Making Good Buying Decisions

Thu, Feb 19, 2015

Bankruptcy, Debt Mitigation

Some rights reserved by akegHow do you decide what products to buy? How do you decide which brand or which model or where to buy it? Research, research, research…

Now, not all products need the same amount of research. Buying a pack of staples or paper clips is probably not that important to most consumers. However, if you are running an office supply store or perhaps if you are an attorney or an accountant and use a lot of them you might really find it imperative to get the best deal and the best quality.

Appliances are an example of something we all want the best of. We want the best working, longest lasting, and best value. If you’ve ever read up on how to pick the best washing machine…then you know you could do an exhausting amount of research. You might even feel overwhelmed with the indecision. How can you help yourself make the decision?

Buying a new washing machine, or anything similar, is all about finding what works best for you at a price you can afford. You also need to consider where you will store it, how you will use it, and how long you need it. Is this for an apartment? Then you probably need something small. You need something that will fit in your space and hook up to the available connections. You also might not be able to use it at the next place you live…so maybe you want to go inexpensive. On the other hand, maybe you are single and you do one load of laundry a week. Do you even need the top of the line machine? However, if you have high quality clothes or a lot of laundry then you probably need one that works really well. So then, you need to check online reviews, magazine reviews, and the reviews of your friends to help you decide the best model for you.

Shop around at different stores. If you need it now, see where you can get the best deal now, not in three months. If it is a purchase you are just pondering, then you could find out when washers are on sale and wait until then.

Something else to consider when purchasing new items is how they will get to you. Will they be delivered free? How long will that take? Sometimes the delivery fee at some stores makes the cost higher than at another store. Sometimes free delivery is great…but are they just going to drop it at your door or will they come in and set it up? In addition, if you are buying something that needs to be assembled…will they assemble it? If putting something together is not your thing or you aren’t capable…then you need to find out if you can order it pre-assembled.

There are many online sites dedicated to reviews. Large online storefronts have many ways you can review products too…check those out even if you might not buy it online. In addition, don’t forget that shopping small and local is a great way to find a product that fits your needs. Sometimes the big stores don’t know much at all about their products and don’t repair them, so they can’t tell you about a product’s reliability; nor will they be available if you need repairs or advice.

In fact, knowing how you can get an item repaired locally is very important in your buying decisions. Do you have a local dealer or repair shop? Do you have to ship something off to be repaired? Can it even be repaired in this country? That’s all very important.

Also important is considering whether you should buy the extended warranty. Is it worth it for your product, or is it a rip off? Will the warranty help you find a better place to repair the item? What does it cover? How much would it cost to repair the item? Can the item be repaired?

Also, make sure you really need the items you buy. It’s fun to buy stuff, we all understand that. However, part of having a healthy lifestyle is good buying decisions. Make sure you aren’t putting your financial health at risk by buying something you can’t afford right now. Sometimes you need to find a way to pay for something right now, whether or not you can afford it…depending on the item. Nevertheless, you probably don’t really need that new TV with all the bells and whistles. Your old one works pretty well. Do you really need a new tablet? As an alternative, you can go to the library for now and use their computers while you pay off debt. Is the top of the line washer worth it? Or can you get the cheapest scratch and dent and be fine? Will the item improve your life? Will it make your life easier?

On a last note, don’t fall for some of the fancy rent to own schemes or the free interest for so many years unless you truly understand the contract. Those deals can soon turn into not so great deals. Opening a new credit card for the discount that day is not always a good deal for your credit history, keep that in mind too. Every hit to your credit report counts.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more. SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

Image: Some rights reserved by akeg

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