Media Release

$2.34 billion spent on shopping under the influence

  • 1 in 5 Aussies have splurged online while boozed up
  • Queenslanders spend the most at 838 million
  • How to avoid spending after too many drinks

29 January, Sydney, Australia – New research by finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything, reveals shopping after a few drinks can get expensive.

The survey of 2,306 respondents shows almost one in five adults (18%) admit to purchasing goods under the influence, with $388 the most shoppers spent in one sitting.

When totalling all purchases, Australians have collectively spent $2.34 billion on intoxicated transactions.

Angus Kidman, editor-in-chief at finder.com.au says these days it’s all too easy to drink and shop.

“Between smartphones and laptops, we’re only ever one click away from making a purchase. A night in with a few glasses of wine can easily turn into an accidental shopping spree,” he says.

“Sometimes all it takes is a scroll through Instagram, with many retailers inviting consumers to ‘shop now’ within their feed.”

The research also reveals that women spend more while drunk: on average, the most they’ve spent in one sitting is $457 versus $308 for men.

Respondents admitted to some pretty bizarre purchases - such as costumes for their dog and craft items - after shopping under the influence, but clothing was the most common drunk purchase.

Almost one in ten (8.5%) drunk shoppers bought clothes online after they’d been drinking, with home delivered food (6.3%) and alcohol (5.5%) rounding out the top three purchases under the influence.

Other popular items among tipsy shoppers were shoes, food, lotto, and electronics.

“Half a million Aussies even admit to booking travel under the influence which goes to show no idea is a bad idea once drinks and an Internet connection mix.”

“If you think you’ve shopped after a few too many, take a look at your credit card statement or better yet, check your inbox.”

“The retailer will usually send you a confirmation email and depending on the store’s return policy, you might be able to contact them to cancel the order.”

State by state breakdown

StateProportionAmount spent
Queensland15%838 million
New South Wales17%641 million
Victoria18%359 million
Western Australia21%223 million
South Australia21%86 million

How to avoid a boozed up shopping binge

  • Switch off your mobile data

If you’re going out and you know you’re prone to a little shopping under the influence, turn your mobile data off before you start drinking. You’ll still be able to text and make calls, but it makes it harder to indulge in an online shopping splurge after a few wines.

  • Don’t save credit card details

This is a good tip for saving in general. It’s much easier to impulse shop when your details are already saved for your favourite retailer.

  • Apps to the rescue!

There are some apps that will help you curb drunk shopping. For example, DRNKPAY lets you link your bank cards to a Bluetooth breathalyser and once you hit your drink limit your cards are frozen for unnecessary purchases.

  • Keep your mobile at a distance

If you can’t reach your mobile, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to shop online. Leave it in your bag, or put it in a separate room if you think you might make a drunk purchase. The same goes with other devices, like laptops and tablets.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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