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Shopping is a common activity that most people engage in regularly. 

But can the act of shopping itself be considered a hobby? 

There are arguments on both sides of this debate. For some people, shopping is simply a chore or errand that needs to be done. For others, browsing stores and making purchases is a recreational activity they actively look forward to.

So is shopping a true hobby or not? There are pros and cons to viewing shopping as a hobby.

What are the Benefits of Shopping as a Hobby?

Treating shopping as a hobby can have certain advantages. Here are some of the potential benefits:

Finding Enjoyment and Relaxation

Many hobbies are ultimately about enjoying oneself and relaxing. For some shoppers, browsing stores and looking for good deals can indeed be a great way to take their minds off things and destress. The act of shopping releases endorphins and provides excitement. And making successful purchases gives a sense of accomplishment.

Social Connections

Shopping is often a social activity done with friends and family. Groups of people enjoy browsing malls and outlets together. Discussing potential purchases can be fun. So shopping as a hobby can help maintain social bonds.

Purpose and Motivation

Having a hobby provides goals and motivation. Shopping as a hobby means always having a recreational activity available to participate in. There is always a new item to browse for or a good bargain to be had. So it gives purpose to free time.


Hobbies allow self-expression. Shopping can do this too through purchases that reflect personal tastes and style. Finding a new outfit or decor item that speaks to who you are can be very rewarding.

Trying New Things

Many hobbies expose participants to new experiences. Frequent shopping allows people to continuously try new products, brands, stores, etc. The variety makes it consistently interesting.

Potential Drawbacks of Shopping as a Hobby

However, some clear downsides come with considering shopping a hobby:


Treating shopping like a recreational activity can easily lead to overspending. Purchasing items because they are fun at the moment is different from careful consumer spending. It can be hard to restrain hobby spending.

Buyer’s Remorse

Shopping done for entertainment rather than necessity can lead to buyer’s remorse after the initial thrill wears off. Too many unnecessary purchases can clutter spaces and become regretted expenses.


Hobbies take up free time. Shopping may take time away from other more fulfilling activities like learning a skill, exercising, etc. Hours browsing stores could be better spent on personal development.


Focusing so much time and energy on consumption promotes materialism and overconsumption. Recreational shopping likely leads to more impulse purchases and wasted items.

Diminished Utility

When shopping is done very frequently as a hobby, the enjoyment and excitement gained from each purchase are likely to diminish over time. The thrill of finding new items fades.

See Also: Why Hobbies are Important? (Common Reasons)

Tips for Making Shopping More Enjoyable

Tips for Making Shopping More Enjoyable

For those who do gain pleasure from shopping, there are ways to enhance the experience:

  1. Shop with a purpose. Look for items you need or have specific uses for. Don’t just browse aimlessly.
  2. Set a budget so you don’t overspend. Sticking to defined limits adds challenge.
  3. Look for bargains and sales to get the satisfaction of saving. Finding deals boosts the fun.
  4. Try new stores instead of just the same spots. Variety keeps shopping interesting.
  5. Shop with friends to socialize. Group trips build connections.
  6. Seek out new styles and brands outside your comfort zone. Novelty breeds excitement.
  7. Follow fashion and interior design trends to stay motivated about new items.
  8. Don’t just buy on impulse. Be selective about quality purchases with longevity.
  9. Seek out handmade and unique items that speak to you.
  10. Curate and organize your purchases mindfully.

Making some adjustments can help transform an unhealthy shopping obsession into a rewarding hobby.

Avoiding Overspending When Shopping for Fun

The biggest risk when approaching shopping as a hobby is letting spending get out of control. Here are some tips for avoiding overspending:

  • Always shop with a list. Stick to purchasing just what you came for.
  • Give yourself a specific monetary limit per trip. Don’t go over budget.
  • Avoid window shopping without intent. Don’t just browse for the sake of it.
  • Skip the impulse buys. Give yourself cooling off time before purchases.
  • Consider less expensive hobbies if money is an issue.
  • Space out shopping trips so you aren’t doing it too frequently.
  • Track spending to identify and curb problems.
  • Only use cash so you can’t overspend.
  • Shop alone if friends lead to bad decisions.
  • Wait 24 hours before online purchases.
  • Unsubscribe from brand emails to avoid sales temptation.
  • If you see something you want, wait for it to go on sale before purchasing.

With some diligence, you can keep hobby shopping frugal.

Black Friday discount sale

How to Find the Best Deals When Shopping?

One key part of shopping as a hobby is the thrill of finding good bargains. Here are tips for finding deals:

  • Check store apps and websites for digital coupons before going. Print them!
  • Sign up for email lists and rewards programs at your favorite stores for savings.
  • Ask about additional discounts like price matching or student savings.
  • Check clearance sections first so you know the bottom prices.
  • Head to outlet malls where retailers discount overstocked goods.
  • Shop off-peak hours on weekdays to avoid crowds and find markdowns.
  • Check auction sites like eBay for significantly reduced prices on open box or used items.
  • Use cash-back apps and websites to get a percentage back on all purchases.
  • Follow deal accounts on social media for sales announcements.
  • Use a credit card that earns points or airline miles on all purchases.
  • Wait for seasonal sales around holidays for the best discounts.

Getting a bargain provides a rush and validates shopping as a hobby. Hunting for deals and avoiding MSRP makes the hobby affordable too!

