Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marketing (Business Administration)

Document Type



Why do some of us have the fourteenth black shoe? Fifty pens? Thirty fishing rods? While some motivations relate to compulsive, impulsive or excessive buying, others relate to collecting, hoarding, fixated buying and stockpiling. However, there is a set of consumers who purchase recurrently, have an inventory far greater than that of a typical consumer and yet do not share the negative characteristics of the extreme buyers mentioned earlier. This set of consumers is termed ‘acquisitive buyers’ and little research exist to understand them. This dissertation establishes the significance of acquisitive buying as a new buying type in terms of defining, characterizing, and explaining the phenomenon. Three essays have been developed. The first essay reveals emergent themes regarding this phenomenon based on sixty two in-depth interviews of students and non-students. Additionally, concept mapping helped validate the results. The second essay differentiates acquisitive buying from all other types of extreme as well as mainstream buying. Citations used in extant literature and those from in-depth interviews with acquisitive and mainstream buyers provide insights. Besides, a typology of extreme buying helps position acquisitive buying amongst the other buying types. Essay three is a quantitative reflection of the distinguishing aspects of acquisitive and mainstream buyers. T-tests help understand the distinctions. Besides, an attempt was made to distinguish the two buying types based on a combination of constructs using logistic regression and discriminant analysis. Finally, this essay tries to understand the relationship between some of the distinguishing constructs using regression analysis. Results establish the existence of acquisitive buying as a distinct buying type. Acquisitive buyers have inherent needs, refined preferences and an elaborate knowledge that helps them to stay prepared for anticipated future events. Self-control, lack of financial problems and low post-purchase regret distinguish these buyers from others with negative consequences. The extreme buying typology based on self-control as the underlying factor positions acquisitive buying in the same platform as mainstream buying. However, fourteen out of eighteen constructs demonstrated differences between the two buying types. Results were consistent across three product categories suggesting that this phenomenon transcends product boundaries and is more trait-based.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Alvin C. Burns



Included in

Marketing Commons