An Insight a Day

Two Tips to Improve Your Purchasing Decision

We live in a time where the average consumer has more choices than ever, and with such plentiful options, how do we decide which to pick or buy?

Hey, it's AIAD, and today, we're going to talk about purchasing decisions[*]. Now, we all know how difficult it is to choose what to buy. Say you're in the market for a new laptop, there are literally hundreds of laptop models, each of them with its own unique specs and design. How are you going to decide which is the right one for you?

Your gut reaction might be to check out the reviews. You know, see what the average rating in Amazon is, read what famous laptop reviewers have to say about it, and let others help you decide. This is great and all, but before you let all these reviews influence you, do you even know what you're looking for?

Tip #1: If you don't know what you're looking for, you're just going to let marketers tell you what they think you should be looking for, which is often not be in your best interest.

Sure, you know you're looking for a laptop. But why do you want a laptop? What do you actually care about and what specific features are you looking for? If you're not sure, now's the time to do your homework. Just like how no one goes to the supermarket to buy their "weekly dinner ingredients" without first knowing what they want to have for dinner next week[**], you should absolutely know what you want before you buy anything. If you don't, you're just going to let the sellers and marketers tell you what they think you should buy. Like what Tynan said:

No matter how I start the buying process, I try to establish what factors I actually care about before doing my research. These may change as I go if I learn something new, but if you don't start knowing what you're looking for you're more susceptible to letting sellers tell you what you should care about, which is often not in your best interest.

Ask yourself questions like what do you plan to use your new laptop for? What are the three most important features you're looking for and why? Which features are nice to have and which features do you not care about? Instead of a laptop, are there any other alternatives, i.e. desktops or tablets, that are also up for consideration? How many years do you plan on keeping it before you upgrade? Do you want something cheap and affordable to use in the short term or are you looking for a long-term solution?

It's only after you're clear on what you want, that's when you should start looking at what's available in the market. Sometimes, depending on your needs, the top most recommended laptops may not be the best fit for you, and the ones where reviewers are feeling lukewarm about may be just what you need.

Tip #2: Once you've decided on what you want and found something that fits your needs, the last step is to consider the cost. How much money do you think it's worth?

Most people confuse this with setting a budget, a budget is how much you're willing to spend on something. This is the complete opposite, it's how much you think that something is worth. Do you think the benefits of having a laptop is worth its price? If you had to choose between buying a laptop for $X and spending $X on something else you care about, say home improvement or upgrading your camera gear, which would you choose? In Tynan's words:

In the last phase of my buying process I consider what I would pay for the purchase and whether it would be worth it and provide more value than I could get by spending that money in other areas.

And that's it guys, two tips to help you improve your purchasing decisions. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, whether you agree or disagree, and how you typically make your purchasing decisions. I hope you found it insightful and I'll see you again next time[***].

[*] - Why does it sound like I'm talking to you in a YouTube video? Who knows, maybe I can convert this blog post into a video script and record it someday?

[**] - Disclaimer: You can totally do it though, I've done it many times and I think quite a number of people do it too.

[***] - Yeah, this definitely sounds like a YouTube video. Maybe I should also add "If you like what you see, please like and subscribe for more future content" or something.