A consumer choosing a product must often wait before consuming it. In this article, we consider the consequences of waiting on consumption enjoyment. We propose that the effect of a delay on consumption enjoyment depends on both the negative utility of the wait itself and on the positive utility of anticipating a pleasant consumption experience. These factors exert different degrees of influence, depending on characteristics of the decision task. The results of three studies suggest that a delay increases consumption enjoyment for pleasurable products when actual consumption occurs, but decreases enjoyment for imagined consumption. Furthermore, the vividness of the awaited product moderates these effects.
Nowlis, S. M., Mandel, N., &McCabe, D. B. (2004). The effect of a delay between choice and consumption on consumption enjoyment. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(3), 502-510.