The Surprising Impulse Purchases Made by Shoppers After a Few Too Many Drinks

From unintentional texting to late-night food delivery, it’s no secret that people make costly decisions after downing one drink too many.

Such is the case for drunk shopping, which as it turns out is a $45 billion industry, according to a new survey by tech and business news source The Hustle. The survey, which interviewed more than 2,000 alcohol-consuming American adults, found that intoxicated shoppers are spending an average of $444 each year, with 79 percent of imbibing respondents having made at least one drunk purchase in the past.

The most common buy? Shoes and clothing, which were bought by 66 percent of alcohol-drinking shoppers. Meanwhile, women who have had a few to drink were more likely than their male counterparts to drop their hard-earned cash (80 percent compared with 78 percent).

Additionally, millennials were 13 percent more inclined to make such purchases versus baby boomers — a generational impulsion the outlet attributed to the rise of e-commerce.

In fact, a bulk of the spending is made online, with Amazon ranked as the No. 1 site for drunk shoppers. About 85 percent of respondents named the online behemoth among the websites through which they made their purchases, while eBay and Etsy lagged behind at a respective 21 percent and 12 percent. Big-box retail competitors Target and Walmart rounded out the top five with 9 percent and 5 percent of those buys. (An estimated 85 percent of respondents indicated that online shopping increases their drunken impulse purchases.)

Moreover, The Hustle found that employees in the fashion industry enjoyed the most drunk shopping: the sector’s workers spend $949 per year while inebriated — more than twice the overall average. Fashionistas reported shelling out money on everything from designer shoes worth a few hundred dollars to “the same vest Michael J. Fox had on in ‘Back to the Future.'”

As for whether they regret these purchases, while 20 percent of respondents admitted to returning their drunk buys, only 6 percent ended up regretting them.

The Hustle’s methodology is based on a survey conducted for one week in March, with the average respondent being 36 years old, earning $92,000 annually (more than double the national average) and skews 53 percent male versus female.

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