Purchasing Tips and Cautions

Most of us have bought products or services that have later disappointed. Whether it was our mistaken ideas, deceptive advertising, pressure sales tactics or inferior quality, we are fuming!!

With all the marketing hype pummeled at us it's easy to make a purchase of the wrong thing or from the wrong place. There are sellers that want as much of our money as they can get. Cautions should be taken especially when considering the purchase of costlier items and services.

When I think that I have made a decision to buy something expensive I consider waiting another six months if it's not immediately required. At the end of this time I have often not wanted it after all, or preferred a different type or model, and am happy to be able to do so.

The FCIC's Consumer Action Website has some pre-purchasing advice which is worth reviewing before dishing out large sums of our hard earned money.

General Buying Tips - Before You Buy

To avoid problems and make better decisions, use this checklist BEFORE you make a purchase.

Decide in advance exactly what you want and what you can afford.
Don’t buy on impulse or under pressure, including donating to charity. Do your research.
Ask family, friends and others you trust for advice based on their experience.
Gather information about both the seller and the item or service you are purchasing.
Review product test results and other information from consumer experts.
Get advice and price quotes from several sellers.
Make sure that the seller has all appropriate licenses.
Check out a company’s complaint record with your consumer affairs office and BBB.
Get a written copy of guarantees and warranties. Compare their features.
Get the seller’s refund, return and cancellation policies.
Ask who to contact if you have a question or problem.
Read and understand any contract or legal document you are asked to sign
Make sure there are no blank spaces. Insist extras you are promised be put in writing.
Read the fine print.
Consider paying by credit card. You can dispute a charge made on your credit card.

Source from : The Consumer Action Website of the Federal Citizen Information Center.

And get in the habit of filing all your receipts, including those for smaller items such as groceries. Most items can be easily returned at retail stores.