This Browser Plugin Can Stop You From Impulse Buying That Random Thing You’re About to Put in Your Shopping Cart

Icebox will replace the buy button with a tool that will put items on lockdown for days, giving you time to think about the purchase.

Remember when you were in school and had a friend change your Facebook password during midterm and finals seasons? Well, Icebox isn’t exactly the same thing for Amazon, but we can see the parallels! With the sheer amount of stuff on Amazon and the malevolent and cruel simplicity of the one-click buy button, we don’t even have specific times of the year to worry about — the impulse to buy can strike at any time! Icebox is a Chrome browser plugin that’s going to give us some valuable time to talk some sense into ourselves. Or, you know, at least try.

Add Icebox to Chrome, and you’ll find the buy button on not only Amazon, but most online shopping sites replaced with a ‘Put it on ice’ button. That button will throw any item you want to buy into the cooler, and you won’t be able to purchase the thing until time’s up. Icebox has that time set at a hefty 30 days by default, but it can be customized. Still, Icebox only counts in days, so if you install it, you’re guaranteed to have at least 24 hours to think it over.

You can view any items you have in the Icebox in the plugin’s settings, and you can also create exceptions, in case you buy necessities like food and toiletries online. Exceptions can be made site by site in settings, but there’s also a little button that will let you buy individual items immediately. The plugin will make you feel bad about it, though! In order to make the purchase, you’ll have to type in ‘Although I want to control my impulse spending, I really do need to buy this now.’ You’d better believe it’s not possible to highlight and copy.

For example, here’s me trying to buy a Moleskine notebook. I don’t need one of these! I have given them enough money. Now that this notebook is on ice, I can use the days ahead to explain to myself no, you will not actually start journalling. You have never journaled, and this will continue to be the case. The system will work.

The plugin was created by finder.com, and like any good plugin, it’s a great way to draw attention to its creator. Finder.com is a price comparison site, but they also dispense a bunch of wisdom about how to save money — one piece of wisdom being something like ‘hey, you know that thing you want? You probably don’t want it.’

Now, the only question is how long you can last before you run into an impulse so overpowering, it drives you to uninstall the plugin. I give myself two weeks never mind it’s already gone I really want Mario Kart.

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