THE CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION PHENOMENON IN EGYPT: Question Results

First Question Results: the rate of 71.75% of respondents does not have adequate wealth to spend on the conspicuous consumption goods, while 28% of them have that wealth. This rate ranges from males and females as the rate of females who are unable to spend on the conspicuous goods consumption is 79.2% compared to 66.7% for males. This is a normal thing as males are more concerned than females with family spending.

Second Question Results: they indicate that 66.7% of respondents have the desire to spend a large portion of their income on the conspicuous goods consumption while 33.3% of them do not have that desire. This is attributed to social and psychological factors related to the desire to satisfy the possession intrinsic. They also indicate that 65.5% of males have the desire to spend a large portion of their income on the conspicuous goods consumption while 34.5% do not have that desire. The rate of females who have that desire is about 68.3% compared to 31.7% of them does not have that desire. This is attributed to the females’ possession desire and to highlight the aesthetic appearance and shape, in addition to satisfying the tendency of imitation and competition with others of social position.

Third Question Results: they indicate that 88.4% of respondents prefer not to obtain banking loans or borrow from friends to spend on the conspicuous goods, while 11.6% of them tend to have loans and get into debt from others to spend on these goods. This is attributed to the fear of others’ critics and what is known as the provocative stigma style of the person who borrows to spend on conspicuous needs. It can be said that the indebtedness culture is not a strong effective factor of the conspicuous consumption increase.

Fourth Question Results: they indicate that 65% of respondents do not think that installment selling of conspicuous goods lead to increase the purchasing stimuli, while 35% believe that it is considered as one of the main stimuli, particularly for those who do not have the financial purchasing power. This attributed to the increased number of shopping stores that adopt the installment selling system, the economic stagnation condition and the cash payment is restricted to the high-income groups. On the contrary, the low-income groups who wish to have things based on installment system in order to satisfy their deprivation desire and cope with the conspicuous consumption pattern.

Fifth Question Results: they indicate that 87% of respondents do not buy goods except they actually need them, while 13% of them do otherwise. This is attributed to highlight the social prestige and boasting before others by buying useless goods such as presents, antiques and others as they are considered as social glamour.

Sixth Question Results: they indicate that 64.6% of respondents do not prefer the good appearance over its quality when deciding to buy, while 35.4% of them prefer the apparent shape of the good over its quality. This is attributed to accurately calculating the buying decision and not to spend money on goods with no quality. This entails collecting adequate information on the good before buying it under the worse economic condition and the decline of income levels for a large category of Egyptian people.

Seventh Question Results: they indicate that 82.4% of respondents do not buy goods just for their attractiveness, while 17.6% do. They buy goods which they did not think to buy before entering the shopping store, but the good’s attraction and glamour are the main stimuli for buying them. This rate increases among females as compared to the males as females rate in this regard is 28.4% as compared to 10.6% for males. This is attributed to females’ higher tendency to the formal and attractive aspects and the desire to compete with others.

Eighth Question Results: they indicate that 83.5% of respondents prefer to hold their wedding parties in luxurious halls, while 16.6% do otherwise. This is attributed to reasons related to boasting and showing to lessen others’ critics, hospitality, lessen family’s exhaustion in the case of holding the party at the family house. The percentage of females in this concern is 91.7% as compared to 77.7% for males. The rising number of females is attributed to the consistency between the females’ nature, shape, sense, aesthetics and competition with others and the subsequent psychological and social functions of females’ passion as compared to that of the males.

Ninth Question Results: they indicated that 85.7% of respondents prefer to inform their friends, officemates with the characteristics of the conspicuous goods which they have bought, while 14.3% do not prefer that. This is attributed to emphasizing the social prestige, show the spending desire to indicate generosity besides urging others to buy such goods to prevent envy. The rate of females in this concern is 93.3% as compared to 80.5% for males. This is attributed to the females’ desire of boasting and showing before others and their desire to prove their aesthetic abilities for them. The reasons behind not inform others of the bought goods’ characteristics is attributed to fear of others’ envy and the desire not to inform others about their privacy.

