Students share impulse purchases made while staying home

By Carla Ghafari | @GhafariCarla

While shopping can be a fun and relaxing pastime, it has also become a coping mechanism during the COVID-19 era.

When feeling low-spirited, people are more likely to make big purchases because it can quickly brighten their mood, according to a 2014 study led by researchers at the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Commonly known as retail therapy,” these spending habits are affected by emotional and psychological needs.

During this time in isolation, many people — including students at Cal Poly Pomona — have experienced loss of motivation and depression due to the global pandemic. Students met virtually with The Poly Post to share some unique coping purchases they made within the past few months.

Violete Raven | First-year history student (Courtesy of Carla Ghafari)


“The most expensive impulse decision I made was buying Animal Crossing with a Switch Lite. All of my friends already had a Switch and the game, and I wanted to be a part of it. It felt normal to play because after a while in this pandemic, everything felt boring. Before COVID-19, I was a very busy person. However, when everything shut down, I was stuck sitting at home, and eventually, even Minecraft got boring. I was very happy after making this purchase. I was able to connect with friends, and things felt normal again.”




Yasmine Naffaa | Graduate student in organic chemistry (Courtesy of Carla Ghafari)


“I guess I didn’t buy anything too impulsive. However, I did spend quite a bit on a fun Big Bear trip with some friends this quarantine. This pandemic has been really depressing but being able to get away for a little while with some close friends was really nice. It was a mood booster, for sure.”






Paulene Patrisha Pare | First-year animal science student (Courtesy of Carla Ghafari)


“My most expensive purchase of quarantine has to be my guinea pigs. The guinea pigs themselves were $40 each, and I got two. But having to buy all their essentials adds up. I’ve had them for about a month now, and they cost a total of $500 so far. I have no regrets of getting them because seeing them happy is extremely worth it.”






Julissa Camacho | Second-year business marketing student (Courtesy of Carla Ghafari)


“An impulsive purchase I made was buying myself a smart TV. However, it was definitely needed for the time spent staying home. The pandemic has affected my decision in making this purchase because I have more free time at home and more time to do online shopping. I’m more vulnerable to make impulsive purchases than if we weren’t in a pandemic.”





Nadya Capozzi | First-year hospitality management student (Courtesy of Carla Ghafari)


“The most expensive impulse purchase I made in quarantine was a car. I have been working all summer and decided to get a car for when we go back to on-campus learning. I had already planned on getting a car before I moved on campus. Once COVID-19 hit, it gave me the time to save up some more while I worked some internships. After I bought the car, I felt great.”





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