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Personal Finance: The Importance of Comparison Shopping (or) Why Comparison Shop?

Provided by the International Finance Corporation


When you need to make a significant purchase, this decision should not be made in haste.  Never commit yourself to the purchase on the first trip even if your emotions cause you to consider otherwise.  The rational mind is often overcome by the irrational mind when it comes to spending money.  Because of this tendency, your logical mind frequently becomes the underdog in the battle over purchasing decisions.  This can cause you to make purchases you come to regret; a situation commonly referred to as "buyer's remorse."   

Consider your initial sales visits to be for research purposes only (comparing and contrasting prices and features).  Don't forget that your first trip is heavily laden with emotion instead of rationality.  When you first view the car of your dreams or that perfect home, you are not thinking clearly.  Your mind is crowded with visions of driving that car or living in that home. 

Added to these visions is a sense of urgency that many salesmen employ in order to close the deal.  They make you believe that these dreams can only become reality if you “act now.”  For if you hesitate and go home to think it over, in your absence someone else will make an offer on your dream house and you will have lost your opportunity. 

Therefore in your rush to acquire the item before it is gone and someone else has purchased it, you may skip over the careful consideration that a significant purchase warrants.  It is imperative to get the facts and figures and go home and then make an analytical decision…removed from the temptation.  Visiting numerous similar vendors will aid in your price and value comparisons.  After you have done all the calculations, if you find you still want the item, then return and buy it from the vendor who will offer you the best deal. 

It is rare that you will have lost a golden opportunity if you hesitate.  More times than not, there will be a multitude of other houses to buy that you would be equally content with or other car dealers that have that exact car you have decided upon.  In many consumer societies, shortages of goods are usually not a common problem that would require an immediate response.  So, take your time, do your research and find the best deals available.          

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