Is Shopping a Hobby? 6 Questions Answered About This Extravagant Pastime (The Good, the Bad)


Shopping for goods has been around since the early parts of human history and was something that was done out of necessity, rather than for vanity or enjoyment.

In a modern format (and as a hobby), shopping didn’t exist en masse until around the 17th century, at which point, a strong middle-class had been established to make the pastime worthwhile.

Basically, there were a ton of people with excess capital who had nothing to spend it on, and thus a new economy was created to get that money moving.

From that point onwards, shopping has continued to surge in popularity as a favorite pastime for people and continues to adapt to the ever-changing trends of procurement.

For example, you don’t even need to leave your house anymore to do the majority of your shopping especially since you have services that can literally deliver an item to your doorstep within 24 hours.

To surmise then, shopping is definitely a hobby as it’s something you can easily do in your spare time for your enjoyment, much like many of the other hobbies we talk about on our site.

With that said, we’re going to explore shopping on a deeper level including what makes it so enjoyable and some of the drawbacks.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold: 6 Things You Need to Know About Shopping as a Hobby

1. Is shopping cheap?

As a hobby, shopping can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be.

Most shops or digital stores are designed to get you to spend more money, meaning if you’re not in tune with your senses then it’s easy to get roped into buying more than you really need.

It’s also worth considering the economy, for example, shopping in the UK would be far more expensive than shopping in Poland (on average) as both countries have varying levels of wealth meaning they need to be designed with the local shopper in mind.

As a tourist, if you’re coming from a country that has a high-standard of living or decent pay-rates then it’s easy to make your money go further in cheaper countries.

Always make sure to ask yourself important questions before making a purchase to avoid buyer’s remorse; we’ve all made impulse-buys where we’ve regretted our actions afterwards especially if we can’t really afford it.

2. Can shopping be a social activity?

Most hobbies are more fun when shared with other people, and in our opinion, there’s nothing better than arranging a day out with your bestie to tour around the local shopping mall to grab some new clobber.

Friends are also more likely to point out criticisms or question purchases they think are wrong for you, which can actually save you money in the long-run.

When you’re shopping alone, you only have your own mind to help you make the decision meaning it’s easy to get swept up in a frenzy of impulse buying.

Not only that but doing shopping with friends means you can keep up to date with each other or arrange other activities for yourselves throughout the week, which in our opinion, is far more productive than doing everything alone.

3. Is shopping online cheaper?

Now that we know shopping has varying levels of cost, it’s important to ask whether it’s cheaper to shop online.

So to answer the question, in general, it’s usually cheaper to shop online as you have far more options to compare in a shorter time frame than you would in a physical outlet.

With that said, the level of satisfaction generally goes down with online shopping (especially where clothing is concerned) as it’s hard to gauge the physical aspects of your purchase or how it might perform until you see it in person.

With this in mind, if you consider time as a factor in your costs, then we think the differences are rather negligible.

4. Can I get addicted to shopping?

Most people can enjoy shopping for what it is without going overboard, however, some people can become addicted to the excitement it brings or may use it as a band-aid to avoid dealing with negative emotions.

In fact, if you’re shopping due to boredom then we recommend taking up a more productive hobby; we’ve got a massive list of hobbies to browse or you can look for more specialized hobbies in our top lists section.

Other than addiction, there are also other negative behaviors to watch out for such as loading yourself up with too much debt to finance your purchases; this can be useful for one or two things but can cripple you in the long-run if you don’t keep it in check.

As a caveat, many hobbies or passions can be abused beyond their intended purposes and it’s not limited to shopping — we only make the point because shopping has directly negative consequences that can quickly impact your living situation.

5. So, why is shopping so fun then?

So we’ve explained many of the negatives regarding shopping as a hobby but what about the positives?

Well, shopping has many positive effects when done for enjoyment and provided you’re doing it within reasonable limits then it can make your life much more vibrant.

