Debt, Personal Finance, Shopping, Timeshares

Things Most People Regret Buying


As you go through life, you’re going to make a lot of purchases. Some of these purchases you’ll be proud of, while others you’ll regret and wonder what ever possessed you to make them. The key to not regretting the purchases you make is to avoid making those you’ll regret in the first place. While you probably aren’t going to be able to avoid all poor purchases during yur lifetime, one way to limit them is to know what purchases others have regretted making in the past and learn from them. Below you’ll find eleven common things that people purchase which many of them ultimately end up regretting buying in the long run.


Most people are happy with their timeshares when they are using it, but the moment that they are no longer able to use it and want to try and get rid of the timeshare, they immediately have a change of heart. Anyone who has tried to sell in this economy knows that it is nearly impossible to sell a timeshare, and many times you can’t even give a timeshare away for free. While there are some advantages to timeshares, being a good financial decision isn’t one of them and in the end, most timeshare owners wish that they had never made the purchase.

Exercise Equipment

Remember when you promised yourself you’d start working out if you bought a treadmill? Maybe you decided to buy a yoga kit. Or maybe it was a bicycle. How many times did you actually use it? Once? Twice? Maybe you never even used it. You might have decided to sign up for a gym membership instead, paying $50 a month, and only using it once. Many people are guilty of buying gym memberships or exercise equipment and then never using them, instead letting the membership or equipment sit idle as a reminder of what a waste of money the purchase was. While there are certainly financial benefits to exercise, you need to be sure that you follow through and do your research on how to save money on exercise equipment to not turn these purchases into regrets.

Extra Accessories for Electronics

Electronics come with so many accessories. Whether it’s a new, high detail lens for a camera or special additions to your computer, there are plenty of options to choose from. Sometimes you’re tricked into buying them because you think they’ll be necessary. many times you buy these accessories and never use them. Regardless of the price, many people end up regretting these purchases.

Fad Items

Many people are guilty of purchasing popular items, whether it’s a brand of clothing, an electronic gadget, or a type of entertainment. But fad items only last for a short time period for a reason. Fads are quick to enter mainstream culture and equally quick to exit. A year or two after the fad is over and everyone has moved on to something else, most people are left with an item they no longer have any use for wondering why they ever bought it in the first place.

As Seen on TV Items

As Seen on TV items are similar to fad items, except they never seem to go away. Like fads, they seem like a great idea at the time. Of course, when you’re watching TV infomercials at two in the morning, this should be an alert that you might not be using your best judgement. At these early hours, who wouldn’t want a kitchen gadget that can cut any type of food or a cleaning product that promises to clean anything? The “special” deal might seem like a bargain – especially when that buy one, get one free deal is tacked on at the end – but the items are usually useless. Most people end up trashing the item or wondering what possessed them to buy it in the first place.

Clothes and Shoes

Clothing and shoes cause shopper’s guilt for many people. Some people prefer to buy high end, designer clothing at an outrageous price. Some people buy a lot of clothing that they never wear. Some people buy shoes that hurt their feet or are ruined shortly after their first use. And some people regret buying poor quality clothing and having to replace it frequently. Whatever the reason or cause, many people regret spending so much or so little on clothes they don’t need, don’t wear, or that don’t fit. It’s important to know how to shop for clothes to make sure that the purchases don’t end up being regrets.

Luxury Items

Sometimes people just want to treat themselves to something nice. It might seem like a great idea at the time, but it’s not so great when your credit card statement arrives. Did you really need the $2,000 in clothes or that overly expensive sports car? Many people, especially those struggling with money or those in debt, end up regretting their luxury purchases. They’re items that are almost always frivolous.

Sale Items

How many times have you walked into a store and seen a large appliance, electronic, or entertainment system on sale? And how many times have you made an impulse buy, saying that you’ll never find such a good deal again even when you don’t even really need or want the item? Sales are designed to entice your impulse buying habits, and most people usually end up regretting these purchases.

DVDs and Video Games

Almost everyone owns DVDs or video games, but how many DVDs or video games have you bought and never used? Sure, that $4 bargain bin movie might have seemed like a deal, but if you never plan on watching it, what’s the point of having it? Same goes for video games you might play once before discarding it for something else. The price might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re constantly buying movies or games you never use, the price adds up.

