Shopping Addiction: Survey Finds a Significant Number of Americans Who Show Signs of a Problem The number of respondents who may have an addiction to buying things is much larger than the 4.7 percent who reported being called a "shopaholic" by their friends or family, according to a poll by

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Do you buy things just because they're on sale? Do you sometimes hide purchases from your friends and family? Do you feel anxious when you're not browsing store aisles or retailer websites? If so, you may be a shopping addict – an affliction uncovered by a significant portion of respondents to a recent survey by credit card comparison website

"Since one key indicator of addiction is denial, we didn't expect many respondents to raise their hands and announce, 'Yes! I'm a shopaholic!'" said Charles Tran, founder of, a credit card comparison and financial education website. "But the survey results reveal a significant percentage of consumers display some, or all, of the warning signs of a shopping addiction."

These red flags include feeling guilt or shame after shopping (which 36.7 percent of respondents have experienced), hiding purchases from their families (20.5 percent), and checking available credit at least once a week (26.7 percent). However, just 4.7 percent of respondents said they have been labeled "shopaholics."

Among the survey's other findings:

  • 31.7 percent of respondents said they "almost always" or "frequently" purchase things just because they're on sale.
  • 18.1 percent said they frequently or always purchase items that they don't need or didn't plan to buy when they set out to shop.
  • Nearly 11 percent of those polled said they frequently shop to improve their mood.
  • 47.4 percent said they experience a rush of excitement when they go shopping.
  • 24.4 percent admitted they have items in their closets that are still in shopping bags or have price tags.
  • 18.5 percent said they have frequent arguments over money.
  • 19.1 percent said their main reason for using credit cards is to pay for items when they don't have enough money.

"We were happy to learn that most consumers use credit cards for the sake of convenience or to save money via rewards programs, but the fact that so many people treat credit cards as extra spending money is disturbing," said Tran. "When people routinely spend so much on their cards that they can't pay off the monthly balance, we recommend that they temporarily suspend their card use for 30 days. This will help them distinguish between when they're buying on impulse and when they're purchasing things they really need."

To view the full survey results, visit

From September 3 to September 8, 2013, CreditDonkey surveyed 1,063 Americans about their shopping habits, payment preferences, credit card use, and what makes them happy. provides information on the credit issues, news, and trends facing Americans through proprietary market research and analysis. aims to make personal finance "donkey-proof" (easy to understand) to give consumers the information they need to make savvy financial decisions.

Read more news from Credit Donkey.

SOURCE Credit Donkey


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