Woman spent £20,000 on online shopping in lockdown

Woman who spent £20,000 on online shopping in lockdown says she felt embarrassed when seeing the Amazon van on her driveway – after splurging on a metal detector, forest-themed decor and even a shipping container

  • Natalie Reeves Billing, from Liverpool, has always loved the thrill of buying 
  • But developed a worrying addiction to splashing the cash during the pandemic 
  • Business woman splurged on a metal detector, decor and a shipping container 

A woman has revealed how she spent £20,000 on online shopping in lockdown – but soon came to dread seeing the Amazon delivery van on her driveway due to embarrassment.

Natalie Reeves Billing, from Liverpool, has always loved the thrill of buying something new but developed a worrying addiction to splashing the cash during the pandemic to help deal with her anxiety, she told This Morning.

The business woman, who thankfully isn’t in debt after her spending, splurged on a metal detector, forest-themed decor and even a shipping container, as well as £3,000 on lighting and fixtures that she hasn’t even opened yet.

Eventually, after asking delivery drivers to leave parcels around the back of her home so her neighbours wouldn’t see, Natalie realised enough was enough and stopped her habit by using a cooling off period – where she’d only buy items if she remembered they were in her online shopping basket three days later. 

Natalie Reeves Billing (pictured), from Liverpool, has always loved the thrill of buying something new but developed a worrying addiction to splashing the cash during the pandemic to help deal with her anxiety, she told This Morning

The business woman, who thankfully isn’t in debt after her spending, splurged on a metal detector, forest-themed decor (pictured) and even a shipping container, as well as £3,000 on lighting and fixtures that she hasn’t even opened yet

Eventually, after asking delivery drivers to leave parcels around the back of her home so her neighbours wouldn’t see, Natalie realised enough was enough and stopped her habit by using a cooling off period – where she’d only buy items if she remembered they were in her online shopping basket three days later. Pictured, Natalie’s shipping container

Speaking to presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary, Natalie said: ‘I avoid shopping usually because I can’t trust myself, if I go in there, I’m going to buy everything I can’t stick to a plan.

‘And so usually I go seasonally to the shops and just have a sort of sporadic splurge, so I guess I’m a spree shopper.’

But Natalie’s approach to shopping changed after all non-essential stores were closed due to the pandemic. 

She explained: ‘I was so overwhelmed with homeschooling and my new business that started in February and so it was all kinds of pressure and you’re worried about the future, so the only bit of my life that felt normal at the time was being able to go online and shop for things.

‘It kind of made sense, it felt like I was in the real world for a little bit. I see it now looking back at it as a sort of indicator of where I was mentally.’


Speaking to presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary, Natalie (pictured) said: ‘I avoid shopping usually because I can’t trust myself, if I go in there, I’m going to buy everything I can’t stick to a plan.’

Natalie admitted that eventually she even new the names and families of her regular delivery drivers. 

‘They used to say, basically, they should bring a bed and move in and I’d be making private deals with them as well, “can you just take that around the back for us?”

‘As I’d be wondering who’s looking around the window, you know, in case, “what’s she buying today”.

‘Then it became more anxiety rather than a thrill. Then you’d see Amazon coming down the driveway,’ she added, explaining her embarrassment. 

But Natalie’s (pictured) approach to shopping changed after all non-essential stores were closed due to the pandemic

‘Later on I realised the cooling off period, and you can do it yourself and that’s what I did,’ she said.  ‘If I really like that, I’m still going to want it in three days time, but often just forget about it and that’s one of the ways I got round it this year.’

Speaking about her husband’s reaction, she added: ‘You know what, bless him, he is long-suffering. He doesn’t say a word, but the look, says everything. I’m terrified of debt and that’s the only saving grace.’

However, at a worrying point, Natalie admitted that she considered transferring some of her savings to her personal account – but thankfully speaking about her problem helped her to stop.

On her shipping container purchase, she commented: ‘I used to be in shipping. Well what it was originally was just to clear out space so we could use the other rooms that were full of c***. 

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