Consumers spend a lot of time studying products before they buy. In fact, research suggests that people take an average of 76 days to make purchasing decisions on many big-ticket items. While it’s smart to examine all your options so you can make a wise choice, your time is valuable. To gather the most useful information in the least amount of time possible, hone your research skills so you can spend less time figuring out what to buy and more time enjoying your choice.
Check Trustworthy Review Sites
With the enormous amount of review sites on the web today, it’s easy to spend hours just trying to figure out which ones to trust. To streamline your buying research, take the time to find several dependable review sites you like. Then make a list of your favorites and use it for all your buying decisions.
Look for sites that explain their evaluation process and that use the products they review. While they’re not always possible to find, reviewers with first-hand experience using a product will almost always provide better information than those with only secondhand knowledge.
Ask Your Friends and Family
With all the blogs, websites, and social media platforms available, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the best way to get information is to talk to your friends and family. Their advice is often quick, free, and reliable. For example, if you need a new lawnmower, think about your buddies with well-kept yards and ask them which mower they recommend. Asking people you trust and respect for advice is an easy way to gather lots of reliable information in a short amount of time.
For expensive purchases, it’s worth spending the extra time to combine your friends’ advice with your online research. Large purchases that cost thousands of dollars, such as air-conditioning systems, sprinkler systems, vacations, and cars, warrant a few extra days, or even weeks, of research. Taking a cautious approach when purchasing costly items can save you thousands of dollars and provide you with an immeasurable sense of peace that’s well worth the extra hours of research.
Use the Correct Words on Search Engines
Knowing the right words to use when looking for information can reduce the amount of time you spend scrolling through search results. It’s important to choose specific, relevant keywords to reduce off-topic results. If you’re in the market for a top-loading washing machine, “best top-loading washing machine” is a good search phrase to use. Simply searching for “washing machines” will probably return too many irrelevant terms, wasting your time.
Never before have people had so much information so readily available. While it’s helpful for consumers to have access to reliable data, all those facts, figures, and explanations can become overwhelming. To avoid research fatigue, stick with a few dependable review sites and use specific words and phrases on search engines. Don’t forget to ask friends and family for their advice. Combined, these three strategies can help you quickly get the information you need to make good buying decisions.