“How do I buy thee, let me count the ways”. Excuse the parody on Shakespeare, but in today’s tougher economic climate, we all feel the necessity to cut back, scale back or just not purchase those items that we more readily used to.
There is no lack of ways to buy things – at a store, at a flea market, at a garage sale, at an on-line store, at an on-line swap and save.
There is no lack of ways of paying for our purchases – cash, debit cards, credit cards and through payment-based websites.
There is no lack of ways to be parted from our money – direct purchases, get-rich-quick schemes, buy-now-pay-later purchases, land/vacation deals and more.
Regardless of what we buy and how we pay, we must choose with a greater degree of wisdom how we are going to be better stewards of our resources.
With health and wellness purchasing it is no different. Indeed, with the plethora of product offerings and fantastic health claims, it becomes even more important to buy with wisdom combined with frugality.
How do we know the real value of something? How do we judge the cost-effectiveness of something? How do we assure that we are being prudent in caring for our family’s health and wellness? Good questions deserve good answers.
Assessing the real value of any purchase is fraught with problems. Buying something is a physical activity but more importantly, it is an emotional activity.
That is why buying only what we can afford and what is most beneficial and having control of our emotions in doing so is still the best policy. We generally do not like ‘sales people’ because they ‘toy’ with our emotions. Think of when you were buying an automobile, an appliance, some furniture, a vacation time-share.
A wise purchaser assesses not only the properties, the features and the benefits of the physical product but must also asses the emotions tied to that product. That would eliminate a whole lot of impulse buying and reduce the ‘buyers-remorse’ instances to nearly zero.
Specifically, when it comes to health and wellness products, my advice is to study, study and study some more, the offerings from the manufacturers, the suppliers, and the distributors before buying any nutritional supplement.
Why in the recent past have so many ‘juices’, ‘concentrates’, oils and such become so popular. Is it the claims put forward or is it because real scientific data supports these products? The maxim ‘If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is’ certainly should be applied here.
With the internet literally at our finger tips, there should be no excuse for not being informed. Be aware, of course, that all that is written is not necessarily true! My advice is to list all the facts that you have heard or read about a product and categorize them in terms of the following.
1) Scientific Validity (actual physical and chemical truth).
Ask these questions – Is this a ‘new’ element or a new discovery? Why has science take so long to discover it? Are there scientific-journal articles available? What does the science community say about it?)
2) Practicality of any Claim.
Ask these questions – Is it indeed too good to be true? Does it really make any sense? Why hasn’t anyone else heard of this? Why is this only now coming to light? Who is making the claim? What are their credentials?
3) Manufacturer and Process.
Ask these questions – Who is making the product? Where is it being made? (sorry, but there are some areas of the world from which I would never buy anything!) What are the processes involved in making the product? Is it a natural or man-made product and process?
4) The Cost-Effectiveness Ratio.
Ask the following questions – What is the primary cost determinant – the product, the process or the profit? What ingredient is the most costly and why? Are there other ingredients that will do the same but are much less costly?
These certainly are not the only things to consider when buying health and wellness products but they do help in reducing the stress in deciding what to buy.
Do you tend to buy cheaper or will you now buy wiser?