No-touch shopping: Save money by sitting on your hands


Can't help but window shop? Love to walk the aisles of your local Target store, looking at all the wonderful things to buy? Addicted to checking out the latest shoes and jackets at the mall? Whatever you do: Don't touch anything!

A new study by researchers at Ohio State University reveals that we are irresistibly attracted to purchasing things that we've touched; we'll even pay more than something is worth once we've held it in our hot hands, for even 30 seconds. Participants were given a mug to hold; some were given the mug for 10 seconds, others for 30 seconds, and then were told the mug's retail value. Those who had held the mug for 30 seconds paid more for it, and paid more than the retail price four out of seven times in an open auction.

I've always said that my best strategy for saving money is not to go shopping (and, while I'm at it, not looking at advertisement circulars or TV commercials). But this evaluates that strategy and puts more nuance on it; while shopping, we develop extreme attachment to objects, so much so that we have already imagined owning them, using them, pouring our coffee in them, after holding them for half a minute. Our brains have such a powerful attraction to stuff; quashing that takes enormous effort. So put your hands in your pockets -- you touch it, you buy it.