What's Wrong With Too Much Shopping?

10/16/2006 at 03:00 PM ET

A recent Stanford University study caught my eye — according to it, about 1 in 20 Americans suffers from a shopping addiction. The researchers even gave it a scary, clinical name: Compulsive Buying Disorder. (Uh, in my mind, “disorder” just applies to the state of my closet after a shopping spree.) But perhaps I’m not the most objective person on this matter. I first realized I had a real problem when I was moving from London back to New York, and for insurance purposes I had to itemize and appraise all the items in my closet (full disclosure: it wasn’t even a closet, it was a second bedroom in the flat). I almost passed out when I saw the total… But I do feel better knowing that I am not the only one who shops to excess — or even just loves to shop, like Jessica Alba (left) and Kelly Osbourne (right). Tell us: Do you consider yourself to be a shopping addict? – Julie Dam

Check out more Stars Shopping in our photo gallery.

Photo: MWD/X17; Castro/X17

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Showing 36 comments

Angie on

If I had their kind of money, I would be shopping like they do! But, I’m definitely not that kind of shopper now.

Carly on

Nothing at all wrong with compulsive shopping, as long as you aren’t going into debt and others can also benefit from your largesse! Consider donating the many, many, many thousands of items just gathering dust in your closet/second bedroom to charities or organizations that help women get back on their feet. That way you free up space for more lovely items and help others at the same time!

Renata ShoeGal on

I agree with the study… I have such a shopping addiction that I had to rent a more expensive apartment just because of closet space. Well, as Samantha ( from Sex and the City) would most certainly say: What the hell!
I do not have Gisele Bundchen’s butt, Jen Aniston’s legs, nor do i have Scarlett Johansson’s boobs… I gotta get me something that is going to give me star power, like my Loubotins or Fendi Bag!

Chelle on

yeah definately an addict!!!…i go shopping at least two times a week and i can’t walk out of a store without buying something…even if it’s something i’ll never wear…and my biggest addiction of all is cosmetics and shoes…at one point i owned 221 pairs (ranging from $40-$400)!!!

olatz on

I think you must to be very bored and have a very empty life to buy so much.

Ah! and a lot of money an FREE time.

marianne on

I love shopping, but i spend my money, no credit cards, or stores cards, I had to get rid of them, I am dangerous when it comes to spending money in clothes, shoes, etc…but I do donate my clothes to salvation army or thrift stores !

sally on

“what’s wrong with too much shopping?” What’s wrong with trying to fill the emptiness in your life with material posessions? Ever notice how quickly the *buzz* wears off and your newest acquisition is forgotten?

Abby Caldwell on

I’m addicted to the thrill of a good buy! I love to find great things for a good deal. I hit Ross at least once a week and get name brands for cheap; shop-a-holic on a college budget! I also go shopping if I’ve had a hard day as a stress release. I figure since I don’t spend my money on drinking or smoking I’m justified in my addiction.

elaine on

whats wrong with too much shopping? I saw nothing…as long as you can afford it

Bunky on

You’re dead for a real long time
You just can’t prevent it
So if money can’t buy happiness
I guess I’ll have to rent it
-“Weird” Al Yankovic

asdf on

I agree elian. If you have the money and have a budgent for it, why not shop ’til you drop! I know I would!! With the little money I have now- NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ashley on

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SHOPPING ALOT!!!if i had the money i would shop all day and all night!!!

hart braka on

hey peeps let em shop they have that kind of money!

Ellie on

i just love jessica alba! all that money and she still shops at the gap. it makes her seem more human than when some celebs spend $15,000 on a single shopping spree

inevitable on

why not? because it’s not fulfilling. It gives you a temporary high. It wastes your time and you pay exorbant prices for things. …ridiculous. If you’ve got some money, send it to Africa. I’m sure that they would benefit from a $400 pair of designer shoes.

micheleeee. on

Oh Sally.

I think that the only way you can justify your comment is if you have NEVER bought any material possesion in your LIFE


You like to spend money on good things.

We all do.

arielle on

i love shopping, and tend to buy whenever i shop. however, i shop at like h and m and forever 21, where you can find designer-looking items for way cheaper, so i dont think it’s so bad.

Amber on

Nah I know the limit to shopping, Don’t get me wrong I love shopping as the next girl; but I am more of the bargain shopper then I am a Compulsive shopper.

I can spend 5-7 hours in a mall everyday if I could, and just shop for bargains in most of the outlets there; I am a shop-a-holic but in a really good way(or atleast I think anyways).

Jen Stone on

Nothing. It’s their money and they can do what they want with it.

J. on

I WISH I had a shopping disorder, I’d probably be happier with my closet, but as a mom, I often find I put my own clothing needs aside for the cute little dude clothes for my 3 year-old son. I buy on sale, and neutral enough to go with anything so I can get a lot of use out of one article. But my son is looking good!!

Wendy on

I am definitely addicted to shopping and have been in denial about it. I do only spend my hard earned money though,I no longer use credit cards. I am a wardrobe stylist and fashion consultant so its apart of my job to stay up on fashion trends.

Becca on

What did Kelly do? Buy out the whole store? My only beef with this situation is her lack of variety.

j on

yes, i’m an addict. no denial here!!! but no credit card debt, either. i do go for more quality pieces, though i just decided yesterday to simplify my life when it comes to everything. which includes shopping!! b/c no matter how good it feels buying that gucci or lv, in the grand scheme of things…

Adrenalina on

What I want to know is what Jessica bought at the Gap.. lol.
She is one of my favourite Hollywood people and I totally dig her style sense.

cidalia on


amee on

yeah, i kind of consider myself an addict. there was a time when i’d buy things that i didn’t even need even when i didn’t have enough money. trying to make rent didn’t seem to faze me. i think people are downplaying the concept of a “disorder.” when it interferes with everyday living, then it’s a problem. but people who can afford to shop and can manage their spending don’t have an addiction. anyway, it’s more complicated than how people are making it out to be. it caused me hella stress and i’m really really trying to be better about money that i spend.





Jennifer on

I LOVE shopping! I just only wish I could afford half of the things I want! I love to buy my kid’s clothes, I’m very addicted to shopping for clothes for my kid’s!

Alma Kesling on

Exactly how much crap can this planet hold when most of the crap isn’t biodegradable? Forget the reason why these guys shop so much, and pass laws to make them stop ruining it for our future generations!

~Andrea~ on

Well I would not call it a shopping “problem” for me it’s just that I LOVE fashion! I really hate to wear the same things over and over. I do merchandising and visuals for Banana Republic so I see the new clothes first and most of the time….I GOTTA have it!!! I work around it all day
six days a week. And what’s crazy is that on my day off I go shopping. There is just So much fashion out there
I Love it!!!

Poppy on

I’m definately a shopahollic, without a doubt

Allie on

YES! omg im so addicted to shopping … im in high school … and me and my girlfriends hit rodeo drive at least 3 or 4 times a week!!! … and i have the money … so might as well spend it!

LeeAnn on

i love love love to shop, i couldnt have enough cloths i cant go to the mall without buying some new cute outfit or shoes, theres nothing wrong with it as far as i see and thats pretty far, if you got the money, spend it

pricilla andrus on


Daniel M on

too much shopping is only bad if it interferes with work, family, school, etc. If you think its a problem, it’s probably a problem. Let’s not complicate it.

tylink on

I think I am the only male in here. Here is the problem. My wife like to shop but the she doesn’t wear the thing that she buy. Almost all of her clothes still have price tag on it and her clothes are all over the house. Is this a sickness? Any suggestion is appreciated.


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