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Consumer Buying Guidlines

We have all made a purchase didn't really want or need. It could have been the sales person and their pushy attitude or the price was simply to good to passup. How many times have we come home and said, "I wish I hadn't bought that."

Well here are some guidelines to follow while shopping to ensure you don't experience the regret of making that unplanned purchase.

- Before you arrive at the store know exactly what you want and how much you can afford to pay.

- Ask someone knowledgeable about the product you are thinking about buying. You could ask someone you trust like a family member or friend.

- Avoid, at all costs, the temptation to buy something on impulse or under pressure.

- Research the product you intend to buy. Go online and search the model, brand and price. Read consumer reviews on the product. Find a reasonable price you expect to pay. Finally, research the company you are buying from.

- If you are unfamiliar with the company use a local consumer affairs office or Better Business Bureau.

- Ask about the companie's return policy. Do they fix items in house? Do they send them away for repairs? If they send them away for repairs it could be months for your item to be returned to you.

- Check the item's warranty. Does it include the whole item or just Pieces? Does the warranty include shipping? For example sending a 32 inch TV for repairs could be expensive.

- Ask the company who you can contact if you have any problems or questions. Should you contact the manufacturer or, the business where you made the purchase?

- Ask about any rebates before you buy. Are they offered by the store or the manufacturer? Manufacturer rebates could take many months arrive, if at all. With this type of rebate the business who sold the item has no control over your refund. (this is something which is usually not mentioned.)

- If you are using in store financing or any other legal contract make sure you read and UNDERSTAND all the terms and conditions. If you have any questions ask the sales person. If they are unclear or misleading ask someone else, or, walk away. If you were promised any special prices or add-ons make sure to get these in writing.

- When you get home, make sure you save all the papers that you get with your purchase. Ensure you send by mail, any requirements for the warranty, and keep a copy for yourself.

If you follow these guidelines I guarentee you'll never again ask yourself "why am I so gullible?"


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