Here are the things to do before you buy a product:

  • Check for Google reviews of the product as well as the website/store.
  • Check for Facebook review.
  • Check for reviews not only on the site you are purchasing on but also on other sites.
  • Sort the reviews by recency and see what is the most recent feedback on the product.
  • Ideally, don’t buy anything below 4 stars.
  • Check reviews tech youtubers by on the product. I have been planning to buy a new monitor, and I have watched at least a dozen videos detailing pros and cons of my shortlisted options. Reading reviews online is good, but nothing beats watching how the product works in a detailed video by a reviewer you trust.
  • If you don’t know where to begin, start with searching for keywords like “best ultrawide monitors 2020”.
  • Learn about what parameters you should evaluate a product by. As a nablet when it comes to monitors, I found this buying guide quite good.
  • Check out subreddits on the topic. Example. If you are planning to buy a mechanical keyboard, then go to r/MechanicalKeyboards.
  • Don’t add it to favorites on a particular site. A lot of sites will send push notifications/emails to create FOMO. Better add the link to your bookmarks folder. I maintain a bookmarks folder called ‘Wishlist’ where I bookmark all the things I want to purchase over the next few months.
  • Save inspirations on Reddit. I have saved 100s of workspace setup posts on Reddit. I plan to start with my dream monitor and then buy all the remaining items to complete my dream setup.
  • Check the item offline. Most of the time the local retailer will offer to match the Amazon price. Best part? You can try out the product, and also ask for the phone number of the salesperson to call in case the item stops working. I bought my fridge and washing machine from Pai Electronics which is a store near my house. The salesperson promised to get the installation done within 24 hours and also threw in a lot of freebees. I also knew that if the installation got delayed I could always call up the store person and follow up.
  • Also the model number. For some items, online stores will send older models. Make sure the model you are getting is the latest one and the manufacturing date is the current year.
  • Don’t buy things on impulse. I keep a note of all the items I want to purchase. Instead of buying all of them at once, I stagger the purchases over months. Sometimes I don’t even feel like buying after a few weeks pass. Don’t succumb to FOMO sales tactics. Most discounts are fake anyway. They just jack up the price and then offer a discount.
  • Instead of buying something first and then planning to do the activity for which you bought the item, first promise to do the activity and then buy it as a reward. Example. I promised myself that I won’t buy football boots until I play at least for a couple of months with my normal sports shoes and the boots will be a reward for my regularity. I did end up getting the boots, but then Coronavirus struck and all courts closed.
  • Remember, you don’t need so many things.

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