Men vs. Women: Differences in Christmas shopping

By | December 12, 2012 | Love & Relationships

Men vs. Women: Differences in Christmas shopping

A Dad’s Point-of-View

Our next article in this ongoing series could really be a one-sentence column: Women like to shop; Men don’t. Okay, I’ll elaborate a bit more, though that really sums it up. Add Christmas into the mix and we can simply say, men would rather drink eggnog, or do anything, but shop during the madness of the holiday season.

Like every column in this series, I make generalities and stereotypical judgments and statements. There are exceptions to every generality and stereotype, but they are few. The majority of generalities and stereotypes that I express I sincerely believe apply to most men and women. This particular column really is about shopping in general, but since it’s “the most wonderful time of the year,” I chose to put it in the Christmas context.

Also, I love women. Let’s be clear about that. But unlike Women’s Studies professors, I love and celebrate our gender differences. I so hate the word “gender,” and really simply prefer “sex.” But, I digress. My wife makes me a better man. And though she may be reluctant to admit it, I make her a better woman. In this sense, substitute “man” and “woman” with human. We are more human because of our respective male and female inclinations.

That’s the way we’re made. That’s the way it is, no matter how much post-graduate work you do. The irony is that most parents who have boys and girls will quickly let go of any notion that it’s nurture over nature in children’s inherent interests and traits. Again, there are exceptions but they are just that, exceptions.

Back to the topic at hand…There is little doubt in my mind that men and women shop differently. In a nutshell, men want to get it over with and do something else. On the other hand, women could linger all day, not buy a thing, and still be quite content. Not a man. If he sets out to shop for something and comes back empty-handed, he’ll deem that effort an abject failure.

Other differences between men and women and shopping include:

1.    Men look at price tags.

Yeah, guys care about price, while women (see #2) care about labels. More succinctly, we check the price way before we try it on. Some of us will only buy when things are on sale.

2.    Women look at labels.

This one mystifies me. Not only do I not care about labels, I won’t wear anything that has a label prominently displayed. Why should I pay to advertise someone’s product? Pay me and I’ll wear a hat with your name on it.

Okay, I know I’m an exception as kids – both boys and girls – do care about the current in fashion brand name and like it to be obvious and displayed. I’m happy with a similar design that’s a fraction of the label’s cost. To me, it’s just as good.

3.    Men are happy buying generic – anything.

I love everything generic, especially Kirkland products at Costco. Most generic or chain generic brands are exactly the same as the brand product but at a significant cost savings.

4.    Women in Europe, will go without many items for fewer, higher quality clothes.

Many women in France not only live in small apartments, but their closets hold a truly modest amount of clothing. They’d rather have that $999 designer handbag than 10 different ones of no brand distinction. Consequently, many women business executives in Europe will choose to have a smaller, high quality, label wardrobe versus shopping at Target (en Français: Tar-Jay).

5.    Men prefer to shop online.

I’m probably wrong on this one – I don’t know – but I bet more men shop online than women. Why? Because we want to be Done. With. It.  Ladies, please enlighten me on this one?

6.    Women like to shop online for deals but prefer the tactile experience.

Women do like deals, so shopping online has its place in their range of shopping choices. My wife especially loves Groupon. But the tactile experience of touching material, trying clothes and shoes on, plus the camaraderie of sharing it all with their friends trumps the comfort and ease of doing it from home.

7.    Men will take care in shopping for the big toys.

When it comes to the big items, the important stuff, like a new television or a car, men will deliberate quite thoroughly.

8.    Women will take care in shopping for accessories.

The same holds true for women, but ironically, only with small items like fashion or hair accessories and Christmas decorations. Men care about one accessory – a belt.

What do you think? Did I miss any other differences?

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Bruce Sallan

Bruce Sallan, author of The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from A Dad's Point-of-View and A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation and radio host of “The Bruce Sallan Show – A Dad’s Point-of-View” gave up a long-term showbiz career to become a stay-at-home-dad. He has dedicated his new career to becoming the Dad advocate. He carries his mission with not only his books and radio show, but also his column A Dad’s Point-of-View, syndicated in over 100 newspapers and websites worldwide, and his dedication to his community on Facebook and Twitter. Join Bruce and his community each Thursday for #DadChat, from 6pm -7pm PST, the Tweet Chat that Bruce hosts.

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{ 1 comment }

ChrystieDeSmet December 20, 2012 at 2:20 am

I agree this is true for the most part. Although in our house I’m not much of a shopper. It would be me over my hubby any day, but I’m really not a shopper. The only thing I enjoy shopping for is scrapbook supplies and I prefer in person so I can look and touch as you said. My hubby does love shopping online best and I will say I’ve learned to like it as well! 🙂