This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Friday, August 31, 2007

It's OK to pass up a good deal.

Posted by Matt
Argh. This was a tough one; one of those financial decisions that doesn't fall under any obvious financial "best practices" anywhere.

A family friend of ours is moving out of state unexpectedly for work and needs to sell some furniture that won't fit in his new place. It is nice, high-quality stuff and he is asking a very low price for it to move it quickly. My family and I are also moving in a few months and so my wife suggested that we buy our friend's guest bedroom set to put in the guest bedroom in our new house.

The hitch? We already have a guest bedroom set! It is not fancy, but it is certainly functional. My worry is that we WILL eventually want to replace it someday and then I'll be wishing I had grabbed this great deal.

I think I've come up with a guideline that might help here. I'm going to try to be wary of what I'll call "opportunistic shopping". I think the steps leading to purchasing should happen in this order:

  1. Identify a need
  2. Research purchasing options (models, features, color, etc.) to determine your requirements
  3. Shop around to identify products that best fit the requirements
  4. Find the best possible deal on the identified product
  5. Purchase

Opportunistic shopping happens when you skip the first 3 steps. You might have found a great price, but that shouldn't be the only consideration. If you later decide to replace the purchase with another product that better suits your needs, the overall process may ending up costing you more.

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