When a new gadget is released, it can make you feel like you just have to buy it. However, some time down the line you can start regretting buying it on a whim.
At Debt Advisory Centre, we recently did some research* showing that 82% of British people have felt buyer’s remorse – and out of them, 20% have regretted buying gadgets. That equates to over 8 million people in the UK suffering from ‘gadget buyer’s remorse’!
We’ve put together five easy things you should do before each gadget purchase – to help you avoid gadget buyer’s remorse.
Of the people who regretted buying gadgets, 10% didn’t like their purchase and 17% said it was poor quality or broken.
A good way to get around this issue is to do your research. Put the product you’re interested in into a search engine followed by the word ‘reviews’ and see what other people think of it. There are loads of sites (like gadgetsboy.co.uk, for instance!) dedicated to giving fair, honest reviews of the latest gadgets.
Remember that if the product you’re researching hasn’t come out yet, it might be worth waiting until the customer reviews start pouring in too.
Consider what you already have
38% of people with gadget buyer’s remorse regretted their purchase because they didn’t need it in the first place.
New gadgets can look and feel different – however, many of them fulfil very similar functions. Before you invest, think about all the gadgets you already have. It might even be worth having a poke around your house to check. You might remember / realise that you have a perfectly functioning gadget that does most (or all) of the things you want this new gadget to do.
Check your bank balance
In 21% of gadget buyer’s remorse cases, people’s eyes were bigger than their wallets – and they said they regretted their purchase because they couldn’t actually afford it.
That’s why it’s important to have a look at your finances before you commit to buying a (potentially costly) gadget. It might be useful to think of it as a percentage of your monthly income – is it just too much to pay? If you buy it on finance, or if it’s a smartphone on a contract, will you be able to keep up with the monthly payments – even if your circumstances change?
In some cases, buying things you can’t afford can cause serious problems. At Debt Advisory Centre, we regularly hear from people who are struggling with debt because of overspending. It can be quite easy to get carried away and not realise how serious the problem is until it’s too late. But remember – there’s help out there. If you’re struggling with debts, whatever the reason, it’s important to seek professional advice as soon as you can.
Gadgets can be really expensive at first. However, inevitably, as time goes on the price must come down!
That’s why, if you have the patience to take part in the ‘waiting game’, you should do so. Not only will the price come down in shops – it might also pop up second hand for cheaper.
Make sure you can return it
The thing about buyer’s remorse is that it’s impossible to predict. You can be in love with a gadget before you buy it – only to fall out of love with it very quickly after you get it home.
That’s why you should check the retailer’s returns policy before you buy. Check how long you have to change your mind after your purchase (and under what circumstances you’re allowed to return it).
So then it won’t really matter if you regret your purchase for the reasons above, or you just don’t like it (10%) or hardly use it (15%) – at least you’ll know you can take it back for a full refund, as long as you do it in time.
Interestingly, however, only 7% of people suffering from gadget buyer’s remorse actually returned their purchase for a refund. Most of them (66%) just kept it.
* Consumer Intelligence research carried out a survey of a representative sample of 3,425 UK adults from 5th – 11th July 2013. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.