Summer is the time when customers usually make a lot of mistakes. What consumer mistakes you should avoid this summer season?
You’ve probably already heard a lot of advice about what you should do this summer – buy this, vacation there, see that movie.
It could be the warm weather or just having a surplus of free time or a combination of the two.
“Summer means warm weather and the sunshine, which usually puts people in a good mood,” says Vassilis Dalakas, a marketing professor at Cal State University San Marcos. “The challenge is that consumer research has found that when we are in a good mood, we are more likely to overspend without thinking.”
No one conducts surveys on the seasonality of consumer intelligence, but if they did, it would show summer as a low point. And I’m right there with you, my friends. I’ve been scammed, have overspent and made all kinds of unwise purchasing decisions. The worst? I paid a contractor for a new fence. He took the money and ran. More on contractors in a moment.
But you don’t have to become another statistic. Here are the biggest consumer mistakes you can avoid:
“Hurried purchases are one of the main causes of buyer’s remorse,” says Krista Fabregas, who founded her own online business and now works for FitSmallBusiness.com.
“That’s especially true during busy shopping seasons like summer and the holidays.” Her advice? Slow down. In many cases, the mobile apps that make online shopping easier can contribute to this problem. So get offline and review each purchase, asking yourself: “Do I really need this?”.
Shopping under the influence
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? A recent survey by Finder.com says almost half of Americans who regularly drink alcohol each week admit to shopping under the influence. Among the top items purchased: shoes and clothes. “For many Americans, summer means BBQs, picnics and balmy evenings outside,” says Finder.com’s Jennifer McDermott. “Many of these occasions are often celebrated with alcohol, which could mean a higher risk of drinking and clicking.” So keep those devices locked down when you’re loaded.
Buying a car
“Although it might seem fancy to get out in that convertible, May and June is actually when prices peak,” says Ted Jenkin, a financial planner with Atlanta-based oXYGen Financial. Instead, wait until the end of the year, when auto prices drop. Otherwise, you could be driving an overpriced convertible this summer.
Buying the wrong clothes
Specifically, the wrong swimsuit. That’s the biggest summer mistake Dawn Qi sees. She runs the fashion advice site Ladyqs.com. “It’s buying an unrealistic swimsuit based on how big or small you think you will be after one more month of dieting,” she says. “Solution? Bring along that unapologetic friend or family member who will tell you exactly what she thinks.” If you’re a guy, here’s an unsolicited observation from another guy: I don’t think she’s talking about you.
Buying something you’ll only need once
Camping gear. A barbecue. Lawn chairs. Ken Kanara calls these “one-time use items” and they can really drain your bank account, not to mention sit in your garage for the rest of the year and collect dust. “The solution is to rent or to borrow from a friend,” says Kanara, who leads the private equity practice for the Ex-Consultants Agency.
Hiring the wrong contractor
Shoddy work done by a contractor is one of the most complained-about problems, according to a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators. Many of these charlatans don’t take the time needed to do the job right, don’t listen to you or fail to even show up. And summer is peak time for substandard work. “You have to interview the contractors and check out at least three services before deciding which to use,” says Steve Griggs, CEO of Steve Griggs Design.
Most of these problems can easily be avoided by doing your due diligence and practicing budget discipline, say experts. In other words, read the fine print and don’t overspend.
“Take a page from your utilities companies’ book and budget the same amount throughout the whole year so that you can still do the things you want without putting you in a tough spot,” says Mike Windle, retirement planning specialist at C. Curtis Financial in Plymouth, Mich.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
Baoshang Bank could be China’s Indybank
The troubled Baoshang Bank had assets of $84 billion and its seizure is indicative of the deteriorating health of small-scale...
Transportation projects now receive varied funding options
Transportation projects are plenty throughout the United States, with private sector being tapped for partnerships and investments.
How to cope with the wonderful unpredictability of travel
Travel can be unpredictable. At least that’s what Socrates Anastasiadis will tell you when you ask him about his recent...
Cash is past: How modern fintech will drive cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP) into the financial mainstream
With cryptocurrencies making a comeback, we might be seeing a revolution in e-commerce in the near future.
Naspers holds Tencent captive
Naspers is drunk on its 31 percent holdings in Tencent and there is no intervention that can change it.
- Featured4 days ago
One Chinese stock immune from the trade war
- Biotech5 days ago
Bioxytran’s tissue oxygenation therapy breaking the stroke paradigm
- Business3 days ago
How to use video in email marketing in 2019
- Featured3 days ago
For your convenience: How modern retailers like Casey’s General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY), Murphy USA Inc. (NYSE:MUSA) TravelCenters of America LLC (NASDAQ:TA) drive their margins