Adult Content Warning

This community may contain adult content that is not suitable for minors. By closing this dialog box or continuing to navigate this site, you certify that you are 18 years of age and consent to view adult content.

How I Buy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by downndirty, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. downndirty

    downndirty
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    491
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,476
    My girlfriend was shopping for a particular pair of shoes. She looked on Amazon, and balked at the price. I showed her Google Shopping, and she found what she wanted. Who doesn't use Google shopping?

    I work in sales, and I'm always curious what people search for, how they buy what influences their decision. One of the CTO's I sold to said he always delays a business purchase for no less than 6 weeks to see how his team will work without the intended purchase. That behavior shocked me a bit, but it makes sense.

    I just bought a used Prius for around $5k. My giant SUV was leaking oil, and I was sick of waiting on the next death rattle to be it's last. I never wanted a Prius specifically, but my next gig might involve a commute in excess of 45 minutes one-way, and it's pointless hauling a gym bag and a laptop in a vehicle designed to transport 6 humans and a half ton of luggage. I didn't talk to the sales guy (UGH) until I had looked up all the cons around owning one of the little fuckers, and I was confident I could re-sell it for at least $1500 more than I put into it.

    Focus: How do you shop? Where do you ask advice on your purchases? What are your buying no-no's?
     
  2. Juice

    Juice
    Expand Collapse
    Moderately Gender Fluid

    Reputation:
    1,409
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    13,608
    Location:
    Boston
    I use credit cards for everything. I cant remember the last time i used a debit card except for ATM withdrawals and even then, I rarely have cash on me. There are so many great rewards programs out there that its silly not to and its much better from an ID theft perspective. Also, I am pretty loyal customer so if I find a vendor or store I really like, I tend to stick with them. For any big purchases I usually google the item and look at the reviews on Amazon or some third-party site and never the manufacturers or store's site.
     
  3. Trakiel

    Trakiel
    Expand Collapse
    Call me Caitlyn. Got any cake?

    Reputation:
    245
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,167
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    Like Juice I pretty much use my credit card for everything except my bills - I use my bank's bill pay system for that. I usually keep about $25 in cash on me for tips and other small purchases.
     
  4. downndirty

    downndirty
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    491
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,476
    As a by-product of being in sales, I have a credit card for travel, hotels, food related to work (that card ONLY gets used for reimbursement). I'm curious if it will hurt my score to get a second one for more routine purchases. I'm definitely one of the morons who uses a debit card for everything, and I know it needs to stop.
     
  5. Nettdata

    Nettdata
    Expand Collapse
    Mr. Toast

    Reputation:
    2,907
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    26,081
    I don't buy much "big stuff" except for tools or things like that (which I have a few suppliers for already), but I find I buy a lot of little things from Amazon... purely because it's so convenient, it's what I want instead of settling on what's in stock, and usually at a better price.

    It's just so damn handy to be doing something, realize that _____ would make it easier, pull out your phone, and a minute and "one click purchase" later, it's on the way.

    I just can't stand driving somewhere to park and then deal with shitty service people in a store charging me overpriced amounts for inventory that isn't really what I wanted in the first place, if it's there at all and the trip wasn't a waste of time. I'll gladly pay a premium for buying exactly what I want from the comfort of my own home at 2 in the morning and having it delivered within a couple of days.

    Just this past 2 weeks alone I've purchased:

    -- a fire pit (less than half the price than what was at the local Home Depot or Lowes, and better quality)
    -- Epifane's spar urethane (can't even find it locally)
    -- 2 books (one on gardening, one on designing data-intensive applications <-- not even available anywhere locally)
    -- 3 new cooking pans (Amazon Basics is the bomb)
    -- 9 new Hanes pocketed t-shirts for working in the shop (multiple colours, on sale, for less than $3 per shirt... compared to $25 each at the local Marks)
    -- a new pair of business casual shoes (joys of client site meetings again)
    -- 2 new pairs of business casual pants (knowing your size is key, but still 50% off compared to the local stores)
    -- 4 new 1/4" patch cables, 20' long, to wire up my PA into my home office, again 1/2 the price compared to the local music shop
    -- 2 Arduinos and misc electronic components (starting an automated watering system project in preparation of moving my herb garden indoors)
    -- 1 long-reach log grabber for the fire pit... at $12, it's cheap Chinesium stuff, but it works well, and is, again, 50% off the local store's closest comparable that isn't as good)
    -- a new camera for my mom who just went away on a vacation for a couple of weeks.

