In today’s age being an informed consumer is difficult because there is so much information that is being fed to us from all directions. This is especially true with the emergence of the internet and social media. One has to be cognizant of all news about product recalls, unhealthy foods, questionable financial products or policies and be on high alert for common scams or frauds. The problem is that a lot of different companies fund different studies to make their product look better in the eyes of the consumer. An example of this could be two different ‘scientific’ studies saying different things about a food product and how it impacts health.
Unfortunately, not all of us will have a PhD in chemistry or even the time to properly analyze these studies. But in order to be an intelligent consumer one needs to understand and read as much as they can about all sides of the argument before making a critical buying decision.
The following paragraphs will detail some fundamental steps to follow to be a more intelligent consumer.
Research As Much As Possible
As a consumer, whenever you purchase a product you should never guess. It is important to do the proper research on said product. There is a lot of quality information at our disposal. From reading google, amazon, yelp, and other website reviews to looking at more prestigious government websites and magazines to find the appropriate information you are looking for is a must.
For example, most consumers do not know or understand the difference between an air filter and air purifier. Doing some proper research on google, we can quickly find that both products have the same goal in mind, that is to sieve out pollutants such as dust, bacteria, mold and allergens. According to the experts from https://filterbuy.com/resources/air-filters-vs-air-purifiers/ , the difference of the two is the method at which the air filtration is achieved. Understand the fundamental basics between two different products and establish preliminary knowledge on what the known brands might be in your area. After, you can take the name of the known brand and do a simple search to read other people’s reviews and how the product worked. With this amount of information, it would be easier for you to choose what you need and what fits you best.
Being a smart consumer means you have to read all details of a product, including the fine print that many people look over. This is especially true for things like contracts, warranties, and return policies. It is always a good idea to read through all information and ask the right questions when something is unclear. A lot of times consumers tend to skip reading directions or safety instructions of a product, assuming that they know what they are doing. However, various products might operate in different ways so from a safety standpoint, it pays to read every little detail provided in the instructions or operation manual.
Know The Company
It is very important that your product is bought or manufactured by a reputable company with skin in the game. Nowadays, this is not so easy to distinguish especially when most products are manufactured overseas. It can be hard to tell whether your product is manufactured by the original company or if it came from a copycat producer who often makes less durable products and might be prone to risking the health and safety for profits. Therefore, a knowledgeable consumer not only knows what product they should be buying, but where and how they should be buying it. Buying a brand name product often means you get a much higher quality.