As a bargain hunter, I often debate whether it is worth it or not to spend extra money for certain goods? Every dollar counts in my mind and it often makes sense to opt for the cheaper option, but there is a certain grey zone where it becomes advantageous to spend some extra cash and potentially improve the odds of a certain item standing the test of time.
Here are four things to consider before opting for a more expensive option in hopes of securing a superior deal in the long run.
1- Consider purchasing professional-grade items or commercial level goods to ensure these are of superior quality. Let’s say you want to equip yourself with some new sports gear or tools –and don’t plan on changing these for a while–, spending extra for some of the best goods in each category out there may just be worth it.
Researching the best products in a certain category by reading reviews is a great way to establish if these are truly top notch or simply overpriced. For electronics, I often take a gander at what CNET has to say about everything from laptops, TVs, digital cameras and even cars.
2- Make sure that you’re actually going to use what you are planning on purchasing. Usage Time is the second element that can justify opting for superior quality goods. This is where it is important to make a clear distinction between a need and a want. For example, are you on the market for a computer on which you will need to complete labour-intensive tasks or a basic device to browse through emails and social media accounts? Do you need a mobile phone for emergencies and the odd phone call or do you actually need a smartphone to complete some more elaborate tasks?
3- Considering an item’s potential Intrinsic value is one of the best ways to establish if it will stand the test of time and become a more affordable expense as the years go by. Buying something impulsively simply because it’s a good deal may not be the savviest option in the long run, especially if you’re not entirely convinced that you’re actually going to use it. Plus, frequently having to replace a poor quality item can become more expensive than buying an expensive product every 5 to 10 years.
The best tip here is to stay away from fads and short-lived trends. Clothes are the best example for this, as every season new collections are released creating some short-lived frenzies.
4- More flexible warranties and flexible return policies often accompany more expensive items. So, it may be worth spending a bit more for a warranty on a washing machine to ensure protection in case of any emergencies.
In other words, make sure to be aware of a merchant’s return policy before shelling out, it may save you a few headaches –and dollars– in the long run.
In the end, the main distinction we need to make before moving forward with a purchase is the difference between “cost” and “value”. In other words, clearly establishing an item’s worth for you and if you can really afford it. Spending money you don’t have by using credit isn’t the solution and sometimes waiting until you have saved enough for an item will give you enough time to decide if it’s just a “want” or really a “need”.
For me, going for quality over quantity usually helps. What’s your trick?