    The biggest savings was the camera. Mom has been a loyal customer of a local camera shop, so we went looking there. We found a camera she liked, and a bunch of add-ons, but I convinced her to not buy anything. Came home and found the exact same stuff on Amazon for $320 cheaper. $320. And we were constantly harassed by the staff to purchase the aftermarket warranty, which is just a cash-grab on their part.

    The days of buying commodity shit from bricks and mortar middlemen is coming to a close, and this camera purchase really hit home for my mom... she's now got the Amazon app installed on her phone, which is a big fucking deal. She's learning that it's not always cheapest, you have to be careful about what you're buying, and to look around at options... but for a lot of stuff, it's the way to go.
     
  6. Revengeofthenerds

    Revengeofthenerds
    Expand Collapse
    ER Frequent Flyer Platinum Member

    Reputation:
    1,061
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    13,168
    I'm a whore to Amazon. I have a card that gets me miles on Southwest Airlines, and an Amazon card that gets me points there.

    Two kids and any store (even Walmart) is at least an hour long proposition round trip, not including time to shop there. I'd rather just have it delivered to me. I can't count the number of little tools and crap I've ordered from there that make life easier. Some of those things that don't make or break a job, but really take the edge off an otherwise bitchy task.
     
  7. Nettdata

    Nettdata
    Expand Collapse
    Mr. Toast

    Reputation:
    2,907
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    26,081
    On that note, she did have a funny "learning experience" with it. She thought it'd be good to enable one-touch purchase, but she didn't quite understand how to use the GUI.

    End result was that she was looking for soapstone carvings of hippos like were in Kenya on our safari, and next thing you know, one of these shows up at the door, and she paid stupid amounts of money for it.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Juice

    Juice
    Expand Collapse
    Moderately Gender Fluid

    Reputation:
    1,409
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    13,608
    Location:
    Boston
    In the short term, yes. Only because running a credit inquiry for the new card and opening a line of credit will always impact your score. But maintaining a good payment schedule and keeping your debt:credit ratio under 30% will help build it.
     
  9. Czechvodkabaron

    Czechvodkabaron
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    95
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    615
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Similar to some others who have already posted here, I use a credit card for pretty much all my purchases. I usually use either Discover or Amex, but I have several others, including an Amazon one. Having my debit card number stolen in 2009 and getting the Acai pills and a bunch of other diet stuff that the thief had bought delivered to my place was enough to make me stop with the debit purchases. I also have my student loan payment and car insurance payment automatically set to withdraw from my bank account each month.

    Honestly, I have kind of gotten addicted to credit card rewards and might be better off withdrawing a set amount of cash each week and sticking to a budget, but since I have never failed to pat my credit card balance every Thursday I will stick to carrying only small amounts of cash.
     
  10. Binary

    Binary
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    404
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    4,134
    Credit card for everything. Paid off 100% at the end of the month (it's just set to auto-pay the statement balance from my checking account). I get paid hundreds of dollars every year for the credit card companies to float me interest-free 30-day loans. Nobody should use debit cards except to visit the ATM, unless they have a real problem with financial mismanagement. If nothing else, credit cards protect you from fraud: you may not be liable for fraudulent charges on your debit card, but until the bank finishes the investigation, the thieves have still spent your actual money. With credit cards, they're playing with house money.

    I do some not-extreme manipulating of rewards programs. I have 3 credit cards, one gives me double points on some categories but has a great rewards system, one gives me 5% cash back on rotating categories every quarter, and one gives me double points on everything but has a less-than-great rewards system. I balance my purchases to make the most of those categories/points. I don't do the crazy churning, but at the end of the year, I always end up with at least a few free plane tickets or hotel rooms or whatever.