Tenth Question Results: they indicate that 16.3% of respondents prefer the appearance and general shape of house among their possession priorities of conspicuous goods and things, followed by 14.7% for housing furniture, 13.6% for food type, then well-known brands of cars, clothes and cosmetics at the fourth place by 9.7% each respectively. At the fifth place comes the golden jewelry by 7%, followed by children education at international private schools at the sixth place by 5.4% followed by the mobile brand at the seventh place by 4.7%. Then, at the eighth place there are antiques, expensive presents and holding banquets and parties by 3.3% each. Finally, well-known clubs membership and overseas traveling come at the tenth place with 1.7% and 1% successively. The order and priority of these conspicuous goods differ among males and females as the housing aspect has 18.3% among the males at the first place, while cosmetics and accessories have 15.8% among females at the first pace. The housing furniture has 17.2% for males at the second place, while food type has 15% among the females at the second place. The rate of car brand is 13.4% among the males at the third place. The rate of jewelry is 14.1% for the females at the third place as shown in table no. 2.

Eleventh Question Results: they indicate that the social prestige and dominance are considered as some of the most important stimuli of conspicuous consumption of goods and things constituting 33.7 % of respondents, followed by 17.3% out of coping up with fashion and imitating others. Then, they are followed by 14.7% for the boasting and showing as stimuli for buying, followed by the factors of income increase and the economic condition improvement and the desire to be distinguished from others by 6.7% each. The means of advertisement, promotion and marketing for the conspicuous goods are effective factors by 6.4%, followed by factors related to feeling bored of buying old things and desire to buy new things and the other people’s advice to buy conspicuous goods by 3.3% each. The rate of attraction and appearance of displayed goods is 2.6%, then old things expiry and the desire to change them by 2.3%, then the psychological conditions are their effect on the purchasing decision by 2%. Finally, the rate of overseas travel experience and getting affected by other is 1%.

The order and significance of these factors effect on the purchasing decision of these goods among males and females as they are both equal in terms of the social prestige and dominance which have the first place by 35.5% for males and 30.8% for females. Boasting and showing comes at the second place for males by 20%, while fashion and imitating others come at the second place for females by 20.8% which comes at the third place for males by 15%. Meanwhile the desire to be distinguished from others and the effect of means of advertisement come at the third place for female and males by 9.2% as shown in table no. 2.

Twelfth Question Results: they indicate that 54.6% of respondents believe that spending on necessary needs is more important than spending on the conspicuous goods, followed by 20.7% believe that the declined annual income, worse of economic condition are the main reasons behind non-spending on the conspicuous goods, while 9% of respondents believe that the factor of envy, hatred are the main reasons behind non-spending on the conspicuous goods. Meanwhile 8.4% of respondents believe that the religious factors restrict spending, extravagancy and squandering on the conspicuous goods. Finally, 7.3% of them believe that the instability of security conditions and the spread of thefts, forcing kidnapping are among the reasons behind non-spending on the conspicuous goods that may tempt others particularly jewelry, cars and others. The order and significance of these factors’ effects on the non-spending on the conspicuous goods among males and females as the factor of providing the necessary needs is equal for both males and females at the first place by 63.3% for males and 41.7% for females. Then, the factor of low income comes at the second place for males and females by 16.7% for males and 26.7% for females. The religion factor and its effect on non-spending on the conspicuous goods has the third place for males by 11.2%, while fear of envy come at the third place for females by 16.7%. Meanwhile the instability of security conditions has the fourth place for both males and females by 5% for males and 10.8% for females. Finally, fear of envy comes at the fifth place for males by 3.8%, while the religion factor comes at the fifth place for females by 4.1% as shown in table no.2.

Fourth Question Results: they indicate that 65% of respondents do not think that installment selling of conspicuous goods lead to increase the purchasing stimuli, while 35% believe that it is considered as one of the main stimuli, particularly for those who do not have the financial purchasing power. This attributed to the increased number of shopping stores that adopt the installment selling system, the economic stagnation condition and the cash payment is restricted to the high-income groups. On the contrary, the low-income groups who wish to have things based on installment system in order to satisfy their deprivation desire and cope with the conspicuous consumption pattern.