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2 Apr, 2013

“Retail Therapy” Survey: What American Men and Women Buy to Improve their Mood


SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ebates.com, the pioneer and leader in online cash back shopping, today announced results from its Retail Therapy survey that found more than half (51.8%) of Americans shop and spend money to improve their mood, including 63.9% of women and 39.8% of men. One out of three (39.2%) American women believe retail therapy improves a person’s mood compared to one out of five (20.6%) American men.

The national survey conducted online by TNS Global on behalf of Ebates.com in March 2013 among 1,000 adults discovered that the number one item women buy when indulging in retail therapy is Clothes (57.9%). However, the number one item American men buy when indulging in retail therapy is Food (28.1%).

Food (34.7%) ranked second on the list of what women buy in an effort to improve their mood, followed by Shoes (32.4%), Accessories (29.1%) and Books/Magazines (28.7%). Electronics came in second among men, followed by Music/Movies, Clothes, and Games/Toys.

Top Items Women Buy for
Retail Therapy
Percent of Women
Who Said This
Top Items Men Buy for
Retail Therapy
Percent of Men
Who Said This
1. Clothes 57.9% 1. Food 28.1%
2. Food 34.7% 2. Electronics 27.4%
3. Shoes 32.4% 3. Music/Movies 26.6%
4. Accessories 29.1% 4. Clothes 21.5%
5. Books/Magazines 28.7% 5. Games/Toys 17.6%


What triggers participants in retail therapy to shop? One out of five (18.9%) Americans engage in retail therapy to improve their mood after a bad day at work, followed by 14.6% who engage after bad news and 12.2% who engage after a fight with a significant other.

“Our survey confirms that shopping truly is ‘therapy’ for many people, and can help raise one’s spirits after a bad day. Online shopping makes this pick-me-up only a couple of clicks away,” says Ebates.com CEO, Kevin H. Johnson. “At Ebates, we make shopping even more rewarding by giving users cash back every time they shop at any one of their favorite stores – no matter what the reason.”

The survey also shows that getting a deal makes as many as 80.7% of Americans feel best when indulging in retail therapy. Of that percentage, shopping during a sale is the most popular (61.8%), followed by receiving a reward (i.e. cash back, gift card, etc.) (49.4%) free shipping (45.0%) and using coupons (44.6%). Additionally, more than half (66.6%) of Americans think online shopping provides better retail therapy, than physical shopping – and for the following reasons:

  • 43.7% Don’t have to leave the house
  • 42.6% More convenient
  • 37.9% Don’t have to drive
  • 30.8% Wider range of stores to browse
  • 25.7% Don’t have to lug purchases home
  • 22.2% It’s immediate
  • 13.1% Don’t have to have anyone see what I bought

“With a free membership to Ebates.com, shoppers can earn cash back on purchases at over 1500 stores as well as thousands of coupons, sales, and special offers. To start saving today, visit www.Ebates.com.”