Estimated Prevalence of Compulsive Buying in Malaysia: A Socio-Demographic Analysis

Najeeb Ullah Shah, Nik Mohd Hazrul Nik Hashim, Nor Asiah Omar
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia



Compulsive buying is an important field of study in consumer research. The present study is one of the first to use socio-demographic data to examine the dynamics of compulsive buying behavior in Malaysia. For this research, a representative sample of 624 Malaysian consumers was identified using the street intercepts method. This study established a cut-off point to separate compulsive Malaysian consumers from those who are not. The findings reveal that 10.5% of Malaysians engage in compulsive buying behaviors. This study also developed a Consumer Buying Continuum, which suggests that 184 (29.5%) of the respondents were categorized as non-compulsive buyers, 232 (37.2%) individuals were classified as recreational buyers, 142 (22.8%) of the sample population were categorized as borderline compulsive buyers and 66 (10.5%) individuals were categorized as compulsive buyers. Surprisingly, the results indicate that demographic parameters such as gender, age, and income differentiate compulsive buyers from those who are not, with females and younger individuals exhibiting this behavior more than others. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

Keywords:  consumer behavior, compulsive buying, addictive buyers, Malaysian consumers