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Want to know how you can be even more smart & savvy with your shopping? Here’s an easy and powerful way to change your mindset and to start shopping without regrets and restrictions.
Do you want to shop like a pro? And by pro I mean like a real purchaser or a buyer.
If you answer, “no, I don’t want to shop like a pro”, then I would kindly ask you to change your answer. You don’t want to miss this article.
If you answer, “yes, I would like to shop like a pro”, then you’re on your way to discovering balanced shopping habits and buying smarter without regrets and restrictions. So let’s start with a couple of questions:
Do you ask yourself questions when you shop?
Or do you know exactly what you want and just buy it?
2 questions people ask when buying stuff
When we go shopping for something nice for ourselves some of us ask these two questions : “what do I want/need?” and “cash or credit?“.
Some of us ask some extra questions like: “do I really need this?”, “can I afford this?” or “should I really buy this?”.
And none of us like the answers to those latter questions.
I worked as a buyer for years. And when doing professional buying a purchaser asks 9 questions (Yes, nine!). And if they don’t know the answer to one or more of them, they can’t nor won’t buy anything.
So what are those 9 questions to ask and to shop like a pro?
9 questions to ask if you want to shop like a pro
When buying professionally anything a purchaser needs to know the answers to these questions:
Well, that’s a lot to remember. But I have good news for you. You don’t have to remember these questions to shop like a pro.
No-one will remember 9 questions
When we see something we like and want, none of us are going to remember 9 questions.
Even remembering three is difficult.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember these 9 questions to shop like a pro, not even a shopping pro remembers all the questions. But they do consider all of them every time they buy something. A good buyer knows them by heart.
And after you read the next part, so will you.
So let’s dig a bit deeper and take our first steps so that soon you get to shop like a pro.
How to use the questions?
Pretend you are a buyer aka shopping pro going to a shopping mall.
So you have a client or an employer you are buying all the things for.
I’ll walk you through each of the question.
It’s unbelievable how differently we’d buy things if it’s for ourselves or for someone else.
Are you ready to have your mindset changed? Great! Because there’s no going back. Let’s go!
1. What to buy?
Your client has given you a list of things to buy and first on that list is a pair of jeans. What do you do?
I bet that if your client tells you to buy jeans, you buy jeans. Not scarfs, shoes and candy.
But if you go to a shopping mall to buy jeans for yourself, then why on earth do you buy a shirt, a scarf and a pair of shoes to go with the jeans? You wouldn’t do it to your client, so why do it to yourself? And do you go shopping with a shopping list? And if you do, do you stick to it?
2. How many?
Your client tells you to buy 2 arm chairs – she only has room for two in her home.
If that’s your task, would you buy 6? Or would you just buy her 2 stools instead because there was a BOGO deal on them? And would you justify that to her by saying: “you’ll need them one point”. I don’t think so.
Then why do that to yourself? Even though you would have room in your home for more things. If you always buy more than you need, your home will soon become a warehouse.
3. With what money?
Your client has given you a specific budget. And a good buyer stays on a budget.
She gives you the money in cash and of course you’re going to stay in budget otherwise you wouldn’t have a client anymore or you’d end up using your own money (which is just crazy!). So staying on a budget is a must.
So when you go shopping, do you have a budget? And if you do have a budget, do you stick to it?
To have a budget is not negotiable. Have a budget and preferable pay with cash. Otherwise you’re going to use money that wasn’t meant to be used on shopping that day. And hey! Credit card is magic money. It’s not real but an illusion.
4. For what price?
A good buyer knows what is a good price. And a good buyer knows that price should never be the only factor. Please let me repeat this. Price should never be the only factor.
Your client asks you to buy a certain perfume. She knows it should cost around 50 dollars. If you find it cheaper, great! But would you buy your client a different perfume only because it was on sale? If she asked you to buy the cheapest perfume, then go for it! But most likely your client already knows what she likes, and would like to stick with that one.
Same goes with you. First: know what you like. Second: don’t jeopardize your quality standards. Be aware of the price, but don’t let it determine your shopping.
5. From where?
Your client doesn’t tell you where to get your things, because she knows you’re the expert.
You know which place has the best price, but other things matter too. You want to buy the things from a place that give good customer service and is conveniently located – you don’t want to drive two hours just to save 10 bucks.
Your time is valuable.
How do you choose where you buy your things? Do you value your time over some petty savings you might make? Do you drive far just to save a few bucks and then waste your time on doing that. Don’t do that to yourself.
6. With what quality?
Your client knows what she likes and she likes things that don’t break immediately and look great even after couple washes.
She trusts certain brands but when it comes to buying a new jacket that she saw, she trusts your knowledge as a buyer.
You check the material of the jacket, and that the seams are done well.
You also do some research online, and see what others are saying.
And you bring the jacket to your client knowing she spend her money well.
But what about when you buy something for yourself? Do you know what quality you are looking for? Do you check reviews and recommendations online? Do you check in a store that the product is done well? Do you check what materials it’s made of?
And remember: quality and price go sometimes hand-in-hand, but not always.
Your client tells you to buy a huge Christmas tree. Would you buy it to her on May?
Or if your client would ask you to buy her a bag, but she could only afford it after next paycheck, would you go and buy it now with your credit card?
I think the answer to both of those questions is a no.
But what about you?
When do you buy your things? Do you buy things that could wait? Do you buy things before you can afford them? Do you use your credit card for “nice to have” shopping?
You should firmly say no when it’s not the right time to buy something and wait until it is.
8. How to store them?
Your client asks you to make sure she always has enough soap, toilet paper and milk. You could go and buy her 200 rolls of toilet paper, 5 gallons of soap and a cow – you don’t want the milk to go bad. But would your client be happy? Where would she put all of those things? Her home is not a warehouse.
And neither should yours be. The amount of time and money you think you save with buying things in bulk you lose by needing to have more closets, more storage space or even a bigger home. Storing things is expensive.
Or you could keep a lot of things in a smaller place. But with all that clutter you will end up spending your precious time looking for things and organizing them. Either way – no money and time is really saved, it’s just a make-believe.
9. How to get rid of?
Your client asks you to buy her a new couch – and the old one would have to go. As a buyer, it’s not your job to sell the old couch, or make sure it’s donated or trashed. But as a good buyer, you wouldn’t put your client in a situation where her living room is filled with couches. You need to be thinking what side-effects your buying has.
A good buyer always knows how long the bought things are going to be in one’s possession, because storing is expensive, clutter is time consuming and the stored things need to be maintained.
Things need to have a cycle and a flow – they come to your life and one point they leave your life. And again, if more things come to your life than leave, you end up with clutter and your home turns into a warehouse.
Do you use the “one thing comes in – one goes out” method? Or “one comes in – two goes out”? Or even “nothing comes in, before something has gone out”?
Or do you pile your shopping on what you already have?
Be your own client
Your hard-earned money is valuable and your time even more precious. Using them on excessive shopping and then maintaining the things you bought and dealing with clutter is not money or time well spent.
Be your own client.
Be important when you shop.
Know what you like.
Know your budget.
Choose according to your quality standards.
And don’t let price fool you.
Know your home is much more than a warehouse and that things need to have a flow.
What do you think? Are you ready to start shopping like a real pro? Let me know in the comments!