I got a brand new monitor yesterday. 20.1″ ViewSonic was bit more expensive than I had initially budgeted, but I’m happy with the purchase. The wide screen view is something I haven’t got used to (yet), but switching from CRT monitor to TFT one sure has improved my working conditions. My eyes like the sharp screen (at least I’m brainwashing myself to think that way – perhaps it’s true), and that’s one of the main reasons why I got the new screen.
I have some rules that I follow when I do purchases, and here’s three of them:
I consult people smarter than me
I check with some of my geek friends who know more about hardware than me, and also check out some magazine reviews before buying. I also hear the salesperson and compare his talk with what I’ve heard (it’s pretty easy to spot those who are more interested in selling rather than serving.) I also try the product at the shop if possible. By doing this I hope to get a better picture about what products are worth buying.
I don’t buy “bit more expensive version” over and over
It’s easy to spend $300 on some gadget, just to notice that with “only $50” more I can get a bigger gadget. And with “only $1002 more a premium version of the bigger gadget. There’s no limit. That’s why I set up some budget, and try to stick with it. I simply set some limit. If I want a widget that costs $300, I don’t spend $450 because “it was such a good deal”.
I don’t buy cheap
Well, at least I try not to invest in cheap. Basically I don’t buy the most expensive gadgets, but definitely not the cheapest. While in some products it’s a matter of perceived value, it can be said that really cheap products come with less quality. Investing some extra often means better quality. In the end, cheap might end up costing more in terms of time and money. They might go broke and time is wasted with returns.
I don’t suggest that a higher price would automatically mean better quality. That’s something you can find out by asking for recommendations and learn by trying. I simply mean that getting the cheapest version isn’t necessarily a wise move. Sometimes it might be a good thing, but I tend to put some extra to ensure quality.
The new monitor costed bit more than I planned, but by simply thinking how important the quality of the monitor can be for my eyes – I have no doubt that it wasn’t a good purchase.