We are all consumers in every sense of the way. As individuals, we rely on readymade, manufactured products to serve every personal and other purpose in our lives. However, as a consumer, you can never be too careful or too safe.
In these times of frauds, rising prices and duplicate quality products, how do you decide what is right for you and when? It pays to understand the keener discipline of being an intelligent consumer, every time you shop in order to protect your own interest.
1- Compare, compare, compare
Whether you are shopping for a technical gadget or a simple running shoe, you can never ascertain the real value of a good, unless you make it yourself. Furthermore, always keep in mind that every brand manufacturer has to add a mark-up to whatever they sell, to pay the bills. As a consumer though, you do not necessarily have to pay higher and unnecessary rates as a result of it.
It always makes sense to compare rates and quality when you shop.
Find other sellers, other manufacturers (depending on the product / goods you are buying) and compare the difference in prices and manufacturing processes.
These factors will help you choose a better priced product or brand on the whole.
2- Expensive isn’t always ‘best’
People like to opt for branded clothes, shoes and accessories when they shop, because it has often been drilled into the minds of consumers that expensive is best. Furthermore, owning ‘brands’ have often portrayed a sense of achievement in modern day society.
However, if you want to be an intelligent consumer, you have to learn to make the difference between good and bad, price worthy products and the contrary while also lessening your belief that brands are best.
Sometimes, especially when it comes to clothing, garments, daily use goods and fast moving consumer goods, local made goods are actually better.
3- Look for trusted opinions
Is there a new product that you would like to try, that you haven’t tried before? Be it a shampoo, a new hair gel or even watch brand, look for trusted opinions, before you try out something new.
Trusted opinions can be those sought from reliable friends and family members. In today’s digital age, lots of websites also offer several ready reviews and opinions on every brand, service or product.
Study what you see, hear and read before trying out anything new.
4- Never trust advertisements
One of the many reasons why the world of advertisement is often referred to as ‘the mad, bad, world of ads’ is this, advertisers pay advertising agents and companies to showcase their service or product in a good light.
As a consumer, you shouldn’t be taken by what you see or hear through any form of media advertisement completely as a result of it.