    I'm a whore for Amazon because of that sweet, sweet Prime shipping. Instant gratification for small items is amazing, and I hate going to shitty big-box stores. I support some local businesses, like the awesome local pet store, but when I run out of paper towels or something, it's straight to Amazon. Usually within a buck or two of going to Wal-Mart, and I don't have to deal with the people who shop and work at Wal-Mart.

    I tend to be obsessive about product research. Sometimes it gets out of hand - I really don't need to spend more than an hour figuring out the best $6 widget. But it does mean that I'm rarely unhappy with my purchases, which counts for something I guess.
     
  11. walt

    walt
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    439
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,297
    I try to shop local, I really do. But a lot of the local, small business owners around here make it difficult. Or maybe I should ay they make it easy to go to Amazon Prime or a big box chain in the nearby shopping plaza.

    Today was a perfect example. I was looking to buy a shotgun for our sons who are now old enough to hunt. I sent to two locally owned businesses where the staff was too busy to even ask if I needed anything ( not the first time for one of them ). Went to Field and Stream where the staff were very helpful and friendly, they got my money.

    So I try, but usually Amazon Prime wins both for price and convenience.
     
  12. wexton

    wexton
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    359
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,281
    Location:
    North Coast BC
    Same, I try to shop locally. But sometimes the price is just to much. I understand we live in a tiny little town far away from the distribution centres(1500km). I know shipping and such costs money. But when I can buy something off amazon for 40 bucks, and you want 100, sorry, amazon gets my business.
     
  13. Flat_Rate

    Flat_Rate
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    132
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,490
    Snap On is getting the same way, priced a set of EZ Red xl ratcheting spline wrenches on the truck today and he wanted $299.

    Amazon has them for $136. I would have bought them from my Snap On guy but I'm not paying you that kind of mark up.
     
  14. downndirty

    downndirty
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    491
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,476
    I get that the reason you pay that much is because you don't have to wait. But...they're tools. You'd think most folks are a bit more prepared than that.

    Also, when it comes to non-power tools, I will hit Craigslist or even a pawn shop. The price for new tools is silly, since it's not like a ratchet set has gotten any better in the last 30 years.
     
  15. Flat_Rate

    Flat_Rate
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    132
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,490
    Having a guy come by once a week for warranty is nice but it isn't 120% markup nice.

    A master set of Snap On sockets 3/8 drive is $700 dollars now - they aren't worth that in any sense.

    I bought my wife an entry level DSLR last year, went to a local camera place and they want ridiculous prices. Went on EBay and found a Nikon D3300 with two lenses-tripod-three memory cards and a bag for 50% less than the camera shop wanted for just the body of a D3300.

    That's insanity.
     
  16. downndirty

    downndirty
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    491
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,476
    The retail markup game is getting out of hand, it's a death spiral: you markup too much, then no one bothers to purchase (or worse, you're a showroom which entails all the work, but no sales). You don't sell because you're so expensive, so you have to markup even higher, until your customers sense you're a rip off and stop coming in.

    The tool sets teach a dangerous lesson to the companies: if you build something that lasts forever, there will be a re-seller market for it and it cannibalizes new sales.

    If I'm buying for myself, I almost always start with refurbs or used. I generally don't give a shit, can fix it if it breaks, and can find the brand/thing I want with a nice chunk off of list.
     
  17. shimmered

    shimmered
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    351
    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    4,469
    Same.

    I love small business but because of pricing I limit it to using them for things like personal care. My brow and wax girls are local shops rather than a chain shop. Things like that.

    For my own shopping needs I am alllll about delayed gratification. I tend to eyeball things for ages before purchase.
     
  18. Revengeofthenerds

    Revengeofthenerds
    Expand Collapse
    ER Frequent Flyer Platinum Member

    Reputation:
    1,061
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    13,168
    The subscribe and save thing on amazon is a godsend. Dog food, duck feed, diapers, toilet paper, we save at least $30 a month on it.

    Money talks and bills don’t pay themselves. If I can save money without skimping on quality, im going to.