How to Buy Products

Posted on Apr 2, 2013 in General Retail Information, OCP

1/15/13 [OCP]

It pays to comparison shop and to spend the time and effort that is required to be a smart consumer. So, before buying a product, especially if it costs more than just a few dollars, read up about it first. Consumer magazines can give you a good idea of what’s on the market and at what price. They can also give you valuable information about product features, advantages, and disadvantages; which help you make an informed decision. Always shop around to find the most reliable brands at the best prices. And, don’t forget to ask about the seller’s refund policy, especially if you’re buying the product as a gift for someone else and are not sure about their taste or size.

Warranties are also important to consider. Compare the products’ warranties, as well as the products. Consider whether the warranty is realistic or if it’s being used as bait for an inferior product that has no local servicing outlet. A local manufacturer’s designed repair shop is important, if you want to be sure of getting convenient and reliable repair service when it’s needed. And, as in any contract, always check to see that all verbal promises the seller makes are backed up in writing.

Check to see if the seller has to be licensed to sell the product you want to buy, especially something like a brand new car. And if a license is required, check with the Professional and Vocational Licensing Division of the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs tby calling 587-4272. That’s 587-4272 to check if a person or company is properly licensed to sell a product.

It’s a good idea to find out what you can about the company or seller’s reputation in the community by talking to people who have bought the product and by finding out if they are satisfied customers or if they have had consumer problems. Information they might have on product servicing can be very helpful in deciding whether or not to buy the product.

Knowing whether the product is a first-year production model or the last-year production model that is being discontinued because of poor performance or poor consumer response is very important information to have in making a decision to buy. Buying a discontinued product could mean servicing problems for many years to come.

If you need to sign a contract for the purchase of an item, always read it carefully and make sure you understand the exact conditions and terms of your agreement. The contract should be written in clear, simple language and all verbal promises that the seller made should be included in your contract, in writing. Don’t be pushed into signing a contract that you don’t fully understand or agree with.

And, finally, don’t buy products “sight unseen.” It can lead to serious disagreements later between buyer and seller. Also, it could be an open invitation to fraud where you would be the victim of non-delivery of the item or a recipient of “shoddy” merchandise.