Day in, day out, consumers like you are faced with dozens of challenges when buying stuff. This is especially the case when making purchases in the free market or over the internet. For starters, there are so many options to pick from, and not all products are the same. Moreover, not all stuff you see on the shelves is actually beneficial or worth the money you spend on it in the first place. Some are actually harmful, whereas others could end up costing you more money in the long run.
Some products won’t last as long as you would want them to, and are created just to entice you into buying them. Impulse buying is also a common threat to most people’s financial sanity. As a smart buyer, you want to ensure value for your money and time. You want to buy things that will serve the intended purpose… things that will be beneficial to your life. You want to buy something that will last and save money while doing so. Want to start making smarter buying decisions? Here are a few tips on how to go about it.
1. Review Before Buying
Making purchases can be overwhelming, especially if you have been badly yearning to purchase. It gets even trickier when it comes to essential items you really need in your home or your life. But worry not because professional reviews and consumer ratings got you covered. They help you compare and contrast various options on the shelf, making the purchase process a lot easier. When choosing what air filter you need, air filter reviews online come in handy. These will help you make an informed decision based on your budget, preferences, and specific requirements. They also save you a ton of time and energy you would have spent on research. In line with this, a few questions you would want to ask yourself before making that purchase could include:
- How valuable is the item?
- Is it within your budget?
- Is it a want or a need?
- What is the motivation behind the purchase?
- Is it an investment?
- Is a “used” variant an option?
- Are there extended purchases associated with the purchase?
Once you have answered the above questions, it becomes easier to make an informed decision about your purchase.
2. Weigh the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Purchase
It might sound like a traditional approach in this age and day, but old is gold, and yes, it is a strong method when it comes to decision-making. If you are looking to buy a washing machine for domestic use, study the situation. Have a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the purchase. Let each point be supported with a compelling reason. If the positives outweigh the negative or vice versa, settle for the side with more weight. The urgency and your financial state should also count, but you can always prioritize what’s essential based on your situation.
3. Delay the Purchase If You Can
Sometimes we find ourselves taking screenshots and filling our wish-lists with things we would love to have but do not necessarily need. If you spot something that you badly feel the urge to buy, you can always hold your horses. Go a week without it, and then ask yourself if you needed it in the week. If the answer is no, then go another week. Keep postponing the purchase until your urge is compelling enough to buy the item or forgo the purchase.
4. Does It Serve Its Purpose?
Everything has a purpose, but spending on the wrong item is a sign of irresponsibility. Sometimes there’s no need to spend on something you will use just once or will never use. If it is necessary, but it is an occasional item, why not hire? It is more fulfilling to have a sports car for yourself as a father and a husband, but it makes sense to buy a family-size vehicle that will fit your whole family when traveling. Along with purpose, convenience and relevance should be part of a smart shopper’s arsenal of factors to consider.
5. Compare the Value to the Price
Pricing is one of the biggest pain points when it comes to making purchase decisions. While it is vital to avoid shopping entirely based on the price alone, you just have to watch your wallet at the end of the day. But before you go ahead and swipe your credit card, is the item worth the price tag? Does it give value for money? Maybe you’ve spotted a shirt going for $30 for an outdoor weekend event, but you can find one that serves the same purpose for less, say $8. Sometimes we feel the need to spoil ourselves, but is it worth the investment? If the price does not match the value, why not save the money for a more impactful need?
Being a smart shopper is a crucial need in today’s unpredictable economy. It is among the top tricks used by financially successful individuals. Along with these, don’t forget to think about quality, durability, convenience, and purpose.