Extremely Cheap Used Cars

Used cars are great, especially if you’re on a budget. The used cars most people buy are a couple years old and have don’t have a huge amount of mileage on them. However, some people prefer to buy the cheapest car they can find, and these cars are often cars that are very old and in desperate need of repair. Buying a used car for $500 might seem ideal until you factor in the price of constant repairs. And what happens when you need to replace it with another used car after a year?

eBay Purchases

Purchasing items on eBay is dangerous and sometimes addicting. It’s easy to rationalize spending a lot of money on something you think you need. The item could be a “limited edition” or something you think will be worth money. But sometimes what you see is not necessarily what you get. Worse, sometimes people pay an outrageous amount of money for an item that is worthless or unnecessary. How many times have you made an impulse buy only to regret it when the item arrives. Most of those items have a no refund policy, as well.

Purchases that become regrets are different for everyone, but they usually have the common denominating factor that they weren’t really thought through thoroughly before the purchase was made. In the end, every purchase that you end up regretting is wasted money that could have gone toward your financial goals. What are some of the things that you most regret buying?

(Photo courtesy of Alex E. Proimos)

15 thoughts on “Things Most People Regret Buying

  1. As far as buying/saving on eBay goes:

    If you see an item that you want listed in auction format, send the seller a message asking if they will accept $x to end the auction early and sell the item to you. If that doesn’t work, use a sniping service such as to bid for you. It’ll bid in the last few seconds, helping to save $ and avoid shill bidding.

    If there is a particular item that you want that is relatively rare on eBay or goes fast when one is listed, use to set up a saved eBay search for it. You’d get an e-mail whenever a match is listed. You can use the price, category, exclude word, etc. filters to narrow down the results that you get in the e-mails. Excellent for “Buy It Now”s priced right.

    If the item that you’re looking for is difficult to spell, try a misspelling search site like to find some deals with items that have main keywords misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers may never see them.

  2. We are in the process of decluttering, and are finding *stuff* in every category you’ve mentioned! What a waste.
    Thanks for the article.

  3. A gym membership can be the best money you ever spend, if you use it. I’m in the gym five to six days a week, really enjoy working out and consider the gym my sanctuary from all of life’s B.S.

    I’ll make drastic cuts elsewhere in life before I get rid of my gym membership.

  4. I buy lots of things on eBay when it’s something specific I need. It is one of many places I comparison shop.

  5. @Rachel – I agree with you, but I am just too cheap to splurge for a membership. I have been running for 3 years outdoors and feel that it not only saves me money but also time. I would also be very hesitant to sign any type of long term gym contract as lots of people stop exercising after a month or so.

  6. I have a gym membership, but no contract (never had a contract for a gymn membership? Of course, I am anti-contract). But, that said, the article clearly stated it was a waste of money “if you never use it.” I think we can all agree with that sentiment.

    Where I live, the #1 regret would be buying a home. Lots of regrets there…

  7. Your comments on timeshare are WRONG. It is NOT true that most people who own a timeshare wish they had never bought it. Where did you get this information from? While timeshare is not a financial investment and it is not for everyone, timeshare enjoys a 84% satisfaction rate.

    We don’t sell timeshares, but we believe in telling the truth. Your article does nothing but perpetuate falsehoods.

  8. Please link me the study that sites the 84% satisfaction. My guess that it would have been taken by current timeshare owners that are up to date on all their payments and have utilized their timeshare in the past year (and probably conducted by a timeshare company rather than a independent group). That is a very skewed pool to get the information from. People don’t become dissatisfied with timeshares until they can’t use them for some reason and want to sell — and can’t. I would love to see the study that proves me wrong, but I highly doubt that it was taken from a true sampling of timeshare owners. The fact that timeshare reseller scams exist (and are a top BBB problem) shows that there are a lot of owners stuck with timeshares they don’t want and can’t get out of.

  9. Agreed – Timeshares are THE WORST, and (MOST) everyone knows that!
    My husband had on from his “ex” and had to “PAY” to TRANSFER THE DEED BACK TO company, once she decided she no longer wanted it, of course!

  10. Do you have concrete research on this??
    I am on a very tight budget, but saw several catergories that I have bought things from and have no regret.

  11. I use my treadmill every day. I live in a rainy part of California and like watching TV while exercising every morning.

  12. “Do you have concrete research on this??
    I am on a very tight budget, but saw several catergories that I have bought things from and have no regret”

    I think the point is many of these items can bring regret, not that they always do.

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