It’s tricky to figure out products online, especially when you’re trying to make a big purchase. Even when you’re shopping at the store, knowing about what products are better suited for your needs can help you lead a much better life. But with all the marketing that surrounds us, it can be hard to tell the healthy and helpful from the swath of useless and often dangerous products that line shelves.
If you think you’re caught in such dilemmas often, I have 5 tricks you can use to get your shopping sorted. Most marketing firms and consultancies advise sellers to use psychological tricks to sell you products that are going to earn the profit. By using these 5 tricks, you’ll be able to turn the tables and find the product with the most value in it for you.
1. Arrange the products in order of price
A very common trick employed to get you to buy products with high-profit margins is using a decoy. Many websites that sell products, as well as company catalogs, put an expensive item at the very top that makes the cheaper items that follow to appear as better, money efficient choices. Arranging the list of products in order of increasing price puts the high-cost items at the very bottom so you can have a better comparison.
However, this doesn’t work when you’re sorting through a large department of goods on say Amazon, Alibaba, DHgate and many more. There are products that appear dirt cheap as well as products that can only justify the price if they are all silver inside. The truth is that both of these are decoys. Trim the price range from the filtering options, and you should begin to see saner choices on your screen.
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2. Go for 3-star reviews
When trying to figure out whether a product delivers what it promises, user reviews can be pretty helpful. Amazon, for example, has an entire section dedicated to reviews it receives from people who have previously purchased the product. However, there is a different sort of complexity you need to be mindful of while reading them.
Many people who are happy with the product give it 4 or 5 stars as a mark of appreciation. Those who are not happy give it 1 or 2 stars. The 3 stars (average) rating seems reserved for people who are just about satisfied, and so their opinions can be relied upon better to give you a comprehensive, non-partisan idea about how the product actually performs. Otherwise, you can also look for reviews marked helpful.
3. Read better forums
Forums are really helpful when you’re required to buy something you don’t know much about. Not many of us need to buy more than 2 inkjet printers in our lives. Nor does everyone know the essentials to evaluate coffee grounds. You can find better recommendations on forums than at the sales outlet. Just make sure the forum is not affiliated with one or more companies. Reddit, for example, has subreddits for everything under the sun. You should be able to find a good thread about what you’re looking to buy in no time.
4. Ask for Recommendations
Sometimes, strangers from the internet aren’t great to get product recommendations. Thanks to social media, especially Facebook’s recent feature, finding recommendations for stuff to buy has a more personal touch possible. Your friends are likely to have used a lot of the products you’re looking to buy, and many might be happy to suggest you stores to walk into or websites to visit to learn more or buy what you’re looking for at competitive rates.
5. Be very suspicious
The ultimate trick, however, is to be suspicious of everything claimed about a product on a website. The specifications and build are often non-negotiable and the seller has to provide you the details it advertised. If the product comes out to be different, you have the law protecting you against misleading advertisements. What is harder to guard against are claims about efficiency, utility or cost-effectiveness.
A lot of the bombastic claims you find on websites are actually true, but only for very specific conditions hard to ensure for longer than a day in most parts of the country. Reading the fine print before buying a product is essential, and the motivation to do that often comes through suspecting the ad to be a complete lie.
Know any other tricks that have helped you choose and compare products? I’m eager to hear them all in the comments below.Finalscope Team