7 Reasons People Buy

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Understanding the reasons people decide to buy is crucial to positioning your products correctly to attract buyers. While there are probably dozens of reasons why people buy, I’ve narrowed down the list to what I believe are the 7 most common reasons for buying.

  1. They need to meet their basic needs—The most obvious reason to buy something is to fulfill a basic need. People need food, water, shelter, medicine, and more. This is the most fundamental reason to buy something.
  2. The value is too good to pass up—Why do people line up for hours before stores open on Black Friday? It’s not because they really need the things they’re buying, but rather, it’s because the deals are just too good to pass up. This is an extreme example, but suppose you were casually walking through the mall when you suddenly saw a sale on 42 inch HDTVs for $50 each. Even if you already had a TV, there’s a good chance you’d buy this one because the value is just so good. It’s all about creating “an offer they can’t refuse.”
  3. It’s new—This especially applies to tech gadgets. People love to get the latest and greatest products. That’s why thousands of people rushed to the store to pick up the Google Nexus One phone, and it’s the reason these same people will line up for the next big cell phone that comes out.
  4. They want to look cool—Sometimes, we buy things to attract the opposite sex or just to look cooler than we really are. This is what drives us to buy certain clothes, automobiles, and even big homes. For some people, image is everything.
  5. They want to make something easier—Why do millions of people continue to order infomercial products even though we know most of them don’t work? Because we want to make something easier—whether it be peeling a potato or hanging a picture on the wall. No one likes to work harder than they have to, so products that simplify processes are always intriguing.
  6. It’s necessary for avoiding trouble—Fear has always been a great motivator for buying. Copywriters love to use fear-based headlines (e.g. Are You Making This Deadly Mistake that Costs You Thousands of Dollars?).
  7. They want to have fun—Who doesn’t like to have fun? People are always looking for something fun and entertaining to do. That’s the reason movie theaters are crowded every weekend, and it’s the reason video games are so popular.


What are some other reasons people buy? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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