Keeping up with the Joneses

We have all had our faces rubbed in a friend’s or neighbor’s latest purchase of their new car, latest high tech toy, or something as simple as an espresso machine. Many of us may be just as guilty of bragging about our latest luxury purchase to said friend or neighbor as well. Keeping up with the Joneses isn’t just about drooling over your neighbor’s newly accumulated material goods anymore; now people are using social media to share with everyone what good fortune has brought them.

New studies show that after purchasing luxury items, most Americans don’t stop at discussing it with people in their vicinity; they use social media to flaunt their purchases. Whereas the majority of people still verbally tell people about their latest acquisition, over 30 percent turn to social media to spread the news. Facebook seems to be the favorite social media site to brag on, followed by Twitter and various other media outlets and blogs.

How do people decide on which luxury goods to buy and why? Close to half of Americans shop for luxury goods online and most of them say they spend a significant amount of time researching the goods before buying them.  Channels used to research purchases include company websites, retail locations, online reviews, and social media sites. Most Americans favored online research over getting advice from friends and family or going to the store and speaking to a sale associate or expert.

One third of luxury product consumers said they bought the luxury goods as a personal reward. Others said their significant other wanted it or they simply had money to spend. Very few were motivated to make the purchase because of ads, be it traditional or social media ads. The braggers on social media were more likely to post about the great deals they found than the high price they paid. Almost half preferred to not speak about how much they paid for their items at all.

We often want what others have and it’s normal to feel a little jealous when your sister got a new iPad or you high school nemesis announces on Facebook that she bought a brand new car just because she can. Don’t get tempted to keep up. Remember to stay within your own budget and take joy in other things in your life. Your time to shine, or brag, will come.

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