13 Steps to Making a Big Purchase
I’m in need of a new vacuum. Thanks to “Doggy-Who-Sheds-a-Lot” my carpets resemble a reddish shade of shag from the seventies.
No matter what I use on the carpet, I can’t get the hair up. My vacuum, though not that old, was purchased pre-shedding dog. Let’s just say it doesn’t do much for the large amount of hair he loses each day (which is, it seems, enough to knit seven jackets in as many days). In order to get it all up, I would have to spend my time doing nothing but vacuuming. Which, of course, I can’t do.
But have you priced vacuums that work on dog hair lately?!
I spoke with a friend of mine from Louisiana the other day. She told me she bought a very popular brand of vacuum now that she has pets and it sucks up hair like a pro. She vacuumed with one cleaner and then right after used the super expensive cleaner and was amazed at how much hair she got up the second time around.
So I did a search for said vacuum cleaner and almost wet my pants when I saw the price. Let's just say it was about the amount of my monthly grocery budget, and I'm not joking.
Good Heavens, do I really have to spend THAT MUCH to suck up the dog hair? It would be much cheaper to simply shave the dog!
And what if I got it and didn't like it? That may be a stupid question to consider, but it’s how I go about analyzing all of my big money decisions. And I think it’s realistic. Last year my mom decided to swap all of her stainless cooking pots and pans for non stick. She dropped more than a hundred dollars on a set, used them for a while, and then realized she’d made a mistake: she preferred her others. This week, after doing some research, she dropped yet another few hundred dollars to replace the cookware she had replaced last year!
For me, big purchases require a lot of thought, research, and advice from friends. I’m not alone. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP showed 83% of consumers go online to research making purchases in specific areas, such as electronics and computers, before buying the items in a store. I do the same. I’ve spent so much time researching various vacuum cleaners you would think I’m interested in opening a vacuum cleaner store. I know what is considered a ‘good’ price for the cleaners I’m researching and what would be considered too high.
Still, a big purchase, like one over $100 (actually, for me, one over $50!), takes some time for me to make. I’m not yet ready to drop the money on a vacuum just yet. I want to ask a few more people with pets how THEY keep their carpets hair-free (can you chime in here? I’d love to know!). I’m ready to ask a few more people which vacuum cleaner they love. And I’m ready to wander a few stores to look at these cleaners in person. Lift them up. See if I like the way they look (yes, that DOES matter to me!). Make sure they aren’t too heavy, or too cheaply made.
To make a big purchase like this, I generally:
- Realize I need to do it.
- Scoff and complain and grumble about the cost.
- Research the products online from a variety of resources.
- Read reviews from past customers on Amazon and other sites.
- Visit the product a few times in various stores around my very small city.
- Research the problem online once more.
- Complain a lot.
- Consider if I really NEED to make that purchase or if I can get by without it. If I think I can do without, I give up the idea for a month or so and then revisit it after. Usually I figure if I haven't needed the item for a month I can let the idea go. But if I find I really, really, REALLY need that expensive item I . . .
- Call a few friends to see if they have used that item or have any recommendations.
- Research said product ONE MORE TIME.
- Buy it.
- Throw up from the amount of money that was spent.
- Use it repeatedly so I know I get my money's worth.
Okay, so I'm obsessive! Big purchases take time for me to make.
What about you? What was the last BIG ticket item you had to buy, and how long did you spend thinking about buying it before you actually made the purchase?