In the old days shopping was simple and painless.
When you needed something, you walked to a nearby store and picked what you wanted. Shopping was not yet a hobby and was never mentioned in polite society.
Buying an item was easy since there was only a single brand of pickles or vacuum cleaner and no Chinese knock-offs.
As Henry Ford said: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” It was simple indeed.
To get the best deal and hopefully the best product, the wise consumer ought to start by scouting the Internet.
Far from the sound and furor of a shopping mall, he can leisurely compare and evaluate products. But before committing himself, the astute buyer should also read reviews written by professionals and previous buyers alike.
And it is not that simple either.
Just like politicians, professional reviewers don’t seem to be able to agree on any single product.
I have never seen two camera reviewers or two vacuum cleaner reviewers agreeing on a single item.
What’s great for some stink for others and vice versa. Previous buyers are not any better either. Some rave about a product, while some others denounce it.
What is a guy to do? (I am saying “guy” because “guyettes” don’t seem to have this kind of problem).
When zeroing on a product I first start looking for an item that generated a lot of reviews and comments. Then the number of positive reviews has got to be vastly superior to the number of negative reviews. If positive and negative comments are equal, it is wiser to ditch that product altogether.
I am often more interested by the negative comments than the positive ones. Why does a customer bad-mouth a product? Is it too flimsy, too heavy, unpractical, not politically correct?
I want to know…
When it comes to shopping, it is difficult to trust anybody, even close friends. When somebody you know recommends a product, you should ask this person if he/she had carnal knowledge of the vendor. If the answer is positive, this person is obviously biased and cannot be trusted.
To sum it up, shopping has become a gigantic pain in the wazoo and I wouldn’t inflict on my worse enemy.
But it is like a colonoscopy.
Sometimes you have to do it.