General Question

AlienBomber's avatar

I need advice in understanding why humans feel the need to purchase crap that they don't need?

Asked by AlienBomber (188points) February 10th, 2010

For example: Little knick-knack figurines, colored hair dye, plastic bags filled with stuff, corporate logo covered clothing, sports team jersey’s (when it is apparent that they haven’t played sports in quite some time), women’s underwear, female condoms, viagra, etc….

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26 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

It’s what makes America so great! The ability to mindlessly consume goods and services helps spread the wealth and avoid to the need to Socialize our economy!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I needed that rhino!!! the time…;)

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I think it’s about time you return my MIL! Her birthday is around the corner and we have something special planned for her.

Blackberry's avatar

It’s the freedom they feel they have, and they do have it, they just can’t control it. Seeing the things constantly makes us want it too. Whenever I meet people that don’t fall for this stuff, they are always guys from kansas and stuff where they weren’t exposed to technology at a young age, I think that’s good for them. And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with female condoms or viagra or underwear. Why would women not buy underwear?

erichw1504's avatar

Women’s underwear? So, you’re saying women don’t need to wear underwear?

phoebusg's avatar

Because there are a lot of people abusing common mental disabilities to get people to buy more goods. Or getting people to think that owning more things results to a higher level of happiness.

And I’d say, to some extent. You need basic needs covered. Then you just need friends, social time. Time to reflect and relax. And to be independent – that’s all one needs to be happy – well and to simply decide it.

So when these people you mention are chasing happiness through ownership or purchase, or financial ways – they fail. For the simple reason that no matter what happens, if you win the lottery or not, you will get used to it and then “need more”, or realize you need nothing to be happy – only the basics.

Meanwhile by supplying this greed, we keep other people from having basics, and actually are getting in their way of happiness.

erichw1504's avatar

“sports team jersey’s (when it is apparent that they haven’t played sports in quite some time)”

I think it’s because they support their favorite team, not because they want to play.

Hydrogenbond's avatar

Yeah I’m going to have to agree with @erichw1504 . That’s a pretty odd thing to say. Why woman’s underwear? And female condoms? Viagra?? What? By the way, the majority of t-shirts are covered with corporate logo’s. I buy most of my shirts from Aeropostale because their cheap, and their only design is Aeropostale written all over the front, ha ha, in other words, it’s kind of hard to avoid.

jca's avatar

i am still confused why women’s underwear is thrown into the mix of things people don’t need. i am a woman and i buy underwear, i don’t categorize it in the “things I don’t need” category.

MrGV's avatar

Because they can? stop being a hater.

Hydrogenbond's avatar

@jca – Unless you want to buy useless shit, you gotta start buying boxers, sorry, that’s the way it works apparently.

Snarp's avatar

I’m especially confused about women’s underwear and female condoms. So if a woman decides to take control of her own reproductive tract without using drugs or something that has to be carefully inserted far inside the vagina, and also to protect herself from STDs at the same time, then she is buying something she doesn’t need?

Snarp's avatar

The basic answer is that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. I for one hate corporate logos on my clothes, knick knacks figurines, and plastic bags filled with stuff, but I don’t begrudge my wife her underwear and I like sports jerseys, even if I can’t justify spending the amount that the actual jersey’s cost. There are worse wastes of money out there than that, but anything that provokes an emotional response in enough individuals will be sold and bought. It has nothing to do with need. I once had a professor who discussed in a seminar what we really need. No one needs, for example, more than three shirts. That gives you one to wash, one to wear, and one for tomorrow while the washed one is air drying.

So why not ask what you purchase that you don’t need that someone else would consider crap?

CMaz's avatar

I just need a hug.

Seek's avatar

or air conditioners, or televisions, or the computer you used to ask this question, or soda pop, or men’s underwear, or baseball cards, or cow’s milk, or multivitamins, alcoholic beverages, or sewing machines, or disposable diapers, or antidepressants…

lilikoi's avatar

Come on, admit it, even you’re guilty of this.

talljasperman's avatar

It might be genetic…. we were hunters/gatherers for 10,000 years…the habit is hard to break

rooeytoo's avatar

I buy stuff because I like to, why do you need to understand it? Why is it any of your business?

AlienBomber's avatar

Thanks for all the responses. To further explain the female condom and women’s underwear: These are 2 devices that are clearly poorly designed. I’m a man and I only find that these things get in the way and never work as intended.

As to the person referring to me as a hater: Please forgive my tone. I was simply looking around my apartment and saw all this crap that me and my girlfriend have purchased and never use. I donated a bunch of it, pawned some of it and sold some on eBay. My lady was mad for about a day and then she realized I was right. We never touch that crap.

I actually need this stupid googlebox I am typing on because, I use it for work when not typing blogs or watching porn!

Hydrogenbond's avatar

Weren’t you going to explain the Woman’s underwear and female condoms?

SABOTEUR's avatar

People purchase crap that they don’t need because

1. they believe they need it.
2. they want it though they may not understand what they want it for.
3. it fills an inner void.
4. it’s cute.
5. it may make for a good topic of discussion.
6. it goes with the other crap they have.
7. out of habit.
8. because someone else has similar crap.
9. it’s currently popular crap.
10. they believe that particular crap serves a unique and necessary purpose.
11. they don’t believe it’s crap.
12. the crap comes highly recommended.
13. the crap might be worth something someday.
14. it’s entertaining crap.
15. it’s interesting crap.

and finally, the ever popular…

…it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Snarp's avatar

My wife buys pottery. Far more than we need or have use for. We have plates and pitchers coming out our ears. But she’s also supporting local artists when she does so, so is she wrong to buy something she doesn’t need if it helps people to be able to create art and still put food on their plates?

SABOTEUR's avatar

I believe that #10 (above) applies, @Snarp.

Hydrogenbond's avatar

I like crap, and I like it a lot, I will never stop buying crap. In fact, I may even buy some more crap today!

erichw1504's avatar

@Hydrogenbond Why, that’s craptastic!

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