Shoppers, Know Thyself

Shoppers, how much do you know yourself?

Are you a good tennis player?

How about golf?

Are you confident that you can prepare your own taxes?

How do you assess your technology or computer skills?

I never thought about this area of my shopping habits until I stumbled upon this article by Gregory Kapp of Morning Yes, it’s true, this is one part psychological habit that you may not be aware of but surely affects your buying decisions.


Yap, I have to admit that I am guilty of this as well. Here is one example from my experience. I was really eager to learn MS Office products at one time that I bought books and the application thinking that I would be able to learn it by myself. It turns out that I overestimated myself and I ended up taking classes at a community college. I had bought the wrong kind of books as I thought that I would really be able to handle it myself. Another example pertains to the mechanical work at my first car. Again I overestimated myself into thinking that I would be able to perform tune up and a few major repairs on my old car so I purchased mechanical and electrical tools and books. I thought that I could handle the task since I was able to do minor task such as oil change, changing the alternator, gas filters, etc. Well I was wrong, as it was taking me forever to do the job and I was getting frustrated. I ended up taking the car to the mechanic.

According to Kapp:

Assessing skill often determines how sophisticated a product you buy. Someone who fancies himself an expert photographer will likely buy a more sophisticated and feature-rich camera. The more skilled you think you are, the more money you are likely to spend because high-skill products usually cost more. The problem is, we’re poor judges of our skill level relative to other consumers and relative to the array of product offerings.

We’re continually making bad purchasing decisions, buying items that are beyond our skill level or well below it, according to research by Burson and other academics. So we buy low-skill products and become bored, or we buy high-skill products and become frustrated or in some cases even injure ourselves.

 Here are tips that you can find on his article to better assess your skills and buy more appropriate products:
1.) Compare yourself to other’s, not the task’s difficulty
2.) Seek objective help.
3.) Become familiar with the range of products and prices.
4.) Don’t confuse confidence with skill
5.) Examine your motivation
6.) Watch retailers.
7.) If uncertain, buy used.

1 thought on “Shoppers, Know Thyself”

  1. Pingback: Festival of Frugality #84 | The Frugal Law Student

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