Regardless of whether you’re buying a new appliance or a few clothing items you almost certainly want to get the most from your buying dollar. You may investigate the store’s return policies, credit options, coupons, sales and other promotional activities.
Yet consumer advocates say that there is a lot more than you can do to maximize your purchasing decisions. Some of their top tips include
Learn to Withstand Pressure:
One of the biggest degree programs at American universities is the Marketing program. Why? Because there are so many different ways to influence the public’s buying habits and if a marketer finds the right strategy to effect that influence, it’s worth a lot of money.
Sellers have always used different marketing tactics in their bid to persuade potential customers to purchase their particular product or service. From the early vendors who would try to outshout their competitors in ancient marketplaces to today’s SEO and Internet marketers, the ultimate goal involves pressuring the customer to buy what you’re selling.
It’s always a good idea to stay informed about the different products that are being sold. For that reason, you don’t need to ignore marketing campaigns entirely. But be prepared — the ultimate goal of a marketer is to affect you in your most vulnerable spot and then offer the solution for you to buy. Therefore, it’s important to learn to withstand the pressure tactics that are designed to make you feel that you don’t have enough clothes, or that you aren’t serving your family the tastiest and most nutritious food, or that you don’t smell right……..
If you don’t want something, say “no.” If you’re not sure, be prepared to say “I want to think it over.” Make your purchase when, and only when, you’re certain that you’re buying the item that you want and need.
For instance, if a salesperson calls you, be aware that the longer you speak, the more likely you are to buy. Watch out because that salesperson is going to try to keep you on the phone for as long as possible. Practice the magic words — “I’ll think about it.” Then hang up the phone and think.
If it Sounds Too Good to be True, it Probably Is:
That may sound like something that your mother would say but it’s true — if it sounds too good to be true, you can assume that it’s a ploy to separate you from your money. Remember, merchants, even trustworthy, reliable vendors, are in business to make money. They want you to think that they have the best service or product on the best terms.
But they’re not going to lose money in order to make you happy! If the item is being offered at an unbelievably low price, the profits are coming from somewhere else — shoddy workmanship, bad warranty, lousy credit terms (for you). If you want quality you’re going to end up paying, one way or another. So it’s best to resist the urge to score huge deals and aim for securing a good product or service for a fair price.
Create a Budget:
Many people like the idea of a budget in theory but they don’t practice what they preach. Yet consumer advisors put creating a budget at the top of the list of things that you should do to function effectively as a shart shopper.
When you set out a budget you’re less likely to fall victim to marketers’ pressure tactics and to your own impulse buying fallible. If you’re able to say, even to yourself, “that’s not in my budget range” you’ll be less likely to make purchases of items that you neither want nor need.
At the same time, buy smart. You don’t need to stock up on gaming machines for the promise of free Vegas games — that’s not smart buying. However, if you get to the end-of-season winter sales and know that next year, you’ll need winter toddler clothes for your baby, go ahead and make the purchases. Even if those clothes aren’t in your budget at the moment you are saving on a needed item and you’ll be able to deduct the cost of the clothes from next year’s budget and enjoy the savings next year!
Check your Credit Report and your Credit Card Statements:
Too many people are intimidated by their financial statements but keeping track of your banking information is one of the most pro-active steps that you can take to keep yourself financially healthy.
Check your credit report and your credit card statements on a regular basis. Your credit report includes basic identifying information such as your name, address, and place of employment. The report provides information about your credit cards and loans. The report shows the type of loans that you’ve taken, your balance, your account type, credit limit and payment history. Checking your credit report regularly allows you to identify errors or other suspicious data that may indicate that you are a victim of identity theft.
Your credit card statements show your transactions. By keeping an eye on those statements on a regular basis you’ll be able to challenge unauthorized transactions immediately and recover your money through your credit card insurance. Banks are secure but they’re not completely safe. Unauthorized individuals may get their hands on your credit card number and run up charges. If you don’t challenge those charges, or if you wait too long, you won’t be able to recoup your funds.
Reading over and archiving your documents means that if you ever need to prove a purchase, you’ll have everything at hand.
Start by setting up a file to keep your receipts. You obviously don’t have to archive your grocery store receipts but you should keep records of all significant purchases. Along with the warranties and other proofs of purchases. This will come in handy if you need to prove to the store, Then they are responsible for a repair or exchange or if you want to return a purchase.
Read over and make sure that you understand any contacts that you sign, including the fine print. If you don’t understand something, ask. It’s the seller’s job to make everything clear to you. If you find it difficult to deal with that kind of legalese, bring a friend. Just don’t sign anything without understanding your obligations, responsibilities and rights.
The marketplace is full of challenges and trials. If you stick to a few simple rules you have the best chance of making the most intelligent and effective shopping choices.