The Shopper, the Sport, and The Twilight Zone (Part I of III)

When it comes to purchasing, I like to think I do my fair share of homework to ensure I make the right decision. To some, shopping is like a holiday, to others, shopping is more like torture. To me, shopping is a sport.

Whether it is clothing, gifts, cell phones, computers, data center hardware, appliances, haircuts, or automobiles, I always find myself leaning on three distinct criteria (and my definition of them) to help me with my purchasing decision:

Value– Which product or service do I receive the most value from?

Price– Which product or service can I get the best price with?

Location– Where do I feel is most convenient, trusted, and best supported?

In nearly every purchasing decision made, companies and consumers consistently weigh these options, choose where they can get the best of all three worlds, and sign on the dotted line.

Where our decisions differ is in the amount of stock we put in each criteria. For example, if all we care about is price, and value and location means little or nothing to us, then that will steer us three towns over where the price is cheaper at the shop that has no refund policy, and has an “F” on their front window. Or we simply go to Craigslist and cross our fingers.

The weight we attach to these characteristics will vary slightly depending on the product or service, but typically the levels of importance we place on each do not change.

Generally speaking, the larger the sticker price, or the greater impact of the decision made, the more we tend to lean on value and location to help guide us in the right direction. We go to the manufacturer, the reseller, the mechanic, or our colleagues for advice, insights, and recommendations, hoping they stay honest and keep our best interests in mind.

*Enter the Twilight Zone*

To be continued…


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