I’m always the last to get a joke. Hours later, usually on the bus home, I’ll giggle at some of the night’s witticisms. I often turn up late to dinners/ meetings/ dates. I leave things to the last minute, and take days to reply to emails, texts or phonecalls. Some people are morning people. Other folk are people of the night. I’m one of the late people. Any time, any day, I’m sure to be running behind on something.
The same goes with purchases. I have a MacBook, but it’s an old version and I only got it recently. I never owned a portable music device until I got an iPhone, and I am a member of the Walkman, Discman, iPod and MP3 player generation.
I only recently started watching the OC, and this year is the first in which the Beatles have regularly featured on my playlist. Lateness is my MO. Rather than being embarrassed about it, however, I wear it as a badge of pride.
Being the first to purchase a new item means a couple of things:
- You can brag about it to all your friends
- You can look hip
- You can have all the fun of new technology/ clothes/ furniture, while everyone else is trudging through with the old stuff.
Being the first to purchase a new item will also mean, more likely than not, you’ll pay an unreasonably high price for the item. It means that you’re buying without thought, which could lead to the purchase of items that are a flash in the pan or still being debugged.
Think about all the people who rushed out to buy the X-box when it first hit the shelves. Little did they know that the original X-boxes had an overheating fault and a severely reduced life expectancy. Luckily for them, the X-box came under a guarantee so they could get their money back. The new generation of X-boxes had that problem fixed.
What this example proves is that frantically buying every new piece of technology that comes out has the potential to mean that you’re buying a sub-standard product at an exceptionally high price. Waiting a year, maybe two, and you can have the same product for a significantly lower amount of money.
So how does being late to purchase save you money?
The prices go down
Technology dates as soon as it is released and while that doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality drops, it certainly means that the prices will. If you can take a step back and think about your purchases rationally, you’ll see that a model that is a year or two older is just as good as the current one and notably cheaper. Samsungs from three years ago make phone calls just as well as the one released last month.
You can save and pay cash
Deal, haggle and avoid credit card bills. Lots of places will give discounts for cash, and you’ll save on all the interest you would accrue on your credit card. Delaying a purchase will mean you can set aside the money, gradually.
You might not need it, in the end
Products will always be sold to you as a must-have. Delaying a purchase can prove how untrue that apparent ‘need’ is. Walking away from a purchase and thinking about it will save you a lot of money over the years, as rationality will often reassert, leaving you free to walk away from the purchase altogether.