Difficult purchasing decisions

Wondering if any of you might want to share your experiences having difficulty deciding on what model/brand of a relatively minor object to purchase. Ever go out thinking you will quickly pick up a seemingly innocuous generic product, only to be bewildered by the choices involved?

I pretty much hate shopping. And I would claim (tho my wife would disagree) that I am relatively easy to please as far as what I want in most consumer objects. But yesterday I met my Waterloo as I went shopping for A GOLF BAG!

My old bag was probably 12 years old. Most of the zippers were broken, and it was pretty beat up. So for Father’s Day, my wife said I could go out and buy any golf bag I wanted. I kinda gave her a hard time, saying, “Why didn’t you just get me one. I don’t really care.” She said she looked at some, but upon seeing what was involved, she figured the choice was best left up to me. I pooh-poohed her concerns, and jogged out the door, promising to be back in about 1/2 hour.

My goodness but what a lot of minor differences in golf bags. I have started pulling mine on a pullcart instead of carrying them, so I wanted one that would fit on my cart well. Well, the vast majority of bags are the tripod-standup ones. But they have an infinite variety of trigger mechanisms that may or may not interfere with their seating on the cart. Yet other tripods are expressly made to cart, and have a strap restraining the legs.

Then there are the various dividers on the top. Everything from 3 slots, to individual holes for each club. Do you want fuzzy stuff to protect your graphite shafts?

And the pockets! My goodness, some of them have so many pockets you could practically put a single ball and tee in each one. Not to mention the soft-lined pocket for “valuables.” The insulated pocket for drinks. And - horror of horrors - the cell phone pocket. Excuse me, but carrying a cell phone on the course should be an automatic 2 stroke penalty. Using it, and especially having it ring, should require that you automatically buy the beer for your 4-some.

Would you like a separate well for the putter? How do you like to carry your umbrella? Rain cover? Single shoulder strap or double. And of course, not all straps are made the same. Padding on the bag where it rests on your back?

And we haven’t even discussed colors yet.

So you end up looking at 2 apparently identical bags, trying to figure out why one is $39 and the other is $139. And, of course, the 50 $99 dolar bags at store #1 are not the same 50 bage store #2 is also offering for $99. You start thinking it really doesn’t matter - any of them will be fine, and a vast improvement on the old bag. But then you keep saying, I’m gonna have this thing for sometime. I really should put the effort into the decision up front, instead of regretting my choice for a long time.

2 hours later, I had been to 4 stores, 2 of them twice. And I got to come home to be mercilessly mocked by the 3 Dinsdale ladies.

But I have a new bag! Let’s hope I don’t have to do that for another 12 years at least!

“A poor man cannot afford to buy cheap things.”

Wiser words were never spoken…

When in utter, hopeless doubt, I buy one up from the mid-range. When in utter, hopeless doubt verging on despair, I buy the most expensive.

I’m a trained economist, but sometimes finding the supply/demand curve that fits the situation isn’t possible. But I know that trying to save a few bucks to start has led to multiple purchases later, so…I tend to buy expensive, but not often. I choose my toys carefully, but then go for quality.

(I will have to admit that this did burn me last year when I bought a DVD player. I bought a top-of-the-line, no region, 5.1 surround for $500…4 months later ALL DVD’s slashed their prices in a competition war and you can now buy the same stuff for $100…grumble grumble…)


I will buy a $1000.oo (US) camera on a lark, but agonize over what toaster to get.

This really happened recently. I had just purchased a good Nikon outfit to upgrade my equipment. I hadn’t planned on it, but there I was on eBay, plopping down multiple hundreds of dollars for something I didn’t really need, I just wanted it.

Next day, I decide I am tired of having no toaster since my old one got lost in the move, so I head out to Walmart to get one. $20.00 bucks, 20 minutes, right?

NO! They’ve got 2 slice vs 4 slice, they’ve got ones that have bg enough slots for bagels, they’ve got microprocessor controls on some! :rolleyes: And don’t even think about toaster ovens!

When I finally calmed myself down enough (getting odd looks from the poor kid whose stuffed tiger I stole to console me… good fluffer muffin, yes you are, yes you are, it’ll be ok…rowf fft fft!), I decide on keeping with the same type of toaster I grew up with. (Not a preposition if you look at it backwards. Don’t want the grammar police coming down on my head) A normal slot size 2 slotter with the only controls being the light/dark knob and the thingy you push down to make toast go.

And there were still about 14 models to choose from, priced from $11.97 to $44.00.

Finally, I just picked the one with the coolest looking box. It was $22.00 or so.

Good grief!

Guys, guys…don’t you know that when presented with multiple choices – you’re just supposed to get one of everything? :smiley:

It’s horrible! I’ve had my home computer for maybe five years now and still haven’t bought a printer. It took months of research before settling on the computer, but the printer was beyond me at that point. I figured I’d do without and use the time getting to know my needs before purchasing a printer. Ha! Ha ha ha ha! Every time I get oriented with the techy vocab, read through a million reviews and buyer’s guides, etc. I go to make my purchase. Only that model isn’t available or there’s a new one that’s different but how? I get tunnel vision, start to shake, and have to get out of the store and breathe into a paper bag after about twenty minutes. As bad as buying a printer is, I shudder to think of the horror that is buying a scanner.

In my experience, the more meaningless and varied the features, the harder the decision. I went through this buying a refrigerator recently. Now a refrigerator is essentially a big box that keeps things cold. Once you have a product that does this, you don’t need too many bells and whistles. But boy do they have them. Ice makers. Water filters. Ice dispensers. Electronic thermostats with LEDs on the doors displaying the temperature. Shelves that slide and shelves that don’t slide and shelves that have “drip-proof” rims. Side-by-side, freezer on top, freezer on the bottom, and freezer hidden in alternate dimension. Black, white, stainless steel, extra-wide, extra-shallow, and side-by-side refrigerators that will hold pizzas and turkeys and entire sides of bison.

(The one thing they didn’t have was a fridge that was the same size as the one I was replacing – sort of a problem because I had naively ordered cabinets assuming that refrigerator widths were standardized, like dishwashers and stoves.)