In recent decades, diagnostic criteria to identify individuals who repeatedly engage in extreme and problematic over-spending have been proposed and used by clinicians and researchers. A prolonged pattern of over-spending that interferes with life-functioning is referred to as compulsive shopping or compulsive buying disorder. Some investigators have argued that individuals suffering from the disorder are numerous enough to merit the syndrome's inclusion in the next version of the DSM. Despite growing clinical and mainstream attention to compulsive shopping, several key issues stand in the way of the syndrome's inclusion in the DSM. First, measures used to identify individuals with compulsive shopping disorder have not been adequately tested. Therefore, it remains uncertain whether psychometrically valid and reliable screeners exist. Second, debates over how to best classify compulsive shopping behaviors remain unresolved. While some investigators argue that compulsive shopping should be classified as a sub-type of impulse-control disorder, others argue that it should be classified as a sub-type of obsessive-compulsive disorder or addiction. Finally, a major block to classifying compulsive shopping as a distinct disorder is that there remains a paucity of empirical research tying together core differential factors and what characteristics of the proposed disorder best define the difference between compulsive and non-compulsive shoppers.