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ABSTRACT

Why does someone buy the tenth pair of black shoes or the fourteenth white t-shirt? Typically, extreme buying is associated with negative feelings and consequences: issues of self-control, guilt, and financial problems are common among compulsive, impulsive, excessive buying, fixated buying, and hoarding. However, through two studies, the authors describe “acquisitive buyers,” who exhibit an extreme yet controlled acquisition process for items in a chosen product category. In his/her mind, these items are minutely differentiated and enrich the inventory, and there is logical justification that every purchase enhances his/her preparedness for anticipated specific product use occasions. Materialism, positive perfectionism and variety-seeking in a particular product category are some of the characteristics of these buyers. The studies also help distinguish acquisitive buying from other types of extreme buying and mainstream buying.