Americans Got Drunk And Made $48 Billion In Online Purchases Last Year, Study Finds

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Drunk online shopping is now a huge industry — and it’s growing quickly.

A study into the online purchasing of Americans when they’re a little tipsy has found that a total of $48 billion was spent in impulsive purchases last year. The study was conducted by The Hustle, which surveyed more than 2,000 alcohol-consuming American adults to ask whether they make purchases online when they’re drunk and what exactly they’re buying.

The study found that 79 percent of all Americans who consume alcohol admitted to making at least one purchase while they’re drunk and that the average drunk shopper dished out a total of $444 over the course of the last year. The majority said they went to Amazon for their drunk purchase, and the most common buys were clothing and shoes. It also found that women are slightly more likely to make purchases than men (though men tend to spend more per online transaction) and that the average drunk shopper has the means to make the impulsive purchases — the average respondent for the survey had an annual income of $92,000. They also tend to be a bit younger, with millennials outnumbering baby boomers by 13 percent.

The study also tracked some of the purchases from respondents, including some very odd ones. One person purchased a replica of the vest that Michael J. Fox wore in Back to the Future, while another bought a full-size inflatable bouncy castle for their living room. Someone else bought a World War II-era bayonet.

Drunk shopping appears to be on the rise overall. A 2018 survey of online shoppers from Finder.com found that close to half admitted to making purchases while they had been drinking, with an estimated $30.4 billion in spontaneous drunk purchases. This survey found that food was actually the most popular pick, followed by shoes and clothes, but it found a slightly higher average annual expense for drunk shoppers — just under $448 overall.

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The drunk online shopping industry has grown so large that there is now a field of study on it, and experts are stepping forward to help shoppers avoid purchases they may later forget. They recommend that anyone who finds themselves looking around internet retails for purchases while they’re drunk should keep their items in the cart until the next morning, when they can be examined with a clearer head to determine if they are really needed, or if the shopper can put off buying an inflatable bouncy castle until another day.