Sunday, April 12, 2009

Go for that “Impulse Purchase”

‘Planned purchase’ is something I have been doing for past several years. It is generally believed that as you “mature” you do more planned purchases versus impulsive purchases. Impulsive purchase has been linked with the “impulsive youth”. Sometimes is has also been associated with immaturity. While, planned purchase is something I have generally been very proud of, I have lately realized the downside of this approach, and I am beginning to think if it is a bad thing.

Planned purchase is invariable associated with – a) massive market research, b) massive product research, c) understanding your own requirements, d) deciding the exact price point for best price performance ratio, e) sometime getting into the microscopic details of the product, for differentiation in a commoditized product, technology or service. All this might take anywhere from a few days to a few months – eventually leading to a “better purchase”.

When you buy something, one of the important things that must happen after the purchase is – “you must derive great sense of satisfaction from your purchase”. I have come up with an approximate relationship between satisfaction and the research you do on the product, the relationship is:

So, I am postulating that the satisfaction is inversely proportional to the amount of research you do on the product. The more you do research, the less satisfaction you get after doing the purchase.

If you are buying an electronic gadget, many times, there are several less documented small features that come in with a gadget – like a quick-access button in a smartphone, a hidden pocket in a backpack or the cool 3.2MP webcam in a laptop. These features almost appear like “serendipity” when you accidentally find it, you feel pleasantly surprised in your new gadget. All that surprise is gone when you have done 4 months of study on all the smartphones available in the market. I feel that this is a big bummer.

An extension of the above rule is that satisfaction is directly proportional to the ‘Impulsiveness of Purchase’. I think there are ample examples of my friends who have purchased stuff with little research, and have been immensely satisfied with their purchase.

What do you think?

A caveat to these rules will be – don’t apply this on large sized purchases. Like don’t apply this when buying a house or a car ?

So, guess what, as of today, I am shifting my slider from the ‘planned purchase’ to the ‘impulsive purchase’ side.


Blogger Rajeev said...

Regrets regrets and more regret. I would tell you what happened with me. I used to have a Nikon D40X and I saw this great deal on Bestbuy for D200 which is relatively outdated Pro DSLR for a very reasonable $675. It took me 1 minute to pull out my card and make a purchase.(One click best buy). When I received it in mail I was shell shocked. The camera was so heavy it made me freak out. It was almost 4 times heavier than my Nikon D40x(Which I used to think is heavy) and with my 18-200 Metal lens it was unbearable. I gave it a thought and I was pleasently surprised when I found it can work with Nikon 50mm Prime lens f/1.8. ( Read more impulsive purchase). It worked reasonably well. But now for the sad part. Last saturday I sold my D200+18-105+50mmf/1.8+Other accessory for a paltry $900 (which costed me over 1250 to acquire), not a bad price but I now wish that I should have done my research and would have bought D90 instead.

However I am not disagreeing completely but I would not recommend impulsive approach for things which are costly to replace and you deem closer to your heart.

2:14 AM  
Anonymous Sumedh said...

So true... :)

So, internet gives an easy avenue of destruction of consumer delight... :)

6:04 PM  

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