It Pays To Do Consumer Research, Because It Pays Yourself!

by on December 19, 2011

in consumer

Consumer Bits on Brusimm 200w logo, [Consumer News, advice and reviews]This is a consumer advice piece about how smart shopping can save you a lot of money, if done right. Read on and check out how I just saved almost $90 buying simple, ancillary items for my electronics!

If I were to be ask you if you would like have an extra $30 today, would you say yes? What if I asked you if you would want to have an extra $60 in your pocket? Would you say yes to that?

$60 can go a long way towards any number of things these days. Gifts for the kids, the wife, um, yourself… or even taking the family out to a nice dinner experience and knowing it won’t hurt the wallet too much because you literally have an extra $60 in your pocket.

Wouldn’t that be awesome? I think so.

Now what if I told you that you can actually give YOURSELF that extra $60? No joke! And no, I’m not talking loan sharks. I’m talking about forming consumer habits that can help you save that kind of money as a consumer.

Here’s my first example of saving that kind of money:

Here under my Consumer Bits column, I wrote up an product review of a Sony Bravia LED TV. Near the bottom of that article I made an interesting observation about the cost of peripheral cables for TVs or Blu-ray players.

I had noticed that while looking at TVs & Blu-ray players and such, that the HDMI cables that go between my TV and a Blu-ray player. cost anywhere from $45 to $75. But I knew from my own research that I could get the same type of cables on the internet for $2 and up.

TWO DOLLARS!

HDMI CablesSo I relented from buying cables at the store, conferred with some in-the-know friends and they steered me towards a nice HDMI cable that cost me $6 online.

SIX DOLLARS!

So rather than being pulled along in the buying frenzy of picking up an expensive TV and snagging cables, I stepped back and took a smart look at the situation.

I saved myself somewhere between $45 and $70, depending on which cables I might have been talked into buying if I didn’t know any better and “trusted” my salesman.

In-Store Mentality Alert!

When you’re in a store and dropping hundreds of dollars on a big-ticket item like a flat-screen TV, you need to be careful about the extras that go with these things. After looking at a $5-700 purchase, $40 cables don’t seem to be a big deal. AND THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE HOPING YOU’LL THINK!

But if you’re smart, you can save some bucks with the simplest of practices like consumer research!

Another Example

I had been looking for a USB-type cable to hook up my smartphone to my computer. I could do the easy approach and either hit up the brick-and-mortar store of my cell phone provider or go online and look for cables.

My options looked like they would cost me about $30.

Seemed reasonable.

USB-A to micro USB-B cablesBut again, chatting with some computer savvy folks I know, I learned that my charger cable was a simple USB-A to micro USB-B.

But if you go to the various service providers, they use all kinds of nomenclature to confuse you about what they’re really using, and that would seem to be a simple USB cable of a different nature than what you’re used to.

Hence, instead of spending between $30-39, I spent $2 on a five-foot cable.

I saved $28 to $37 with that stunt right there.

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So if I had shopped smart on this day, I would have “pocketed” or saved myself somewhere in the neighborhood of $48 to $87 this day.

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That’s why it’s worth doing some consumer research or asking people you know, who would know, what your options are in situations like this. People who would know about these particular items that helped me save bucks would be like an IT guy or electrical engineer type that you might know. It’s because of people like this that I’m able to dodge some pricey bullets.

Thanks for coming by, and remember, do your research before dropping any surmountable amount of cash on any product and don’t fall for the advertising sales pitch. The sale pitches aren’t always about the truth, but about getting you to spend your money. Your research will pay off in the long run, in oodles if you do your due diligence!

-Bruce



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