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Self-gifting guilt: an examination of self-gifting motivations and post-purchase regret

Peter David Clarke (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Gary Mortimer (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 28 October 2013




Self-gifting is a performative process in which consumers purchase products for themselves. The literature to date remains silent on a determination and connection between the extents of post-purchase regret resulting from self-gifting behavior. The purpose of this paper is to examine identification and connection of self-gifting antecedents, self-gifting and the effect on post purchase regret.


This study claims the two antecedents of hedonistic shopping and indulgence drive self-gifting behaviors and the attendant regret. A total of 307 shoppers responded to a series of statements concerning the relationships between antecedents of self-gifting behavior and the effect on post-purchase regret. Self-gifting is a multi-dimensional construct, consisting of therapeutic, celebratory, reward and hedonistic imports. Confirmatory factor analysis and AMOS path modeling enabled examination of relationships between the consumer traits of hedonistic shopping and indulgence and the four self-gifting concepts.


Hedonic and indulgent shoppers engage in self-gifting for different reasons. A strong and positive relationship was identified between hedonic shoppers and reward, hedonic, therapeutic and celebratory self-gift motivations. hedonic shoppers aligned with indulgent shoppers who also engaged the four self-gifting concepts. The only regret concerning purchase of self-gifts was evident in the therapeutic and celebratory self-gift motivations.

Research limitations/implications

A major limitation was the age range specification of 18 to 45 years which meant the omission of older generations of regular and experienced shoppers. This study emphasizes the importance of variations in self-gift behaviors and of post-purchase consumer regret.


This research is the first examination of an hedonic attitude to shopping and indulgent antecedents to self-gift purchasing, the concepts of self-gift motivations and their effect on post-purchase regret.



David Clarke, P. and Mortimer, G. (2013), "Self-gifting guilt: an examination of self-gifting motivations and post-purchase regret", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 472-483.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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