need are extremely high and it shows that there is a fruitful market available for marketers. Today, over 40 percent of consumer spending is discretionary. According to...