For all your life you have been buying things. That makes you a consumer. But, do you know how to be a better consumer?
You probably haven’t heard of a question like this before. But here we are, committed to make you a better consumer. That’s why we will present a question and answer like this one.
We will try to be as simple as possible so that everyone can get the hang of it. Let’s begin by knowing who or what a consumer is.
Who or What is Consumer?
Someone or something who buys a product or a service in order to consume it is generally known as a consumer. Now, by something we mean an organization here. So, if you pay for a product in order to have benefit from it, in order to use it, keep it in your possession and consume it, you are a consumer of the product.
Now, being a consumer is really an easy thing but being a good one is not. To be a better consumer of products, you have to have some things more than money. Now, what are those things? It will be described in details below.
Tips to Become a Better Consumer
The goal of this next section is to make you a better consumer from the very moment you finish reading this. So, buckle up and be prepared to become a better consumer.
# Know What You Need & Why You Need:
Before you go on buying something you should ask yourself, ‘do I really need it?
Well, we have seen consumers wasting a lot of money behind the things that they don’t actually need or use it once or twice. Then the product eventually finds it spot in the corner of the closet or someplace dark. This is just a waste of money.
Go to malls, shops or online stores after specifically knowing your needs and focus on it. Don’t get lost after seeing all those dazzling advertisements. This way you will have very less possibility of ending up with things that you don’t need and will be saving a lot if you simply follow this rule.
# Budget is Super Important:
Let’s suppose that, you are not super rich. If you were super reach then you would probably not be reading this article. So, you don’t have unlimited resources. Money is the most crucial barrier ( or bridge maybe) between products and consumers.
The simplest equation is that, you get what you pay for. This is the truth but as a better consumer of things what you should do is make the most out of your money. So, the first thing that you should do is, fix the amount that you are willing to spare behind a product or all the products that you are going to buy.
Then you should look at products from that price range. Sort out the best available ones. Then you can open up another tab and this time check out the pricey products or premium quality.
Then you should differentiate the chosen models with the premium ones. There will be products in your list that share some qualities or features of the premium ones. That should be your final pick actually.
Like, turntables for example. The premium ones can cost up to 3000$ where there are some pretty good products available under 200$. You can check out our best turntable reviews if you want to know how we have selected the products.
# Don’t Just Look, See:
Every year manufacturers spend so much behind the advertisement of their products but did you know that, the best of the best products do not need such kind of advertising. Their product is their advertisement.
That’s why if you see an advertisement the next time, don’t just click it and buy the product. Take your time to do a little research if you really want that product. The same applies for different discount offers. Judge them with keen interest and make the best out of it.
Wanna know a truth? The most durable products (machines, appliances, devices or almost every other things that you buy) are not always that much good looking, smart, tempting or attractive.
That’s why, if you are going to buy something that you are going to use frequently then buy the products that are really durable and certainly not those shiny attractive ones.
What most people do is, take a look at the features of the products and if they feel them to be attractive, they just bring the thing home. Here is something that they don’t do. They don’t inspect the efficiency and real life applications of those features. Now, don’t be like them.
# Listen & Read What People has To Say:
If you are after something pricey or something that you will be using frequently then you must know what people has to say about it. Here, by people we are suggesting to the users of the product. These days people like them are really easy to reach and they can almost be found anywhere.
It would be real good if you find a friend or someone close who uses the product or the service. This way, you would be able to talk with them in person.
Pay attention to what they are saying and forget the rest you know about the features of the product that you have looked up.
You can check the online reviews but for a better understanding read everything and not only the good ones. There are people reporting various follies of the product and we think both the positive and negative reviews will give you a better understanding of the product.
# Be Skeptical & Keep Documents:
If you are going to spend behind a product, you deserve to be skeptical about it. Ask questions about the product that you are going to buy and try gathering as much information as you can. Don’t forget to check about the manufacturer if you feel something sketchy about it.
You can just Google like this, ‘Company name’+ Complaint / Scam and see what comes up. We would also like to remind you that, when you are shopping online, be careful about the website. You can check its reviews online also.
