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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

TikTok Shop needs to stop: The issue of impulse buying

Peyton McKenzie

Caught in the tantalizing vortex of TikTok Shop’s flashy deals and influencer promotions, users find themselves succumbing to impulse buys. But behind the allure of discounts lies a trail of wasted products and financial regret, prompting a closer look at the consequences of the “For You” page temptation.

TikTok Shop is a social media-based storefront selling name-brand items where creators can open their own shops and profit off of products their viewers buy. The “For You” page is flooded with all different kinds of ads for unnecessary products. Every other video is an ad for an item that happens to be on sale.

TikTok Shop often has coupons available, and the more items you buy, the more coupons you get. There’s always suspiciously low prices, such as $5 for a perfume that’s normally $20. It looks like a scam, but users rave about the products they buy and the price they got them for.

Promoting cheap items is causing people to buy things they don’t really need. No one needs a pair of slippers with Christmas trees on them that they’re only going to wear two months out of the year, but they see a low price and believe they need them. And when people see their favorite influencers promoting these affordable products, they want to buy them even more.

People promote their TikTok shops because of the money they make when people buy from thier pages and the coupons that purchases generate. It becomes a vicious cycle, promoting your shop to get more coupons to buy more things you don’t need.

When we see someone we admire promoting a product in their TikTok shop, we immediately believe we have to have these products for ourselves. We run to add an item to our carts as soon as we see someone on the “For You” page enjoying the results an item brought them.

Everyone’s bought something on impulse before, like a lipstick in the drug store or a sweatshirt on Amazon. But, when there’s constant sales and coupons, people are more likely to impulse purchase unnecessary items. More and more impulse purchases create a buildup of wasted products and money being spent irresponsibly.

I’ve fallen victim to the coupons on TikTok Shop, I’ve bought makeup I didn’t need that just ended up sitting in the bottom of my drawer. I saw a creator on my “For You” page talking about the makeup they just bought for half of the original price and I immediately added it to my cart.

The things I bought went to waste and the charges to my bank account started to pile up. People buy things thinking, “It’s only $3, it’s completely affordable.” However, all these $3 purchases begin to add up over time.

Seeing people on TikTok with their overflowing makeup drawers and shelves always makes me wonder how much of it they actually use. Makeup influencers have all different types of foundations and concealers, when in reality, they only need one or two different kinds. I used to admire the collections people had, wanting it for myself, but I’ve come to realize that it’s all just money gone to waste because more than half of the products are never used.

The average American spends about $109 on impulse purchases in a month — that’s $1,308 every year, according to South West News Service Media Group. TikTok users spend decent amounts of money on nonessential items that they aren’t likely to use, when the funds could be put to use elsewhere.

Collections of makeup, skincare and clothes pile up and are almost never used in full. We believe we need these things, I see it as almost a form of hoarding. Overconsumption of material goods just leads to clutter and money wasted.

My advice is to think before you buy. Before you hit the checkout button, ask yourself if you really need that workout set being sold for 50% off, or do you want it just because you saw someone on TikTok wearing it and because it’s a steal? That workout set is probably just going to end up forgotten and folded up in the bottom of your drawer.

So, next time you’re scrolling through the app and you see someone promoting a product, before you add it to your cart stop and think: Do you really need it? Are you really going to use it, or is it just going to go to waste? Take everything into consideration before you make your purchase and instead save yourself some money and some space in your drawer.

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Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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