The Smart Way to Avoid Buyer's Remorse

Publish Date: October 29, 2012

By: Matthew Wallace

Everyone has experienced buyer’s remorse at one time or another—that gut-wrenching, guilt-inspiring feeling of emotional dread one feels in the aftermath of a budget-busting purchase. Like anyone else just starting out, young physicians are intent on buying things to furnish a home, personalize a workspace, or make their lives easier, and it’s likely that the purchase of some of those goods and services will foster regret. Here are some strategies to help minimize buyer’s remorse:

Plan carefully.  Don’t fall for the one-day-only sales tactic only to purchase so hastily that what seemed like a great deal turns out to be anything but. Schedule major purchases a week or a month out, and do some homework on the item in the meantime; space purchases so one can fully paid for before making another large purchase. If the item cannot be paid for in cash fully, utilize store offers such as layaway or zero-interest ;same as cash; credit offers (but make sure to pay off the item on time to avoid any interest payments that become due if the payment period is exceeded).

Research before committing. Research brands, features, weigh pros and cons to ensure the item fully serves the intended purpose, and shop for the best prices by checking comparison websites and downloading apps that alert users when an item’s price plummets. Read peer reviews and scorecards from consumer reporting groups to gauge others’ real-world experience with the item.

Buy at the right time. Acquiring something for a fraction of the cost makes for a steal of a deal instead of a recipe for regret. Time major purchases for traditional sale seasons—for example, January for winter clothes and holiday clearance items; June for televisions, refrigerators, and home improvement items; and October for automobiles.

Know return policies, keep receipts. File receipts in a folder by month or by type so it’s easier to find them to facilitate returns, exchanges, and proof of warranty. Having an original receipt can make the difference between getting a complete refund,  just store credit, a partial refund based on the item’s current price (which could be significantly lower than the purchase price), or absolutely nothing. Also, if the price of an item has been slashed within days or weeks of the purchase, presenting the original receipt may prompt the retailer to provide a price adjustment (erasing some of that buyer’s remorse). Leave tags on clothing until they are worn so they can be easily returned if buyer’s remorse sets in. Save packing materials for mail-order items so they can be reused for the return.

Protect the ability to purchase anything by protecting income

One purchase that will never prompt buyer’s remorse is physicians disability insurance. It’s a smart purchase because the coverage protects a young physician’s greatest asset—the ability to earn an income—and fortunately, premium amounts can be tailored in keeping with a young physician’s limited income during his or her early years in practice. Contact a professional insurance agent to learn more about physicians disability coverage.