How To Research Products Before Purchase In 3 Quick Steps

Wise people know that it always pays to do your research before you make a purchase. That can mean the difference between making a solid investment and needing to replace the item with a new one in a few weeks, or the difference between satisfaction and disappointment. Most people do realize the importance of research, and the most common method is to research items over the Internet before buying them in a physical shop. Doing good research can be tricky because the world is full of marketers that want to make their products look good, but there are a few tricks you can use to make sure that you get an accurate impression of your options.

Look at Products, not Stores

Many people start their search by researching stores and seeing what they offer, but that is a mistake. The best way to do your research is to start by figuring out which of the products on the market can meet your needs.

This will give you a purer impression of your options. People who start their research by looking at stores can find themselves weighing options based on how long the drive would be to pick up their purchase, or other factors that don’t have a big impact on the final product. Most of the good options will be available at more than one store anyway, so it can also be much more efficient to start by looking at the products instead of the vendors.

This is not to say that you should ignore the stores themselves, since they often offer different discounts or other factors that can influence the final choice. Simply start by narrowing your options down to a few good products, and then move on to looking at individual stores and the deals that they offer to find the one that is the best and most convenient bargain.

Read Mixed Reviews

Reviews are the best source of information about most products, but not all reviews are created equal. The trick to putting them to good use is figuring out which reviews will give you the best information. In general, that means focusing on the mixed reviews.

Reviews that are purely negative can be misleading because the people who write them tend to be angry or disappointed, which can lead them to play down the good parts of the product or exaggerate the bad ones. Purely positive reviews can also be misleading because they can overlook the drawbacks. Both tend to be fairly simple, which also makes them less useful.

Mixed reviews tend to go into more detail about both the good and the bad aspects of a products. That makes them much more informative, and you can get a good impression about why you may like or dislike a product by reading a few of them.

You should also look at trends in the reviews. A large number of great or terrible reviews can be a sign about the quality of the product even if the individual reviews are not very informative. On the other hand, a large number of very similar reviews can indicate that one person posted many of them, which makes them less useful. Read a selection of reviews and trust your gut when deciding if they are trustworthy or not. When in doubt, always look for second opinions from other sources.

Compare Prices Carefully

Always look at prices when comparison shopping. When possible, start that by looking at the prices of products in the middle of the range of quality. Humans are prone to the anchoring bias, which causes them to assume that the first piece of information that they hear is valid. If you start by looking at expensive items, everything else will look cheap by comparison. If you start with cheap items, even the middling ones will seem overpriced.

It is also a good idea to see if your preferred items go on sale frequently in addition to checking the current prices. If the cost is prone to fluctuation, it can be a good idea to wait and snag a good deal. If they are steady, it will be fairly safe to order immediately.

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