They get "distraction buys," that's what. Here, let the Daily News explain:
That bottle of Diet Snapple you never touch on your desk? The spare can of hairspray you never use? The family pack of gum it would take a month to chew through? Admit it - they're all items from the drugstore that you picked up simply to hide your hemorrhoid cream and condoms. Now those unwanted purchases have a name: They're called "distraction buys."
We prefer "cover-ups" or "Trojan horses" over "distraction buys" but the general idea is the same: People are embarrassed to buy certain products. As long as there have been drug stores red-face saving impulse buys have existed, and thanks to UK TV show the Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses we now have some basic numbers on 'em. And now we know that one in four women admits to buying cover-up purchases when buying items like tampons, at an average extra cost of $9 each time. The same percentage of men get Trojan horses, but they only spend an average of $4.50 extra per trip to the store.
And because you're curious: The five most embarrassing products for women to purchase, according to the News, are Lice Killing Shampoo, Vagisil, Condoms, Hemorrhoid Cream and Pill. Meanwhile, the five most embarrassing products for men to purchase are Condoms, Anti-Diarrheal caplets, Hemorrhoid Cream, Suppositories and Vagisil.
Erm, we've been known to buy a copy of The Nation when we were too embarrassed to just buy US Weekly. What are your distraction buys?
Vending Machine Condoms from nicolelee's flickr stream.