Posted by: nichemarketplace | November 17, 2008

Shopping smart in a recessionary economy … 

smartshopperwebshot1
Caption: ARE YOU A SMART SHOPPER OR CHEAP-MINDED?

Getting the most bang for your buck is a major motivating factor for the smart consumer in good economic times or bad. However, in a recessionary economy, the imperative to shop smart has far greater consequences. There is an immense difference between shopping smart and being cheap-minded.

Beware the cheapest price …
Cheap products are cheap for a reason. They are usually inferior either in terms of materials, design, quality, or service. Or in the words of that time-honored cliché, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. For the smart shopper, price is a major factor when making a purchasing decision, but it is not the only factor.

A good value trumps a great bargain …
The cheapest price is not always a good deal in the long run. It’s what our mamas used to call being penny wise and pound foolish. Or what I like to call the “cheap panties syndrome.” It is easy to understand that underwear that doesn’t fit, isn’t comfortable, and won’t last is NO bargain! This priniciple has implications that extend far beyond underpants. Looking for the “complete package” — quality products, superior design, competitive price, and excellent customer service — is always the hallmark of a smart shopper.

The cheapest price seller is soon out of business …
Circuit City, Linen ‘N Things, Frontier Airlines — how many of you remember Pay ‘N Pak? — the list of corporate bankruptcies goes on and on. And it will undoubtedly grow longer if the recession deepens. Whether you are shopping for consumer electronics or tube socks, don’t you want the option of returning the product if you discover that it is defective or substandard? If the answer is yes, make sure the seller you are dealing with is a reputable one and is going to stay in business for the long-haul.

Don’t be a cheapest price puppy …
A cheapest price puppy runs all around sniffing out the cheapest price (and usually ends up chasing its own tail). While their intentions may be admirable — i.e., they want to be good stewards of their family’s finances — cheapest price puppies miss the point: time is money! What is your time worth? Driving all over town trying to save pennies costs you dollars. The last time I checked, gas was not free (if you do know of a service station that is giving away free gas, please don’t keep it a secret!).

Time is the X factor …
For most people, time is more valuable than money. This is especially true for busy people. Think about it … no matter how much money a person makes, everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you wanted to, you can’t buy more time. (Wealthy people leverage their time by hiring people to do the things they don’t want to do, but even they can’t buy more hours in a day.) One of the defining characteristics of shopping smart is appreciating the value of time and factoring time into the equation when making purchasing decisions.

In a recessionary economy, it is easy to be lured into one-dimensional thinking and focus on the bottom line to the exclusion of all other considerations. The ability to think outside the box and consider the bigger picture will not only save you money (especially long-term), it will give you a competitive edge in every area of your life … it will even help you become a smarter shopper!

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Responses

  1. What a wonderful article!

  2. […] blog post by our brilliant writer, Rock Star Rina of NicheMarketplace, “Shopping Smart in a Recessionary Economy.”  – She says this is her first in a series of articles on shopping smart in this […]

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