Upgrade Addiction

Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 9:42am

Do you have to have the latest and greatest products? You may have a problem.

When it comes to gadgets it's hard to resist the lure of the newest ones on the market.

They promise to be flashier, faster, and just all around cooler than the ones we already own.

Jon Engels with Give Back Wireless buys and sells old cell phones, not necessarily because they don't work, but because a new version has just hit the market.

"A majority of phones that are brought into us through our donations are fully tested working phones. It's just a person wants the latest and greatest and the phone that they bought the second they buy it, they're already looking around for the next phone that's out there," he says.

There's a reason these phones and computers and iPads are numbered 2.0, 3.0. It's to remind you that the one you have isn't the latest version and it's time to upgrade.

"The idea of upgrading from one level of technology to another is almost a status thing among people and consumers especially right now," says San Diego State Marketing Professor Steven Osinski.

He says the life cycle of technology is getting shorter every year, and through peer pressure, technological changes and clever advertising consumers are developing a sort of upgrade addiction.

"When consumers make a decision to buy, it comes from two things: They like to rationalize it from their head, but more importantly it comes from their heart," he argues.

What the heart wants can get expensive, unless you can master one simple word: No.

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