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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 November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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