Abstract: Decision making is more complex and more critical today in Zimbabwe, considering that the disposal income among the citizens has gone done as a result of more than 10 years of economic and political incongruence among important stakeholders in the country. Most people are earning below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) and this makes the decision making even more difficult on what to buy with their limited incomes. This is compounded by the use of multi-currency system which is dominated by the use of the US dollar and SA rand. This study is an investigation into the decision making styles among female students in tertiary institutions in Bulawayo, in their process of what products and services to buy. Consumer Style Inventory (CSI) Model suggested by Sproles and Kendall, (1986) has been used to find out the characteristics of these styles among the tertiary female students in Bulawayo. A survey design was adopted in form of a structured questionnaire, which was used to collect data from a sample of 100 female students. The study reveals the following consumer decision making styles among female tertiary students: Confused by over choice, Novelty and fashion consciousness, Brand consciousness and prices equals quality, Perfectionism and high quality consciousness, Habitual and brand loyalty orientation, and Recreational and hedonistic. However the study did not confirm Price Consciousness and value for money and Impulsiveness and carelessness. Also the study reveals that consumer decision making styles are affected by the sudden increase range of products, and increased in retail shops especially the proliferation of Chinese shops. Analysis took the form of computation of means and frequency distributions. The study recommends that manufacturers should try to brand their goods if they are targeting this group.
Keywords: consumer, decision making, female students, Zimbabwe