There are a few common tendencies when it comes to shopping. Some people like to go for the more expensive items or big brand names, because they associate cost and brand name with quality and status. Some try to save every penny they can, and go for incredibly cheap items, and then there are those who actually look for the best value for money. The latter category are what are commonly known as informed or smart shoppers, because they know how to set up their budget depending on the nature of the products they are buying. If you want to be a smart shopper, and get decent quality at a reasonable price, then try to follow these simple guidelines also you can read my other post quick and easy tips for slashing your monthly spending.
Know the Difference Between Cheap and Cost-Effective
While some name-brand products may not be worth all the extra money – unless the materials used, the quality of craftsmanship and the production methods used are extremely high end and complex, you are likely mostly paying for boosting your social status – going for the cheapest options may not be a financially sound solution either. If the item can’t perform well, and is not nearly as durable as it should be, you’ll end up with poor functionality and will have to replace the item often. You need to know what the minimal price range is for acceptable performance and durability for a given type of product, and then you’ll be able to gauge quality and know how much to spend.
Understand How the Products Work and What Makes Them Effective
In order to know the right price range, you’ll need an understanding of how a particular type of product works, and what makes it work. There are always a few important active ingredients, key assembly parts and basic characteristics that you need to look for. If it’s got the basic things that make it work well, you don’t have to go beyond that price point to get what you need. Forget about flashy looks and quasi-scientific jargon, look for functionality.
Read Online Reviews and Comparison Charts to See How Different Brands Match Up
It’s best to go through several reviews of a product, and even several other products from the company, to get an idea of how they perform. Compare different options – i.e. different models, different brands or similar types of product – and see how they measure up. Once you find some items that fit your criteria, see which ones give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Be on the Lookout for Coupons, Discounts, Sales and Special Deals
Sometimes you’ll be able to find items that are out of your price range at a discounted price. It also pays to look for coupons online, as they will allow you to get higher quality items at a reasonable price. You should also wait a little before making a big purchase, and try to find upcoming sales or good offers. Have a wish list ready, and come back to it when the time is right.
It’s not all that difficult to make smart purchases, but you need to be well-informed, do the research and keep an eye out for coupons, promotions and special deals. Use these guidelines to become a smart shopper and spend your money wisely.