Anne's thread about over-buyers and under-buyers reminded me of something else interesting I read on Gretchen Rubin's blog a while back, about how we make our buying decisions.

Turns out there are two kinds of shoppers: Satisficers and maximizers. Let's say you (me) are looking for a pair of white shoes. If you are a satisficer, you keep looking until you find a pair that meets your requirements (comfortable enough, acceptable price, reasonable heel height, acceptable toe shap), and you buy that pair. But if you are a maximizer, you don't buy that pair -- at least not yet. You keep looking because you want to make sure you have found the very best (however you define "best") pair of white shoes that are out there. Maybe you can get 'em cheaper! Maybe you can find a pointy toe instead of an almond toe! So you don't buy until you are sure you have explored all the options.

I'm a satisficer all the way. If I see something (shoes, house, car...) that fits the bill, I'll jump and I almost never look back. It mostly works for me (I bought the almond-toed white pumps because I really needed white pumps and didn't want to have that gaping wardrobe hole all summer while I searched in vain for the perfect pointy pair), but sometimes it backfires. I think when it backfires, I'm not being honest about what my priorities are -- like the time I bought not one but two pair of cheap leopard shoes because I thought I didn't want to spend the money on the more expensive ones I really wanted. I ended up buying them in the end anyway! So now I am careful to be honest about what my requirements are.

Which one are you? Satisficer or maximizer? And does that hold true for other areas of your life as well?

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