Buying Tips ... cont’d.

In our last issue I started talking about buying tips, or more specifically, the importance of knowing your needs, doing some research and being a demanding customer before and during the purchasing process. So picking up where I left off ...

7. Service after the sale. This is especially vital when purchasing larger pieces of equipment. But for smaller items be sure to check out things like warranty, the track record of the distributor selling the product, and the ability to get a quick replacement in case of loss or damage. Also, be sure that access to repair centers will not be an issue, especially for larger pieces of equipment.

6. Get a closer look. We’ve all heard the famous line from the movie Tommy Boy involving a T-bone, the butcher, and the best point of view for determining quality, but in this case don’t be afraid to get your hands on the product. You’ve been doing this long enough to know how you want a product to look and feel. Don’t discount those impressions.

5. Kick the tires. Always ask for the right to try before you buy, especially for diagnostic tools and other more complex products. Regardless of the product category, there’s never been a tool that was right for everybody. So in addition to weighing what you want, what you need, and what the seller tells you the product can do, always give it a trial run to ensure the product’s functionality meshes with the work you do, and the way you prefer to do it.

4. Compare and contrast. Brand loyalty is great, but never lock yourself into a single product offering before fully examining everything that’s available. Not only will this approach keep you open to new product advancements, but it also safeguards against products that could become irrelevant very shortly.

This also rewards your loyalty by ensuring a full examination of an entire line. Often an old standby can remain in the same line even as newer products with greater time-saving and profit-generating features and benefits are made available.

Next time, we wrap up with the final 3 tips.