5 Of The Top Reasons People Buy Things

5 Of The Top Reasons People Buy Things by Charles Sledge

No matter what you sell or do understanding why people buy things is going to help you in your business and career. Even if it’s just learning what people want so you can move up the corporate ladder faster or to simply be more persuasive to people that you meet. Learning the psychology behind why people buy things (including ideas) will help you get the most out of life and make more money. This is essential knowledge is you sell any products or are in business for yourself.

Human beings despite their vast differences all share similar tendencies and act in similar ways. This is why governments are able to control and lead them so easily, because they are so predictable. Just like women may be blonde, brunette, redhead, fat, skinny, and many other things they all share a common biology that makes what attracts one the same as what attracts all the others. Because of this operating from certain principles will give you success with both women and business.

Reason #1 – Being Liked

While I encourage my readers to kill this weak desire (as well as most on this list) the fact of the matter is most people (especially women) are desperately insecure and want to be liked by others. Just look at how people will throw themselves behind political ideologies (even ones that hate them and want them dead) just so they will no ruffle any feathers in the hopes that this will make them more liked by others. People will do anything to be liked by others.

Look at one of the most popular books of all time How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie pretty much that entire book is all about how to get others to like you. While I think it’s an important book to develop rapport skills most people bought it  because they are afraid that others won’t like them and that the book will give them the power to have others like them. Most people don’t want to stand out and go against the grain they simply want to be liked.

Reason #2 – Increased Security

There is a wise saying that if you seek both security over freedom you’ll end up neither. The average consumer has never heard this and doesn’t believe it. The average consumer wants to increase their security in any way that they can. The average consumer walks around their life with a low level of dread humming around in the background. They are always worried about this or that and just are generally worrying about the various facets of their lives. They are looking for a rock to cling to in the rushing of the waters.

Anything that offers them some sort of shelter or assurance they are going to flock to. For example life insurance. Once a man dies he generally wants to make sure that his family is provided for and that they won’t suffer too much. He doesn’t want to have to worry about them (even though when you’re dead you can’t worry anyways). This provides him assurance that his family will be okay and is much easier than teaching his kids skills that will ensure they survive no matter what.

 Reason #3 – Higher Status

America and most of Western civilization are consumer societies all about keeping up with the Jones. This applies to everything from the car that they buy to how hard they virtue signal when the next terrorist attack happens. The consumer is all about one upping those around him. For example for a man having a nicer car than his neighbor, for a woman having a nicer house (even if it mires them in dept for the next 30 years) than her girlfriend, or for the yuppie shirts that say how much they hate islamophobes/homophobes/normal human being to prove how much more progressive they are then those who don’t wear the shirts.

I was exaggerating a bit with the last one but you get the point (and I wasn’t exaggerating that much). Everyone wants to be thought of as “better” than others. It’s a natural thing. Some do this through study and weight training, others (meaning most) do it through their buying patterns or moral posturing. If you can tie your product or service to the prospect being better and of higher status than those around them they are much more likely to buy. After all the only difference between a Coach purse and one that costs half as much is Coach is associated with class and luxury.

Reason #4 – Attracting The Opposite Sex

This is something that every human being has been concerned with and involved themselves in since the beginning of time. Attracting a mate is of the highest importance biologically as reproduction is the end goal (as least as far as our biology is concerned). Knowing how to make yourself more attractive to the opposite sex is a guaranteed way to catch the interest of your prospect. I do this with my books like The Primer (though I talk about harsh truths and hard work most use gimmicks).

However my style is not the most popular one. Rather gimmicks and “cheap tricks” are much more popular. Use magic and babes will flock to you, this one little tricks makes all the guys swoon. Or appeal to people’s delusions while reassuring them that they are on the right path. Think “How being a short haired cat loving Feminist is what all the guys really want” or a more realistic example “Why Men Love Bitches”. A male version might be “Why Women Love Wimpy Fat Nerds”. It doesn’t have to make sense as long as it feels good and they don’t have to do a lot of work. Not that I recommend this for your own products, but it is important to understand how this works.

Reason #5 – Save Money

Not a sexy topic but one that all people concern themselves with. I would say that the average personal vastly overestimates how powerful this particular desire is yet nevertheless this list wouldn’t be complete without it. Tie your product or service into more money for the prospect and you will at least have their attention. Remember people want to move towards pleasure and away from pain. With away from pain being twice as strong as a motivator as moving towards pleasure.

Saving or making money does both of these things. Most people are under the impression that money is scarce and that saving it is like saving a special resource (unfortunately this mindset will always keep them poor) so when you can save them some they’ll be more likely to buy. Like a person living in the desert who you say your product or service will save them water (except for in this case were actually talking about a rare resource). You’re going to have their attention at the least and much more likely their money. Make your product a service a net gain for the prospect and they’ll love you for it.


You’ve probably noticed something about all these buying factors. Namely that people are sheep. I don’t say this to mean to go out there and eviscerate them. I rather say this because it’s reality. Most people just want comfort, security, to be liked, and fit in. They have no desire to be the next great conqueror or warrior king, as I’m sure you do in at least some part. Understand that a good part of making money is all about comforting and reassuring the sheep.

Some do this through lies and misleading others do it through taking care of them. I would encourage you to do it through taking care of them. Gives them what they want and they will reward you with their money. This is why a blog like this will never be my main business. There are just not enough lions in the world for it to be realistic. Understand the average consumer’s psychology and you’ll do well in business and life.

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it. You can follow me on Twitter here.

-Charles Sledge

Charles Sledge

  • Old Goat

    Excellent article. The Century Of Self is a great documentary about Edward Bernays, who is regarded as the father of using manipulation tactics as public relations in order to control people. From Wikipedia: “This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.”

    • Thanks for the recommendation will have to check that out sounds interesting. I recently got Bernay’s book Propaganda looks like it’ll be informative to say the least.