How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

Last Updated: Thu, April 14, 2022

For many people, online shopping becomes a terrible habit that results in unnecessary purchases and drains their finances. In many cases, online shopping has become a serious problem that requires treatment. Knowing how to stop online shopping addiction can help you take the necessary steps to manage it.

As CNBC reports, some people, especially the younger generation, develop an addiction to online shopping. For those addicted to online shopping, the activity became a habit that often got out of control. As a result, online shopping addiction negatively affects their finances, long-term goals, and even relationships. 

In this article, we are going to discuss online shopping addiction and the treatments available. We will also talk about how to stop online shopping addiction. 

What Is Online Shopping Addiction? 

So what is an online shopping addiction? What does it do to you? 

Shopping addiction, also known as compulsive shopping or compulsive buying disorder, affects approximately 18 million adults in the United States alone. The addiction is characterized by the compulsion to spend money, regardless of one’s financial means, goals, or needs. 

While shopping can be a treat or recreational activity, online shopping addiction or compulsive shopping is a mental health issue that causes extreme consequences. 

In particular, people with this disorder can be addicted to certain products like shoes, bags, jewelry, and clothes. They may also excessively buy any products― from cosmetics and food products, to real estate or stocks.

Moreover, a person with an online shopping addiction gets the same high from buying stuff as someone who abuses drugs or alcohol. Once the brain associates online shopping with the said high, a person addicted to online shopping will try to recreate the feeling over and over again. 

Generally, compulsive shopping or online shopping addiction is the act of excessively buying products. Those addicted to online shopping often don’t need these products.

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction 

Giving up the urge to buy things you don’t need can be incredibly liberating. Here’s how to stop online shopping addiction: 

1.     Focus On What Really Matters 

Set a goal you want to reach and place a picture of whatever it is on your desk, by your bed, or make it your phone’s wallpaper. This picture will remind you that you’re saving and working toward something that’s more fulfilling than new clothes or jewelry. 

2.     Unsubscribe From Updates 

Take a few minutes to unsubscribe from all the retailer updates and newsletters you receive. Turn off notifications from social media. By doing this, you won’t hear about their sales and discounts. Hence, you won’t have to make unnecessary purchases. 

3.     Wait 

Slow down your spending habits by having a mandatory waiting period before you purchase something online. Some people make themselves wait for at least a day after they see something they want. Others do it for longer.

4.     Declutter 

According to research published by the Journal of Consumer Research, you’re more likely to buy stuff when sitting in a messy room. You’re also more likely to spend more when you’re in a cluttered space. 

This has something to do with your sense of personal control. In a messy environment, you mostly feel out of control. Online shopping can help you restore that sense of power, albeit temporarily.

5.     Remove Your Cards 

Deleting all your saved cards in e-commerce stores means that when you buy something, you have to get up, get your card, and enter your billing and shipping information. 

These take a few minutes, so you might get annoyed and decide that you don’t even need the things you want to buy. Hence, you won’t bother purchasing them.

Online Shopping Addiction Treatment 

Online shopping addiction can be hard to manage because buying things is a normal part of life. Every person has to regularly buy food. They need clothing and personal hygiene products as well. 

However, simply stopping a person from buying things cannot fully treat a shopping addiction.

Depending on the intensity of the online shopping addiction, the one affected by it may need to get cut off from cash flow or credit cards. Someone else may need to monitor their spending. In rare cases, a person addicted to online shopping may need to join an inpatient program. By doing this, that person can be fully monitored and treated. 

In addition, an online shopping addiction can be treated using individual counseling and behavioral therapy. Using these treatments, the person with online shopping addiction will learn how to control their impulses. They will also be able to identify their triggers.

In many cases, online shopping addiction originates from deeper emotional issues or mental health conditions. If it comes from depression or other mental health problems, medication can help. 

If you or your loved one suffers from this, knowing how to stop online shopping addiction greatly helps. Knowing the treatments available leads to the affected living normal lives again. 

In particular, treatments for online shopping allow someone to prevent the self-perpetuating cycle, face the issue, and develop new, healthy ways of feeling, thinking, and acting.

Creating a support system composed of friends and family can also help overcome online shopping issues. 


Simple strategies such as removing your saved cards and unsubscribing from product updates can go a long way toward helping you towards a successful recovery from online shopping addiction.

An online shopping addiction treatment like behavioral therapy can also lead to a healthier, more fulfilling life free from the horrible effects of online shopping addiction. 

Knowing how to stop online addiction takes effort. Having the right treatment plan and using a sobriety app like I Am Sober help. 

I Am Sober is a free app that helps you get some control back in your life.

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