If you see an offer that is unbelievable then, it is probably a hoax that you should not fall into. While you buy something, don’t forget to keep a paper trail so that you would be able to claim the return policy or avail the warranty.
Remember, being skeptical and conscious always makes you a better consumer over others. Don’t hesitate to call the help line whenever you need so.
# Be Patient:
Another good quality that a good consumer should posses is patience. Well, if you really want to be a better consumer then you should give enough patience while buying your product and using it for the first few times.
Our piece of advice would be, take your time to buy what you need to buy and then take your time to understand what you have bought. In this time you can eye over the user’s manual and know the installation and operation of the product.
The same applies if your product malfunctions. Don’t just show your rage on the telephone and complain in the customer support number. Otherwise you may not have that much luck with your warranty.
Be calm while describing your problem. Acting dumb in this case results better (tested!)
Some products may need the assistance of an expert like car seats or other rocket science stuff. If you have problems with the installation then you should be patient and listen carefully what your expert has to say.
# Sniff Out The Best Price:
Let us make this easy for you, always think that there are someone selling the same thing on a different price or with a more flexible plan. That’s why you should check the best price or any sort of discount offers.
If you don’t find any, you can wait a while and trust us, either the price will drop or you will find a decent discount offer.
Now, there are some ways that you can find the get the whole product for free. Especially the products that are good for the environment or kids supplies or toys can be availed in this way. Now, for them, you have to do a lot of digging on internet.
In real life, different stores offer different prices and sometimes they appear cheaper than buying online. Another thing that we should mention here is that, if you buy things in bundle, you will be able to cut down some extra costs.
# Protect Your Personal Information:
It’s your duty to protect your own information. Before you give away your social security or credit card information, zip code, cell phone no. or any other personal number, you should be extra careful. This way your safety won’t be compromised and you will be able to keep yourself protected from any sort of telemarketers or scams.
Oh yes, Telemarketers! If you ever hear a telemarketer talking in an Indian accent, just be careful. Not only the Indians, even the American telemarketers are a hassle and they can be a real pain in the head.
The next time you are offered something by a telemarketer, be skeptical and think twice about the offers they are offering. You can just hang up if you are not convinced. Remember, they are tainted to outsmart you and lure out your credit card information. Don’t let that happen that easily.
# Go Green:
The whole world is going green. Why would be left behind. Someone who wants to be a better consumer with Consumer Hubs should care about the environment. Here is the thing, stop buying the things that are harmful for the environment.
You may not feel the importance of it from a personal level but when everyone does the same mistake, the result is devastating on the whole earth. There will be substitute of the same product that is more environment-friendly or at least less harmful for it.
Even the shopping bags are important. If you be a little conscious on this matter, your concern can prove to have a lot of positive consequence towards the environment of the whole planet earth.
# Negotiate, Whenever You Get a Chance:
Everybody paid the price of not negotiating in their life. You would certainly feel ashamed if you pay more for a product than it deserves. To avoid it, you should also ask for discounts! Don’t be ashamed, just throw it on their face.
We have seen people doing it on supermarkets, even on five star hotels. Sometimes the employees there are given permission to give you privilege. 10 percents may not sound much. But if you can manage these 10 percents on a regular basis, you will be saving a lot after a month.
That’s why try to know the lowest possible price for a product and zap with the force of negotiation.
# Contracts are Important:
If you are buying or renting a service make sure you are well aware of the contract that you are going to sign. Take a closer look at the things that is written on the contracts. Take your time before you sign it. Don’t forget to ask something if you need to clarify from the person who has provided you the contract.
Specially, if you are getting a new connection from a network operator, signing in for a new insurance policy or loaning some money from the bank then you should be really careful. Signing the document without reading it can cost you a lot.
So, there you have it. The top tips that you should know to be a better consumer. We tried to sound as simple as we could. Why don’t you share some more tips with us in the comment box below? You can also ask us anything if you have any confusion.
We hope that this article will greatly help you in your practical life and make you a better consumer.