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Apples & Oranges: 5 Ways to Compare Products the Right Way

Apples & Oranges: 5 Ways to Compare Products the Right Way

It happens to all of us. The time comes when we need to upgrade one of our household products, such as a vacuum cleaner or a blender, but we don’t know where to begin to compare products.

How can you tell which product is better or cheaper among the abundance of options out there online? The ugly truth is, comparing products can be an unnecessary hassle when you don’t even know where to begin.

As a self-confessed online shopaholic, here are some useful tips I learned along the way. Use this advice the next time you’re in the market for a new item.

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1. Know Your Wants & Needs

When looking to buy a TV, for example, having a foundation as to what you’re looking for will give you a good head-start. Going in blind and looking at every model will only exhaust you. You’ll actually end up more confused than when you started. Shopping should be a fun experience.

Let’s say you’re more inclined to buy a 50 inch TV that is under $2,000. Well, you’re already on the right path by narrowing down what you need to sift through and compare before you make a decision. It’s not necessary to know exactly what you need, but having an idea will go a long way. This will make your shopping experience much easier and less stressful.

2. One Piece of Criteria is Never Enough

Just because a product is more expensive, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s superior. It’s helpful to dig a little deeper and research the product that you have your eye on. Listen to what Alon Gamzu, CEO of Roundforest and founder of Comparaboo, has to say:

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“People can get hung up on one feature or the aesthetics of a product. The key is to analyze as much of the information as possible in order to make an informed decision. Comparing a variety of products or using algorithmic tools which can balance all the criteria make for much better indicators of quality.”

Relying on price alone is not recommended. Sometimes a single factor can increase the price of an item twofold.

A pricey microwave may have all the same basic functions as a modest one, but those silver dials are what make it $100 more. The important thing is to take everything into consideration and see the bigger picture — that way you’ll ultimately be happy with the product you choose.

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3. Read the Reviews (With Caution)

If thousands of people already bought the items that you’re looking at, chances are some of them wrote reviews and gave their two-cents. Look for in-depth analysis and verified purchases, as those will give you the best idea of what the products have to offer.

Be careful though. You don’t want to get lost reading reviews, as too many will distort your opinions on the products you’re looking at and can leave you in a daze. We also need to be wary of faux reviews. A recent Harvard University study suggested that 15 to 30 percent of online reviews are fake. Some people write good reviews on their company’s products and bad ones on their rivals, while others simply like to troll the internet. Be alert.

4. Take Advantage of Technology

There are plenty of useful sites out there. Price comparison sites can help you find the lowest cost when you’ve decided on an item. Other sites can tell you if an item is in stock at various locations. This is perfect for when that new gaming system seems to be sold out everywhere.

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The internet is a goldmine for helpful shopping tools, so be sure to utilize them where you can. Just beware of sites that require you to download software or ask for private details. When you use the available resources, the choice between products becomes much simpler.

5. Save a Bit More

Let’s say you’re deciding between two brands and price is the final obstacle. An internet search with terms “discount” or “coupon” may help you save on the cost of an item. A simple coupon code can net you 5 to 20 percent off. Many sites even offer discounts for first-time users after you’ve signed up. Lastly, there are also sites that search the web for the best deals and discounts daily, giving you another tool to save some money as you decide on a product.

Good Luck Out There!

Now that you have a bit more knowledge on product comparison, the time has come to put it to good use. Remember, these tips are just a taste of how you can be prepared when you go out shopping. Knowledge is power when finding the perfect product.

Do you have any additional tips? Share them with us in the comments!

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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