Waiting In A Long Line For A Popular Product Might Be Annoying But It Could Boost Your Ego

After yet another study showed that maybe those Black Friday sales that generate such humongous lines aren’t necessarily the best deals, and the simple fact that ordering a coveted item online can often allow shoppers to skip those eternal queues, why would anyone stand around waiting ever again? Well, maybe because it makes you feel kinda good, say experts.

Whether you’re shifting from foot to foot while waiting for the newest Apple gadget or standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, there might actually be a reward to what can seem like awful experiences, say those who study consumer trends. According to MarketWatch, part of what drives consumer satisfaction is that shared experience of queuing up with your fellow shoppers. Right in the retail trenches, all together — it’s called “queue chic.”

“Shopping has become a collective event,” Adam Hanft of Hanft Projects, a New York consulting firm that works with consumer brands, tells MarketWatch.

He and others explain that part of is simply appearing as part of a crowd waiting for a much buzzed about product. It helps the shopper see what they’re doing — essentially, potentially wasting time on a product they could get through other means — as making the right buying decision. It’s a concept known as “social proof.”

It’s like, “Yeah, hey you other shoppers not in this line. You’re probably pitying me. But at the end of this line I will come out with an awesome new product and you will not. Yup, my fellow line-waiters and I will be the winners. Boo yah!”

Basically we only get excited if it seems like something is scarce or rare, and it’s easier to believe that in a long line than by simply adding a product to an online shopping cart and waiting for it to arrive.

Me, I’ll stick to the comfort of my own abode and wait it out the easy way. To each her own.

Waiting in line: Good for ego, bad for wallet [MarketWatch]