Shopping addiction can be dangerous

Hannah Bealer and Hannah Bealer

Hi, my name is Hannah Bealer and I’m addicted to Amazon.com.

I’m not necessarily proud of my addiction, but I do believe online shopping has its benefits.

First of all, it’s extremely convenient. As much as I enjoy the real shopping experience, I love the convenience of simply logging on to Amazon and ordering whatever I need, sometimes at a smaller price.

Going through my order history, I came across lots of novels, DVDs, textbooks and a bubble umbrella, not to mention my Kindle which only encourages further spending.

If you’re feeling a bit guarded toward Amazon but still want to try it out, I would highly recommend using your account to purchase used textbooks. You can find good-quality used or even new textbooks for a much smaller price than the University bookstore offers.?

Also, Kindle is great for avid readers who are willing to sacrifice an actual book for $9.99 new releases.

Amazon is also great when it comes to quality. Sellers will write a description of the item. If it is used, they will write whatever flaws it might have. Customers can rate whoever they bought from and comment on their profiles. I always buy from sellers who have an approval rating of 98 percent or above; they’re not hard to find.

If I’ve managed to convince you, pause for a moment before running off to your computer and creating an account. I did, after all, mention I’m not proud of my shopping habits. While I’m not too far gone, my friends constantly make a joke of asking me if I’m on Amazon when they see me on my laptop.

I’ll usually just add items to my wish list and later come to realize I don’t need them. Taking a few days to contemplate a purchase really helps sort out your priorities. Trust me.

The thing is, an online shopping addiction (or a shopping addiction in general) is a serious problem with serious consequences. Remember the novel and the film, “Confessions of a Shopaholic”? The main character ends up having some serious financial problems, including declined credit cards and a lot of debt.

Also, those shopaholic anonymous meetings you see her going to really exist. An online shopping addiction is treated as a real disease, complete with symptoms (ignoring family and friends to shop online), treatments (counseling and psychotherapy) and even ways to test yourself for it.

By all means, create an Amazon account if only to purchase cheap textbooks. You’ve been warned, though. You might end up buying leather Kindle cases and bubble umbrellas (they work really well against Bowling Green wind, by the way).

An online shopping addiction is just like any other addiction. It feels good and you don’t want to stop. But prioritize! Take awhile to decide if you really need what you want to buy. For the most part, I can proudly say I use the majority of what I’ve purchased.

So, go for it. Just keep an eye on your bank account and be smart about it. Amazon has been my faithful and reliable friend since last summer, and I don’t plan on ending our relationship anytime soon.

Respond to Hannah at [email protected]