Men vs. Women: Surprising Facts About Shopping Stereotypes

July 26, 2013 Life
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I am excited to have guest columnist Heather Wagenhals on the blog today! Heather is a personal finance expert, Host of “Unlock Your Wealth Radio”, and Author of “Yes You Can!” Today’s question is: “Is shopping synonymous with women, or do men shop as well and we just avoid focusing on them?” Let’s explore three common myths and find out is it fact, or fiction?

Myth Number One: Women do more shopping than Men.

We have heard so many adages about women in shopping; it is hard to keep count. Just answering yes to them feeds the urban legends and does not accurately portray the role of shopping and women’s relationship to it. While it is stereotypical that women do more of the shopping than their male counterparts, they are not acquiring just frivolous fashion, makeup, and accessories. Women shop more because it relates to their gender roles and/or responsibilities within the home. Whether she is a house partner with her husband or she is head of her own household, a woman will find herself called to the store for a litany of reasons. As the person primarily responsible for caring for the home, the people who reside in it, and its contents, a woman is required to shop in a variety of places to accommodate a diverse variety of needs related to her home.

Myth Number Two: Women shoppers are more emotional than Men.

This is another stereotype about women and shopping that is not entirely true and misrepresents women in the marketplace. Yes, women are more emotional shopper than men and the reason for this is that we are required to be. As the traditional provider, it is not only expected of us that we shop and acquire common household items like, food and grocery, personal care items, home maintenance and repair items, you’re also required to do some of the more esoteric shopping.

That type of shopping is for gift giving. We shop for our children’s friends at birthday parties, for our husbands gift to a significant client or boss he is trying to impress, grandma and grandpa’s birthdays, others anniversaries, and special events like showers, graduations, holidays, etc. Due to this, it is critical that a woman involve her emotions when making a gift selection so it is thoughtful, appropriate, and in line with our planned giving strategies for the household. Imagine what would happen if your husband or significant other gave the ugly golf tie to a boss that not only loathes Tiger Woods, but also cut his hamstring in his early 20s and has never been able to play the game.

Myth Number Three: Men are fearful of shopping labels and leave it to women to accomplish.

Here is a stereotype that is not true in today’s society. Men shop without risk of shunning and actually do more research and price compare than women. The results of one study showed that women spent a majority of their time looking for coupons or discounts, while men are actually comparing features amongst brands. Men shop with total cost of ownership in mind and not how much they save on the purchase. While women shop more often and for smaller lower-priced items, when a man makes a decision regarding a purchase, it is usually for more significant item like sofas, furniture, appliances and electronics. The homework and research men put in will likely lead to lower ongoing maintenance costs for that item.

In conclusion, while women do shop more often than men do, and engage more emotionally, men hold their own with their spending ways too, and marketing is taking notice. Market research studies show this and advertisers are changing their techniques to welcome male shoppers to the world of spending and materialism.

In order to avoid the stereotype and labels of a shopaholic, we should always remember what our motivation for the purchase is, whether or not we have allotted cash reserves for the expenditure, and start with our card up philosophy we teach at the Unlock Your Wealth Foundation. Begin with a greeting card that you design or buy from a greeting card store. It is about the recognition of an event and commemoration. The card should be enough. If the event is noteworthy and you would like to add something a little more special, keep in mind that your presence may be enough, and no one would want you to go in debt over it, you wouldn’t expect that of another, would you?

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For more information about Heather, please visit: www.unlockyourwealthradio.com.

You can also follow Heather on Twitter and Facebook

Just for Laughs…

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