Addiction comes in all forms, from real life addictions like Uncle Jim’s whiskey habit to my very pathetic addiction of checking my Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram in a compulsive cycle every five minutes. Some of these addictions can tear families apart, and some are just minor first world annoyances. Online shopping, however, is in a category all on its own.
Of course, having a shopping addiction is a real thing. Have you ever seen “Hoarders”? Some lady on that show bought, like, 90 faux leather purses from T.J. Maxx just because they were a few dollars off. While I can’t understand that level of shopping intensity, I can definitely get behind the urge to save some cash money now that I pay for my own rent and Internet and other important adult things (cat food and booze). Fortunately, there are a shit ton of ways to get smart and hustle the World Wide Web into handing you over some free swag.
First, Google all of those trendy companies that send “mystery” monthly boxes loaded with products. Pretty much all of these companies have some kind of deal going on at all times and a huge percentage of them will give you your first month free. However, DO NOT fall into the trap of forgetting to cancel, because you will get charged for all of the crap they send you. You will most likely need to actually call to cancel your membership, so set a reminder on your phone and make sure you have a good excuse ready. When I canceled one of my memberships to a nail polish site, I chose to tell the nice customer service lady that I lost my job so I couldn’t afford it anymore. Basically, you start to get really comfortable with the fact that you’re jinxing yourself and building up bad karma.
After you get a fair amount of free Internet garbage, you’ll probably have the urge to buy things you actually need (or think you need). Here lies the main difference between online shopping in college and online shopping as a postgrad. In college, you knew you didn’t need all the clothes, accessories, sports memorabilia and whatever else you bought. You WANTED it, and that was okay back then. Either Mom or Dad sent you some cash, the government gave you financial aid, or you had some odd jobs–but your main job was “student.” Now, wanting isn’t necessarily enough. You know you’re in a full-blown relationship with online shopping when you NEED that floating iPhone dock, digital camera/binoculars combo, and mermaid swim fins from SkyMall.com.
Instead of fighting the addiction, I say just let it live for a while. Let it live and prosper, as long as you know you can stop (which you can’t, because you’re an addict, but that’s beside the point). Give in to your addiction and get an Amazon Prime membership. Trust me. What more could you want aside from two-day shipping, video streaming, and thousands of Kindle books you can pretend to read? Nothing. Except Netflix, and maybe Hulu Plus. And a Brazzers premium membership. Maybe you’ll want one of those, too. Just don’t accidentally pay for it with the company credit card.