You have a need in your household, perhaps for a freezer, or a new computer, or a microscope. How do you choose which one to buy?
That depends on what you turn up when you do your research. Here are just some of the questions you can try to answer while researching a purchase.
- Does the product have a good warranty?
- Does the product receive good reviews?
- How long can you expect the product to last?
- What are the best brands?
- What features are available?
- Which features do you absolutely have to have?
- Which features can you live without?
- If you need warranty service, is there someone locally who is authorized to provide the service or will you have to pay to ship the product to a service center?
- How much of the product is inferior quality plastic and how much is constructed of sturdier materials, such as high-impact plastic and/or metal?
When we start looking for answers to these questions for a particular product, the first place we look is on the internet. We go to google.com and type: “_______________ reviews” (replace the blank with the name of the product). We also search for message boards or forums that are related to the product and its usage. For instance, when we were looking for a weed wacker, we read posts at a forum for professional gardeners and landscapers. They were the people who knew that type of product well.
If we’re going to buy a tool on which we plan to rely for years to come, we try buy the best one. If we can’t afford the best, we try to do without it and save up to buy it later. (Sometimes, we realize we really didn’t need it anyway!)
My husband and I have learned that we won’t be happy with junk. Sooner — rather than later — it will break down. We’ll have lost the money we spent on buying that product. We could have put that money toward the purchase of a better product, or saved it for something else we need.
Still, even though we try to make informed purchases, inevitably, we may have problems with some products. So an important factor, besides the expected longevity and sturdiness of the product, is how good the warranty is. A 30-day or 1 year warranty is okay and pretty standard, but an exceptional warranty period is 3 to 5 years. The best case scenario is a lifetime warranty.
Sadly, even with the best products, we have turn to warranty protection. You know how you feel after something you’ve purchased breaks down. Read this article to find out how we file our warranty information for easy accessibility — using this filing system we have replaced/repaired dozens of products with very little time and almost no expense.
Photo credit: sharon_k on flickr.