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Common Purchases that Cause Buyer’s Remorse

Regrets are part of life. So it helps to know what causes others to have buyer’s remorse so we can avoid some of those letdowns. We rounded up several of the biggest financial regrets and a few life regrets too. They came from a variety of sources. One group of investment regrets you will find particularly interesting.

stressed buyers remorse

While you browse through our list, consider what you would not purchase again if you had the chance at a do-over. Also, think about things you did with your time that you would hop in a time machine to change if you could.

The Big Three Purchase Regrets

For retirees, three very common purchases lead to buyer’s remorse. A huge house is one. Only two people living in a four-bedroom home, for example.

house in the suburbs

Next up is expensive travel. Of course, travel is a great use of money. Especially if you’ve waited a lifetime to see the world. The one regret people seem to have about traveling is spending too much money on it as soon as they retire. Many people wish they had stretched their plans out over a few years instead.


And the third common regret is expensive cars. Nothing like a $40,000 item that goes down in value before you even learn to use the GPS. In normal times this purchase can’t be undone quickly due to the fact that the value falls so fast. So you can’t sell it at a decent price to get out of the deal.


None of those purchases are as big a deal in your 20s or 30s. But in your 50s they may have more impact. And the buyer’s remorse may be heavier, which is not a good feeling.


What about the little purchases though?


Impulse Buys

You don’t have to sign mortgage papers or car loan agreements to regret spending money. You can do it online at Amazon and And yes, QVC is still going strong because bored people tend to like shopping from their sofa!


See if this sounds familiar to anything you’ve bought while in your recliner.


A recent survey showed “74% of people have experienced buyer’s remorse after buying items online. Plus, 73% of respondents own roughly 15 items that they dislike.”


Now that’s big-time buyer’s remorse, disliking an item you paid hard-earned money for. But I’ve experienced it myself. That waffle maker seemed awesome until I had to make my own waffles and clean the mess up afterward.

online purchases

Here are some reasons people gave for online shopping buyer’s remorse:


●     Missed the window for returns

●     Rarely used the product

●     Having to pay for return shipping

●     Spending too much on item


A good way to avoid impulse buys you can make with a mouse is to give yourself 24 hours to think it over. Even on inexpensive items. A $10 book you never read is $10 you could have used on something you would have used.

Life Regrets

Amazon is easier to overcome than some of the big life regrets we may face someday. This was some of the more interesting info that we found concerning regrets. You can see the 70-person quickie interviews here. The common themes…


  1. Arguments over minor things

  2. Missed education opportunities (short and long term)

  3. Not speaking up

  4. Not keeping in touch with important people

  5. Not seeing someone before it was too late


Overwhelmingly people used the word “not.” Regret came from things they wished they had done and generally not things they had not done.

However, about 10 percent of the people interviewed had a surprising and impressive answer. They had zero regrets. That is a weight off their shoulders I would guess the other 90 percent would like to unload.


Tech Buying Regrets

A quick note relating to buying tech products including software. Be sure you know exactly what the device or software can do for you or your business. If you are unclear, speak to a salesperson who can give you better details than the back of a box or explainer video.


Why? Because even major companies waste money on tech. Research showed 73% of tech purchasers regretted investing in technology that they had yet to implement. It’s like those smart speakers in a room you never use or the accounting software that hasn’t had a line item entered since 2019.

smart speaker

But that’s not as bad as the next cause of buyer's remorse.

Vacation Home

A vacation home is a great way to enjoy retirement and get the family together. The family that floats and boats together stays together, they say! Yet, a Lending Tree survey found this disturbing fact:


More than a third of vacation homeowners (37%) only use their vacation home once a year or less.


According to my calculations, that means some people use their vacation home zero times a year! Easy to understand the remorse. Again, it helps to take time to ponder buying decisions. And a vacation home needs more consideration than a $10 book, right?

beach house

Even with careful thought, a second home can end up being regrettable. Through no mistake or anyone’s fault often. Things change and life tosses nasty curveballs that alter our plans. Knowing that, it’s also good to know we can pivot our plans as we go.


Meaning, there’s no shame in selling a beach or lake home that you simply didn’t use enough to justify keeping. On the other hand, no problem with waiting out situations until you are able to enjoy the vacation home more in the future.

Even Sharks Have Buyer’s Remorse

That’s right, even super successful investors on the TV show Shark Tank have financial regrets. They would like to go back and not invest in products that appeared to be game-changing but flopped.

board meeting

 Here are a few things that didn’t turn out to be good investments:


●     A creepy app that no longer exists

●     Creative toy for little engineering minds that never got off the ground

●     Hose attachment that blew the Sharks away but ended up all wet

●     A towel “invention” that was simply a towel with a slit in it


So don’t feel bad about money mistakes you made in the past or purchases that caused buyer’s remorse. The best and brightest financial investors have done the same. Everyone has. And if you learn from mistakes or regrets, however you look at them, then those lessons are useful going forward.



Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a registered investment advisor.







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