We have all been there, that moment of ah “shannagins” as my sister puts it when we realize that we bought the wrong thing.
It could be a simple thing like an outfit, or a piece, but it is often more of a “is this really going to solve my problem” thing. For example, my TV sucks, which one should I buy? Or, I need a new mp3 player (well if that is the case, you should probably just buy an ipod, I mean really …) or perhaps it is which phone to buy, which service, etc you get the picture.
Here are 4 ways to make sure you don’t fall into the place of saying ah “sh$$$@@@!!”
1. Understand the total problem. This is tops of the list in my opinion! Lets take buying a mattress as an example. You have size, comfort, and longevity. But do you ever think about what is actually happening while you are sleeping? You are laying on this bed for 1/3 of your life! And yes, you are asleep, but you want to have a good night sleep right? So, point one here is understand the entirety of the problem you are solving.
2. Do your research. Very few people feel like they do enough research. But, you certainly can do some, right? As it turns out, much of the research you will find is what I call “internet true” meaning that since it is on the Internet, it must be true. Well, that just isn’t the case. You would be much better off connecting with friends, friends of friends, or even sales people to get a real sense for what a specific product can do. The concept of shopping with your friends’ help is something called collaborative consumption.
3. Get advice from friends. Send them emails, text messages, etc. This is really an extension from #2, but in this case I am really suggesting that you ask your friends whether they think you will like a specific product. This is important for determining if the quality is good enough, is it the right look, or does it fit in a specific room. This is essentially social proof for making a buying decision.
4. Get advice from people shopping for the same thing / type of thing. Watching people shop for a bed, I saw this literally happen where two people that didn’t know each other would have pillow talk while laying on a new bed. They shared their experiences, what they had found, what they heard from others. This shared learning is critical because it will help you know if you are on the right path.
5. Get advice from people that have purchased the same thing / type of thing. If this isn’t obvious, then neither is the statement that the sun will rise in East tomorrow. All kidding aside, this is critical. But the problem is how do you know the difference between a real person’s review on the web and one that was written by the merchant, the manufacturer, or some nut job? The answer is that you know if you can see a history of what that person has written. Look at what the person has written in the past, is it balanced, is it fair, is it objective. Does the person like some things and not others? What are the reasons. This is what you need.
This isn’t easy, we are building a tool to help solve all of these problems. Please let us know if you think of anything else that should be added to the list!!