Here’s a list of why we love it so much:

  • Shopping burns calories – Provided you’re doing the physical kind of shopping and not sitting on your laptop, then you can easily burn over 500 calories in a shopping session making it fairly healthy, as well as enjoyable.
  • Helps you maintain friendships – Meeting up with friends to do some shopping is a fantastic way to spend your day and gives you some much needed time to catch up on the goss or share what’s going on in your lives.
  • Can help you make new friends – Shopping is a good way to make friends especially since you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people in the stores you visit; this is a good way to strike up a conversation which might lead to making a new friend.
  • Lots of people can do it – Although there’s a cost associated with buying things, shopping can be done by most people even on a low budget meaning it’s a fairly non-discriminatory hobby.
  • Helps you express yourself – Lots of people use the things they buy as a way to express themselves or to create an identity; we think this is a really positive thing and encourages people to be different.
  • Can let you invest in other hobbies – Shopping is a fun hobby, but it’s also the key to investing in other hobbies, whether to buy materials or splash out on a new collectible; this means it can be done productively!

6. Does shopping count as a hobby then?

So, we know the positives and negatives now, it’s probably worth exploring what makes shopping a hobby, right?

Well, anything you do for fun, enjoyment, and even excitement is classed as a hobby.

Even really basic stuff such as watching the TV can be classed as a hobby and shopping is no different.

Most people assume that hobbies are things like collecting coins, baking cakes, and even going to a Zumba class in the evening, however, not all activities have to be strongly linked to your personality to be classed as a hobby.

With that said, you should try to have hobbies that are productive or help to enhance parts of your life for the long-term such as exercise or making crafts as you’ll feel more satisfied.

FAQ: Important Questions Concerning Shopping

How do I shop sensibly?

If you want to enjoy shopping in the long-term then it’s important to plan in advance.

This means writing a list of what you need, how much you expect to pay, and giving yourself a small excess budget (10%) in case there’s something you didn’t account for.

The list should be made after you’ve calculated your monthly necessities such as household bills and food to make sure you don’t miss any important bills.

We also recommend taking somebody shopping with you, such as a family member or a best friend, as they’ll be able to give honest opinions and temper your need to buy more things.

Are there any top tips for shopping?

Here are our top tips for shopping:

  • Buy second-hand where you can – Second-hand goods give you the ability to buy exactly what you need for less money. There are many people who buy equipment then sell it on eBay in perfect condition due to buyer’s remorse meaning you can net a bargain.
  • You should borrow too – If you need to power wash your garden then we recommend asking a neighbor or family member before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a power hose; the same can be applied with basically anything else.
  • Opt-in for email notifications – Nobody likes spam but keeping notifications turned on for specific shops is a wise idea as you’ll sometimes get handy discounts for products you’ve been wanting to buy.
  • Check trending prices – Amazon has a handy feature that allows you to check the price of a certain product throughout the year meaning you don’t need to overspend and can buy when it’s at the lowest point.
  • Don’t fall for sales – Sales can be a great way to net a bargain, however, they’re designed to create a phenomenon called FOMO (fear of missing out) meaning you’re much more likely to overspend — try to avoid this if you can and only buy what you intended to.

Our last tip comes in the form of a video which gives you a selection of marketing tricks to be aware of before your next shopping extravaganza:


Shopping is an activity that started out of necessity rather than for fun, however, over the past few hundred years it’s become a phenomenon that many of us engage in as a way to spend our hard-earned cash and so we can show off who we are as a person.

As a hobby, shopping allows you to define who you are by letting you invest in the products that speak the most about your personality; for example, if you’re a big geek then you’ll probably wear Marvel t-shirts and buy all the latest games to chat with your friends about.

If you’re a fashionista then you’ll only find yourself shopping at the biggest, fanciest department stores where you’ll peruse the designer clothing section to get an idea of the latest fashion trends.

Unlike say playing Chess, shopping is a versatile hobby that let’s you specialize yourself in a wide variety of different areas which is why it’s so popular.

As always, if you enjoyed our article then make sure to save our homepage to your favorites as we regularly update our site with lots of fun hobby information.