If you ask me “Where did you buy that,” I feel like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. I can tell you what the weather was like, what else I bought, people I interacted with, and how I haggled. But if you asked me what I ate for lunch two days ago, ummm… chicken?
Please tell me I’m not the only one!
I can’t be the only reseller out there who remembers tiny details about a purchase. I think the reason that I can remember something I bought 2 years ago is because of all of the contextualization that occurs.
There’s a lot of neurons firing when you’re out shopping. You are absorbing in a lot of information and building up a network of experiences. I think that adrenaline just helps fuel the fire to make a deeper memory.
Here’s a list of things that I experience when out buying that make a purchase more memorable:
- The weather – usually a little brisker when you start out and then warms up as the morning wears on. That heavy sweater was a bad idea. Always wear layers that are easily removed (zip up light hoodie is my favorite).
- The physical activity – exercise helps you have a better memory and critical thinking, so it would make sense that walking around at a flea market would create strong memories. Sometimes you even buy so much that you have to make several trips back to the car. Talk about good problems to have!
- The setting – trees are turning green and flowers are in bloom. An estate sale’s house with all of its shag carpet and wood paneling. That favorite little nook in the back of the store that has the stuff no one wants.
- Touching items – clothes, books, glass, rough pottery, sometimes that dew of the early morning.
- Smells – wet grass, Eau de Thrift store, grandma perfume
- And of course, the sounds – I may not remember what the person looked like, but I’ll remember the talk about the item. Me noticing any flaws, incredulity about how cheap I could get it. Kids running around, families talking about how they could use something in their house, dad’s saying “we don’t need another one of those!”
- Other items you bought – you’re not just creating context with all of the sensory items, but you’re also creating experiences with multiple items throughout a day.
I Buy Lots of Things
The weirdest part for me is that I buy a lot of inventory. Last year alone I spent over $1,500 on new inventory alone. At an average price of $3 per item, that’s 500 items!
First, that math is scary to me. I didn’t list 500 items last year, so what the hell am I doing with all of that stuff?
Second, I can most likely tell you where I bought each of those items.
So, after all of this, am I crazy? And yes, I ate chicken for lunch two days ago.
Do you remember where you bought that awesome item a year ago?
Image Credit: jdxyw