Do Your Homework, Buy Quality When You Shop


Shopping can be a lot of fun. No matter what you are shopping for, we all are influenced by our past experiences, marketing, and legacy advertising. What is legacy advertising? Think of any brand name that you have heard and seen since your personal day one on this planet. For many of us it’s the two big soda companies, a few domestic car producers, and a couple of blue jean manufacturers. You already know their names and iconic brand logos without me telling you.

When it comes to the big purchases, like a car, we are influenced whether we admit it or not. But there are a few things you can do when you need to make a big purchase.

First of all, slow down… take some time to really think about whether you truly need the item. If the answer turns out to be yes, start your research. Jump online, read reviews, talk to friends and family who have purchased the same item. Share with others what you are thinking of buying and elicit their feedback. Be open to hearing divergent opinions and experiences. You can usually tell if the comments are just grumbling or if a true complaint pattern starts to develop from person to person. Sometimes, a negative comment turns out to be more of a personal disgruntlement than an actual fault of the product. But if you keep hearing “it broke on the fifth use” it’s not disgruntlement.

Consider not buying brand new. Great bargains can be had on high-end items if you know the item, it’s history, and its value in the resale market. Cars, boats, RVs, and athletic equipment come to mind. Sometimes people buy too early or change their mind about wanting the item and they put it up for sale.


When I moved to Oakland, I realized I had a desire for a car. I was influenced by marketing from Volkswagen, Audi, and Volvo. I started narrowing the choices down and reading what I could about those cars. I also asked people who owned those cars if they were happy with their car. Surprise! Most people are. However, there was the occasional complaint and I made a mental list of these complaints. I also test drove a few of the options to see if I liked them. I have always had a fondness for Volvo and in the end, I bought a slightly used, two-year-old Volvo that a woman was selling due to a divorce. That was in 2006 and I am still driving that car to this day – and I am happy with it.

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Go to trade shows before making a big purchase. See what all is really available in the category. Spa, RV, auto, and boat shows almost always have new and slightly used models. Talking with dealer reps may at times garner you a personal discount you can use after the show.

Look at the annual calendar. Watch for model cutoffs such as 2019 models being discounted at year-end to make room for new 2020 models. Consider shopping in late December or early January when stores are desperate to clear merchandise and old models.

Slow down, do your research, share what you want with others, and keep an eye on the annual flow of merchandise and you can acquire quality items at a good price. For bigger items such as leases or real estate, let’s talk. As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you. Contact me and let’s get started. #talktometuesday #getstarted #HowIcanHelpYou #GetHelp #Hireaplanner #CFPPro #savemoney #buy #shop #quality