1. Always know what you want and what you want to do with it
Say you want to buy a camera. What are you using it for? Do you prefer simple point-and-shoot or do you need a DSLR?
2. Do research on the product using the many reviews on the internet.
Get to know the latest products or if a new product is due to out soon. You might want to wait a bit
3. When reading reviews, go to  a website that is specific about the product you are interested in. 
You want to buy cameras, go to a photographer's review site or forum. These people really know their stuff. Sure, normal consumer electronics website like CNet is good too but it still is good to get professional's opinion.
4. Get to know the details and what they mean.
So after reading the reviews you stumble upon some jargons. What do they mean? What's the difference between a full-frame sensor and a four-thirds? Fire up some Wiki.
5. Pick a few products you particularly like and go window shopping. 
Go and try the real thing. Does it look as good as the jpegs? Does it feel right on your hands? Too big? Too large? Are the buttons reachable?
6. Talk to the storekeeper. 
Ask him the hard stuffs. See if he knows what he's talking about. If not, don't listen to his recommendation. It is good to also make sure that you are going to purchase a product at its authorized dealer. You might bump into trouble if the thing breaks down later.
7. Eliminate the ones you tried but didn't like.
You've read about it, you've seen in, you've touched it. Cross out the ones you didn't like. 
8. Compare the remaining options and think realistically.
Focus on the ones remaining, justify the features and the price. Do you really need that feature that'll cost a few hundred bucks more or are you going to be fine without it?
9. Make up your mind and go buy. 
At this point, you've made up your mind. Don't listen to the salesperson or whoever else. You've done your work, there's no time to second guess.
10. Keep the receipt and settle all the warranty forms etc.
You'll never know when your purchase breaks down and you couldn't find the receipt.. Oh oh..
11. Enjoy your purchase.


I've used to not do all this things. It's a bit of a hassle right? Nonetheless, I've learnt that people don't shit money and it's a bad feeling, paying money for things that are below expectations or stumbling through impossible returns and repairs.

Some people finds it easy to just tell them shop people what they wanted. Some of my friends prefer those people's opinion rather than their friends suggestion. Weird if you think about it. You are putting all your trust on a person you barely know and would forget about soon after. Maybe people think that he works there, he knows his stuff. Maybe. That's why you need to ask those hard questions. Test before trust.

Another thing people often do is paying too much attention on the technical side of things that they neglect the human interaction side of it. Computers particularly. So okay, that laptop is super duper, the memory is vast but does it fit your lifestyle? If you travel a lot, would a brick heavy laptop be a burden? If you plan to do work on site, does the meager 2 hour battery life enough for you? How's the trackpad? Are you careless? Would that particular model crumble to pieces if you accidently drop it? How long's the warranty? It goes on and on and on..

We also pay money for stuffs we don't need. What do you plan to do with that computer? Dengar lagu? MySpace? Are you doing 3D rendering on that thing? How about heavy games? No? They what's the extra RM1000 for that super duper graphics card for? Save it and get a bigger hard disk instead. Or get an iPod for me. Hehe.. and oh, is it really necessary to have a few dozen iPods?

Well, I talk a lot but I pun buat those things too. It's just that I really we need to look into our spending and look at where we are losing money. Nothing is free after all.

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