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Never have buyer's remorse again--use online research & reviews

Thrifty AccountantThe Thrifty Accountant Newsletter

--Two minutes of money saving strategies


Greetings fellow thrifty accountants!

When you look over the things you bought during the last year, did you have some duds? Have you been using the term "money down the drain?"

Just think, if you could find out before you bought something what the good and bad points were, wouldn't you want to know?

This issue explains how to do quick research to find the best product for the job by doing a little preliminary online research.

Use online research and reviews

You need to buy a new printer, but when you went to BestBuy, there were no salespeople around to answer your questions or guide you. Should you spend $100? $500?

Wait! Don't make a "gut decision." You can use the Internet to quickly find the best product for the job--if you know where to look.

My picks for product research are:

1) Computers and related peripherals

www.pcmag.com is a huge website but fairly well organized.

  • Click on REVIEWS on the top of page menu
  • Next click on PRODUCT GUIDES icon for the item you are searching for (ex: printers)
  • Further refine your search by laser printer/inkjet/color/ etc. if desired
  • Sort the list by "EDITORS' CHOICE"
  • The Editors' Choice is usually the best buy and you can read about why they selected the particular model.

2) Books and electronics

www.amazon.com is well known for books, but they also sell electronics, toys and lots of other stuff.

  • I like to read the user reviews to find out what "real, ordinary people" think about these items
  • I often find that Amazon has the best prices, no sales tax and free shipping.

3) Appliances and everything else

www.epinions.com is a great place to read reviews of appliances-for example they had 2,233 reviews of vacuum cleaners when I checked today.

  • I recently researched purchasing a new vacuum and found the reviews to be very detailed and accurate
  • The reviewers get points for good reviews based on the number of clicks on their reviews; this seems to promote organized, detailed reviews

I like to find out the pros and cons of my major purchases before I buy. With knowledgeable, trained salespeople in such short supply, it makes sense to do some quick research on the net before parting with any hard-earned cash.

January 2006 | Issue #004

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