Smart Shopping: What you need to know to make the best decisions


Sometimes we are victims of the seduction of offers and advertising schemes used to make us consume irrationally. Knowing how to differentiate a need from a desire is the first step to shopping wisely. We tell you the tricks to get it easily.

It happens that we go out to buy and come back with things that we had not thought to acquire, that we do not even need and which we are probably going to give little or no use. This, in addition to affecting our finances, saturates the space available to store things and often makes us feel guilty.  

Bad decisions when buying are generally induced by trends, fashion, irresistible offers and sometimes advertising that knows how to reach the potential customer and directly address their emotions. On the other hand, misleading offers, another strategy sometimes used in advertising, tempt us to buy products of low quality, useless or that simply do not offer what they promise.

Here are some very useful tips and tricks to help you learn how to make the best decisions to make smart purchases.

1. Plan your purchase in advance

When you get ready to buy, leave home with a clear vision of what products you need and what is the budget available to purchase them. If you consider yourself a compulsive shopper, sticking to a pre-made list can go a long way. It is proven that many of the things that people acquire are not in their initial purchase intention.

2. Reflect on what you are buying

To make a smart purchase, before paying, think about whether you really need the product, if it is going to throw your finances out of balance and if it was among your initial purchase goals. Being seduced by the shop windows is easy, but maybe you already have at home some shoes similar to these that you are about to buy or too many pairs without using, or simply this purchase can wreak havoc on your budget.  

3. Compare the prices

Nowadays it is very easy to do research to find the best purchase option. You can go in person to different stores or even easier; find out online or over the phone. In any case, take some time to search and compare prices, sometimes the differences can be significant. Other elements must also be in consideration, as cheap is sometimes expensive.

4. Research the terms of sale and other important factors

There are other factors that you must take into account to make smart purchases: the characteristics of the product, available brands, shelf life, conditions of sale, return conditions, quality, etc. User comments through Internet pages is an excellent source of information. In this way you can establish a true price-value relationship before making the decision.

5. Wait long enough

To make a smart purchase, especially if it is a major acquisition, it is advisable to wait long enough to recognize whether it is really a necessity or a simple whim.

If after a certain time (a week, a month, a semester) you still want to purchase the product, it is very possible that you actually need it. In addition, this method helps to save money on products that are just on the market and after a certain time tend to fall in price.

6. Calculate additional costs

Sometimes we do not measure additional costs. A smart purchase measures all factors, including the medium and long term. Some purchases have additional costs involved. For example, a car will need maintenance, gasoline, insurance, etc. It is necessary to evaluate our financial capacity taking into consideration all the elements related to the acquisition that is planned to be made.

7. Set priorities

You likely have a list of items you want to purchase. Establishing priorities by making a list of pros and cons regarding a certain product, always taking into consideration the budget, can greatly clarify the picture and help you make the best decision.

8. Beware of traps

To sell or create needs there are a large number of techniques studied, researched and developed by expert psychologists and publicists, whose sole objective is to make you buy even if you do not need the product. Sometimes these messages are so subtle that we are not aware of them.

Free samples

They are designed to seduce potential buyers. Perfumes, cosmetics, and groceries are offered in sample form for free just to tempt you to buy. For example, the more perfumes you try, the more your endurance capacity will be undermined. These methods are designed by professionals and they work.

The design of the stores

The most attractive products will be those that are exposed in the shop windows since what is sought is that you enter the store, even if you do not have it in mind. Once inside, the design prompts you to buy.

Human beings generally walk to the right and tend to walk around the store in a clockwise direction, which is why smart stores put their star products (more expensive or whatever they want to sell you) at the entrance to Right hand, sale offers are on the left and bottom.

The idea is that you go through the entire store, the longer you stay in it, the more likely you are to buy something. There are studies that confirm that most consumers when entering stores look at the bottom but begin to walk from right to left.  

The colors are also thought based on the potential audience. Bright or bright colors are to attract young audiences while softer ones are aimed at adults.

Shopping carts and baskets

Another study shows that stores that have shopping carts or baskets, strategically distributed in the different aisles, sell more than those that do not. If you have the need to choose a basket, take the smallest one.

A smart purchase implies a comprehensive analysis when purchasing a product, taking into consideration factors such as finances, short, medium and long-term costs and, above all, if it is a real need, created or a simple whim.