It’s that wonderful time of year again! The Christmas music is playing in stores, mall Santas are coming out of hibernation, and everyone at work is fighting for time off to visit family. Yes, it’s always the same traditions, but also different. As each year passes, it’s a time for reconnecting with family, reflecting on the year that’s gone by, and preparing a list of New Year’s resolutions to make next year shine even brighter.
One of the things we all want to avoid in the upcoming year is buyer’s remorse, especially after a season of holiday gift-giving. We’ve all seen or experienced the look of dread as a child learns that “batteries are sold separately” for the toy they just unwrapped. At work, I’m certainly guilty of signing on the dotted line without reading the fine print. But the good news is this year can be different! Here are two simple but effective ways to avoid being trapped by buyer’s remorse.
In the World of Yelp and Amazon Reviews, It’s Hard to Go Wrong
When I was growing up, we had to trust the word of the salesman. Maybe we read something in the paper, or saw an ad on TV, but the salesperson was critical to our purchasing decisions. They explained the benefits of each option, the drawbacks of cutting costs here and there, and made a hefty commission for their time and knowledge.
If something went wrong, we could go back to the store and talk to that same salesman. The honest ones would try to resolve the issue and retain a loyal customer. Unfortunately, many were sleeping through the lecture on ethics and integrity while attending school and sometimes the outcome was a much more negative one.
But today, in this glorious digital age, there’s a plethora of online reviews! Yes, you’re right to remember recent headlines about Amazon suing reviewers and sellers for fraudulently posting glowing product experiences on their platform, but, collectively, the diversity of review sites means that it’s easy to get a gist for just how good or bad a product is before hitting the “Add to Cart” button.
Take the time to read at least five to ten different reviews before making a buying decision. You’ll find your overall satisfaction with purchases made in the coming year improve substantially!
Create a Read or Don’t Buy Rule at Work
As a freelancer, embracing all that the gig economy has to offer, I’ve had my fair share of workplace duds. Whether it’s a product or service that claimed to boost my conversions, or improve my productivity, it’s hard to know if the latest snake oil is worth the investment of time and money.
If your inbox is full of free trial offers for the latest CRM, webinar, or SEO tool, it’s time to start hitting the spam button. And, more importantly, if you’re ready to make a buying decision, make time to carefully read the Service Level Agreement (SLA). When things go wrong, whose job is it to put things back together? If you’re dealing with cut-rate tech solutions, chances are that you’re going to be the one left holding the bag.
You might be sensing a theme here. Every takeaway seems to have something to do with reading. Sales people will promise things verbally that just aren’t true in order to close the sale. Hit the pause button before agreeing to any purchase in 2017. Take the time to read the service agreement, understand the terms and conditions, and enter agreements with a realistic set of expectations, based on the fine print.
From holiday gift-giving to corporate solutions, the theme for this year should be READ BEFORE YOU BUY. Trust me, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of buyer’s remorse.
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