One second, you’re looking cruising your fave shopping websites and then it happens: OMG, I MUST HAVE THAT. Oh yes, we’ve all felt it. More than twice, more than a dozen times. It’s that beautiful thrill we savvy online shoppers get when from seeing something so stunning onscreen that we simply must shell out for it. Now. This minute. So what exactly is this high from online shopping, anyway?

We’d like to think it’s just good old Retail Therapy with a sprinkling of instant gratification, but wait, oh no, it could be a true Shopping Addiction. What’s the big deal? Compulsive shopping has existed since stores were invented. But nowadays, the addiction has reached new heights.

According to Manhattan Neuropsychologist Sanam Hafeez, the advent of e-commerce is to blame. It used to be that our shopping habits were safely relegated to store hours and the proximity of our favourite stores. Now, we can load up on purchases from any store in the world from anywhere—from bed, the office, the beach, an airport, even while sitting in traffic. This is a shopaholic’s dream, but also a potential minefield for our lives, relationships and wallets.

So how do you know if your online shopping habit has crossed the line into addiction? 

Take our Brazen SHOPPING ADDICTION QUIZ, then check out the signs to watch out for. 

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1. You’re out of control. Compulsive shopping and spending are excessive. You feel addicted, like you have no control over your impulses. Take the Addiction Test: Are You an Online Shopaholic?

2. You spend over budget. You consistently spend well above your income and get into deep financial trouble.

3. You just can’t stop.  When you go shopping, you often compulsively buy, meaning you com in for one pair of shoes and come out with 10.

4. It happens a lot.  Your shopping addiction is a chronic problem. It’s more than two or three months of the year, and more than a once-a-year Christmas spree.

5. You hide your purchases You don’t want your significant other to know what you bought because you know you’ll be criticized. You may even have secret credit card accounts.

6. You’re stuck in a buy-return cycle. You continually return items out of guilt, which triggers another shopping spree, so it’s a vicious circle.

7. Your relationships are suffering. Your excessive spending is causing fights.

8. You need that shopping high. Nothing makes you feel better than retail therapy.

9. You’re preoccupied with shopping. When you’re not shopping online, you’re thinking about it.

So, what’s the verdict? Do you need retail rehab? Be honest.

 Take the Quiz: Are you an online shopping addict?

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