CUED Publications database

Questioning demand: A study of regretted purchases in Great Britain

Skelton, ACH and Allwood, JM (2017) Questioning demand: A study of regretted purchases in Great Britain. Ecological Economics, 131. pp. 499-509. ISSN 0921-8009

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This paper presents findings from a nationally representative household survey on the tendency to regret purchases across 20 product groups. The survey reveals that the vast majority of adults in Great Britain (82%) have regretted a purchase in the past. Post-purchase regret is shown to be particularly prevalent for clothing & footwear and takeaway food. The tendency to regret purchases appears to reduce with age and to be more common amongst white collar rather than blue collar workers. Combining survey results with average price estimates gives an estimated, aggregate, annual expenditure on regretted purchases of £5–25bn, equivalent to 2–10% of annual consumer spending on goods in Great Britain. These findings are interesting because they suggest that there is a degree of self-assessed over-consumption that, if reduced, could help to reduce pressures on the environment.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div D > Structures
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:39
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 07:54
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.06.028