Lately we just witnessed some crazy Black Friday scenes in South Africa. Leading up to the Friday, there was also a lot of focus online about how we buy what we buy, and Why.
In the weeks before this, I wrote the note below to guide folks in South Africa ( and everywhere else on the interwebs) about how I had to think about buying. Developed over the past 2 years, since starting the blog. Hope you enjoy, drop comments below.
On decision making when buying, consider the following:
- Value – with the product you are buying how much surveying have you done in the market around the following:
- Price – does the stuff you are getting match the pricing you are looking at for this asset?
- Urgency – is the decision to buy purely based on emotion or actual need. If Need, then can you justify that to the people around you that are affected by your decision?
- Quality – is the product known for quality – low, medium or high?
- Timing – is the market in the right place to buy or sell what you are considering?
- Future Value – is the thing you are buying going to go up or down in value over time, based on what you see around you?
- Living with it – a lot of our readers will have a case of buyer’s remorse and this can purely come from not doing enough homework. We don`t have time to shop around. We don’t hit the internet review pages hard and find reasons Not to buy the thing we want to buy. You must dig a little deeper, when it involves years of your work and sweat to get what you want or need. This means I don’t feel any remorse buying a cheap Swatch watch, that tells me the date and time and I am also willing to wait 10 years to afford a Rolex that does the same
- What problem does your “thing” solve – look at what you are buying and work it back to a specific solution you are looking for, that you may not be aware of. (Thanks to Seth Godin on defining the above – )
We spend a lot of time at work. Some time out playing and some time at home. What you do, could determine what you buy and why. Some examples below.
- If you work in Financial Advising and drive a beat up 1991 Datsun Champ, how likely is it that customers will take you seriously with anything you propose to sell?
- You work as a Specialist Doctor, and your formal work shirt is yellowed and threadbare, what confidence can the patient have in you, based on your near see-through shirt?
- You go to a lawyer for advice, and he has gym pants on and a sweatshirt and you have been accused of a serious offence that needs his expert opinion?
I think you see where this is going. Small things can tell people a story about us, that we may not even be aware of. This is not a blog focused being showy and bringing your insight on shiny new things only. What I would like you to ask is, with the thing you are buying – figure out what problem it is going to solve for you?
Your GTI means you love speed, but you also like Value. Amazing power, in a small but deadly package.
Your Fountain Pen in a meeting, can you say you consider the meeting important and value the time of the people you are talking to. In an age where digital everything means rush, purely writing on paper can bring some pause to the always-on/notification mania we all experience today.
Your bespoke suit, tells people you consider long term value over price. Quality that speaks about your character, but also could mean your suit speaks before you need to.
In a world filled with “Fake News”, increasingly limited time and thousands of messages linked to branding. Thinking for a while about what you are buying and when, can make a huge difference! Finally one thing to remember. While we rely on these things to define a bit about our values, what remains is how you help the people around you to improve their lives. With all the things we buy, it may just become an inspiration for the young lady or man working next you. We are not our things. We are only remembered by our influence on the people in the spaces around us, and how we helped them to their next. Remember that.