What is it about?

This paper evaluates critically the competing theories that variously depict DIY consumers’ either as rational economic actors, dupes, seekers of self-identity, or simply as conducting such endeavour out of economic necessity or choice.

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Why is it important?

Drawing upon evidence from a study of 350 households in rural England which finds that all sometimes apply, a typology is constructed that recognises the heterogeneity of consumers’ motives and differentiates between ‘willing’ DIYers who choose to do DIY either to improve the value of their home, for pleasure or to seek self-identity from the end-product, and ‘reluctant’ DIYers forced into DIY for economic reasons or due to problems with finding and using trades-people.


The paper concludes by calling for an evaluation of the wider validity of this taxonomy of consumers’ motives

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Re-thinking the motives of do-it-yourself (DIY) consumers, The International Review of Retail Distribution and Consumer Research, July 2008, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/09593960802113885.
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