Staying Organized on Shopping Sprees

Since shopping as a hobby means you likely have more items than the average person, staying organized is a must. Here are some tips for keeping tidy:

  • Maintain an inventory of purchases and where items are stored. Use apps to catalog.
  • Assign permanent homes right away for new purchases. Don’t let them pile up.
  • Store items together by category so you know exactly where to find them.
  • Only keep packaging and shopping bags for items you may return or gift. Toss unneeded.
  • Utilize drawer organizers and other storage methods to neatly contain items.
  • Group shopping items in designated zones rather than spreading everywhere.
  • Set up an attractive space to display favorite purchases rather than hoarding.
  • Regularly cull items you haven’t used to donate, consign, or sell.
  • Schedule time to clean and organize your spaces after major shopping trips.
  • Reflect on new purchases and whether they actually “spark joy” before adding to your inventory.

Staying tidy means your purchases can be enjoyed rather than becoming cluttered.

See Also: Is Organizing a Hobby? Here’s Why

How to Make Shopping More Sustainable?

For the environmentally-conscious shopper, sustainability is also key. Here’s how to reduce the footprint of shopping:

  • Opt for natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and hemp which have lower impacts.
  • Support brands that prioritize eco-friendly materials and practices.
  • Shop at thrift and consignment stores to extend lifecycles of items.
  • Avoid fast fashion brands that mass-produce poor-quality garments.
  • Learn proper care to lengthen the longevity of purchases.
  • Repair, mend, and repurpose items when possible.
  • When discarding, ensure textiles get properly recycled.
  • Bring reusable bags when shopping to avoid disposable plastics.
  • Buy items with minimal packaging to reduce waste.
  • Choose energy-efficient appliances and electronics.
  • Shop locally to support businesses in your community.
  • Grow your produce and homemade products when possible.

Making sustainability a priority ensures your hobby isn’t harming the planet.

What are Some Other Hobbies that are Similar to Shopping?

cooking as a hobby

If aspects of shopping appeal to you, there are many related hobbies worth considering too:

Bargain Hunting

Searching for deals can become a hobby by visiting flea markets, estate sales, auctions, etc. The thrill is in the hunt.

Fashion Design

Making your clothing allows endless creativity in what you wear for a hands-on shopping alternative.

Interior Design

Decorating, organizing, and designing living spaces scratch the same itch as shopping for them.


Making your décor, accessories, and items for gifting provides personal fulfillment.


Shopping for fun new ingredients and recipes to experiment with in the kitchen is satisfying.

Subscription Boxes

Having monthly deliveries of curated items in your interests brings consistent surprises.


Finding valuable secondhand items and reselling them for profit takes bargain hunting further.


Collecting and organizing coupons to maximize savings gives a sense of accomplishment.

Is Eating Considered a Hobby?

Is eating considered a hobby? Many food enthusiasts would argue that indulging in different flavors and cuisines can indeed be seen as a serious passion.

For those who see eating as a hobby, it goes beyond simply satisfying hunger; it becomes a journey of exploration, culinary delight, and a means to appreciate the art of gastronomy.

Final Thoughts

Shopping certainly can provide enjoyment, relaxation, social connections, motivation, and self-expression.

In moderation, treating shopping as a hobby is perfectly healthy. But taken too far, it can lead to overspending, clutter, buyer’s remorse, time waste, and mindless consumption. Setting limitations and boundaries allows the benefits without the downsides.

At the end of the day, shopping should never become compulsive. Moderation, budgeting, and mindfulness are key. With the right approach, shopping as a hobby in balance with other activities and priorities can enrich your life. 

Does bargain hunting spark joy for you? Then embrace it as part of a happy life, but always practice moderation.

FAQs about Is Shopping a Hobby?

How would you describe shopping as a hobby?

Shopping can be described as a hobby that involves browsing and purchasing goods or services from various retailers, both online and in-store. It can be a leisurely activity that people enjoy doing in their free time, often as a way to relax, socialize, or explore new trends and products.

Why do I crave shopping?

There are several reasons why people might crave shopping. Some may enjoy the thrill of finding a good deal or discovering new products, while others may appreciate the social aspect of shopping with friends or family. Additionally, shopping can be a way to cope with stress or boredom or to treat oneself to a special item as a reward.

What do you call a person who likes shopping?

A person who enjoys shopping might be called a shopaholic, a shopping enthusiast, or a retail therapy expert. These terms are often used to describe someone who enjoys the act of shopping, whether it’s for the thrill of finding deals, the social aspect, or simply the pleasure of acquiring new things.

Is it a bad thing to be a shopaholic?

Being a shopaholic, or someone who excessively enjoys shopping, can have both positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, shopping can provide a sense of satisfaction, entertainment, and socialization. On the other hand, excessive shopping can lead to financial problems, clutter, and stress. It’s important to strike a balance between enjoying shopping as a hobby and maintaining healthy financial habits.

Is thrifting a hobby?

Yes, thrifting, or shopping for second-hand items, can be a hobby for some people. Thrifting can provide a unique shopping experience, as shoppers search for hidden gems and bargains among used items. It can also be a sustainable and budget-friendly way to acquire clothing and other goods.

Why is shopping not a hobby?

While shopping can be a fun activity, it may not qualify as a hobby in the classical sense. A hobby is typically defined as an activity that is pursued for pleasure or recreation, rather than for practical purpose or financial gain. Shopping, on the other hand, often serves a practical purpose (acquiring goods or services) and can have financial implications. However, for some people, shopping can still be considered a hobby if it provides a sense of enjoyment, relaxation, or fulfillment.

Tom Velasco

Tom Velasco

I'm just a regular guy who loves hobbies. I'm also the creator of Hobbyist To Riches, where I've spent the last 15 years trying out all kinds of hobbies that make life happier and financially rewarding. My adventures have taken me around the world to immerse in different cultures and their diverse pastimes. I love sharing this journey of discovering new passions!

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