They always have a winning strategy, know the best places to compete and what it takes to bring a trophy home.
It may sound like an elite athlete, but researchers say it's qualities found in a new breed of shoppers.
Researchers found that sport shoppers don't just bargain hunt for the best deals, but also for the thrill of it.
Professors from San Francisco State University revealed this new breed of shoppers and presented evidence that they have similar behaviors of competitive athletes in that they view bargain shopping as an achievement domain.
Achievement goal theory, which describes the motivational behavior of sports athletes in achieving their athletic goals, was used in the study to better understand the motivation of sport shoppers.
The study looked at American undergraduate students, who filled out open-ended surveys, participated in interviews and took part in closet inventories.
The researchers then analyzed the information using three categories: task, ego and social approval.
Achievement goal theory, which describes the motivational behavior of sports athletes in achieving their athletic goals, was also used in the study to understand the motivation of sport shoppers.
‘This is somebody who takes great pride in their ability to get the thing they want at a discount,’ said Kathleen O'Donnel, associate dean of the School of Business.
‘It's not about spending the least, it's about saving the most.’
O'Donnell is the lead author on an article published online Nov. 14 in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, with Judi Strebel, chair of the marketing department, and their Australian colleague Gary Mortimer of Queensland University as co-authors.
The article, titled, ‘The thrill of victory: Women and sport shopping,’ will be published in print early in 2016.
O’Donnell and Strebel reported that these shoppers are not only competitive, but one of their goals is to outsmart the retail system.
As of right now the data only recognizes females in this new category, but the researchers are sure there are males out there with the same shopping behaviors.
Similar to an athlete reminiscing on their past achievements, a sport shopper can remember details of the bargain items in their closets, sometimes including the date of purchase and the sale and original price.
Another similarity between to two is, this type also develops a plan of action.
Each shopper has developed a strategy behind every shopping endeavor.
O'Donnell contends the sport shopper is different from the bargain shopper in that the bargain shopper hunts for deals out of necessity, while the sport shopper does it for the ‘rush’ of finding a good deal.
I no longer work in retail but whenever we get closer to the holidays I always think of this experience.
I used to work a a big box electronics store and every year like clockwork someone comes in a hour before the store closes on Christmas Eve asking for a new DS or PS4 or whatever. Clearly the store is picked dry and I get to help this dumass waiting until the last moment.
When I tell them we are sold out the next words out of their mouth always astound me...
Custy: "YOU just ruined my kids Christmas!"
Now by this time I am tired of Christmas and all the people that really do not make it the most wonderful time of the year. Thankfully our managers turned the other way in these scenarios and allow us to respond.
Me: "Excuse me?! I didn't ruin anything! YOU DID by waiting until the last moment. Now is there anything else I can get you today?"
By that time they ask for a manager and they ask the same question and annoyed and upset that we can't make one appear out of thin air. Then they storm out to try and terrorize another innocent worker.