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The Diderot Effect –You Buy Things You Don't Need & How to master it

If you've ever bought a dress, you have to buy many accessories such as a new bag, new earrings, a new pair of high heels, etc., to match the beautiful dress you just bought although they are not necessary. Well, condolences, you have become a victim of the Diderot effect.

The Diderot Effect –You Buy Things You Don't Need & How to master itfoto: Bench Accounting
Loi Nguyen
created at: Tue Jul 13 2021| updated at:Fri Sep 24 2021
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The Diderot Effect –You Buy Things You Don't Need & How to master it

If you've ever bought a dress, you have to buy many accessories such as a new bag, new earrings, a new pair of high heels, etc., to match the beautiful dress you just bought although they are not necessary. Well, condolences, you have become a victim of the Diderot effect.


1. Origin of the effect

The term "Diderot" is named after the French philosopher Denis Diderot - a man famous as a co-author of the Encyclopédie but lived in poverty all his life.

His life changed in 1765 when he could not afford the betrothal for his daughter's betrothal. And luckily, Catherine the Great, Queen of Russia, offered to buy Diderot's library for £1.000 (equivalent to 11.930,31 SEK in 2021).

When he became rich, he decided to buy himself an expensive red robe, and from there, the tragedy began to unfold. The robe was so beautiful that it became "out-of-place" among the other objects in Diderot's house. With a large amount of money in hand, he replaced the old carpet with high-class Middle Eastern Damascus carpet, new sculptures, new kitchen tables, etc. As a result, the philosopher spent all his money and returned to a life of poverty.

Also, the term Diderot effect appeared to refer to the consumption spiral that makes you want more of the things you don't need - stemming from buying a new item. That explains why the philosopher Diderot wanted to replace the furniture in the house to match the new shirt, so he fell into the spiral of consumption.

You may also have fallen victim to this effect without even knowing it. That's when you buy a new phone but also buy dozens of cases, a few power banks. That's when you purchase a gym membership and bring back a bunch of accessories such as clothes, exercise mats, dumbbells, water bottles, etc. And the fact is that most of the items we buy when caught in the vortex of the Diderot effect are only used very little. And sometimes, you do not understand why you did buy it.


2. How to not get caught up in the shopping vortex.

· Be stricter with yourself; before buying something, consider its intended use carefully to avoid getting caught up in the spiral of consumption.

· Learn how to manage and track your spending after a week or a month.

· Look at your wallet and the price you pay when buying those items.

· Make a grocery list before you go shopping and buy only what you really need.


3. How to apply the Diderot effect in doing business

One of the applications of this effect to increase profits for businesses is the products sold with a combo. For example, the majority of pots and pans sold in supermarkets will be combos of both large and small so that customers can buy a full set of products at the best price. However, in those combo offers, there are also large pots that you only use once a year.

Businesses hit on the "convenience", "package", and "a little more cost is okay" mentality of customers. From there, consumers are caught up in the pre-directed shopping vortex of the sellers. Businesses can thereby increase profits and gain a significant number of loyal customers.

Besides, businesses today are also quickly "taking advantage" of the Diderot effect to form an "instant" business strategy in 3 steps:

· Reducing the Price Floor to a level where most consumers are willing to spend money to buy or breaking down financial barriers to make users willing to buy.

· Constantly updating trends and boosting up the production to meet the modernization needs of users. From there, motivating consumers to buy more products if they do not want to become obsolete.

· Lowering the quality of the product, reducing the life of each item sold, making the item not durable, quickly getting old, and quickly damaged for consumers to buy a new one.


Source:

https://jamesclear.com/diderot-effect

https://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/how-the-diderot-effect-explains-why-you-buy-things-you-dont-need 

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