Thursday, 14 May 2009 13:39
There is a time and place for impulsive purchases, like a pack of gum at the check-out counter or even a pair of shoes once in a while, but big ticket items require research. Here are some tips for making informed purchasing decisions.
1. Check out consumer reports
Consumer reports give unbiased information about everything from electronics to baby items. Visit www.consumerreport.org and find the item you are interested in. The website will rate the item and give recommendations for other comparable products.
2. Read online reviews
If you don’t want to buy consumer report information, you can simply type in the name of an item and “review” into a search engine, and you’ll get hundreds if not thousands of reviews from actual people who have purchased the item. Most store websites also allow for customers to review and comment on their products. Be sure that the review is about a feature you find important; just because one person doesn’t like a specific feature of a product doesn’t mean that you won’t.
3. Ask friends and family
Your friends and family are a great resource for finding out information on a product or service that they have purchased, and who knows you and your likes and dislikes better? If you have an electronics junky in the family, run your ideas past them before purchasing a computer or tv.
4. Comparison shop
Once you’ve decided on the product or service you are going to purchase, make sure to check out several different stores for the best price. Check and see if they have a competitor match, most stores do now. Some insurance providers will actually give you quotes from them as well as their competitors.
You don’t want to take all the fun out of buying something, but the more you know about a product, the happier you’ll be with it. And you can avoid the dreaded “buyer’s remorse!”