When I was growing up, significant purchases were a very big deal in my family. More often than not my father was the one to make the decisions. A production ensued. Much research, note-taking and time was involved. I can see him now in my mind’s eye, poring over catalogues and information stacked on the dining room table. By god we’re going to buy the right toaster the right way if it kills us.
As a result, decades later, making purchases is not exactly my strong suit. Indecision is my personal shopper. I have to check everything out, weigh my options carefully, blah, blah. Now that there are so very MANY things to buy, it is all that much more confounding. In stores I suspect I look shifty, like a potential shop lifter because I take so long looking at everything (although on my behalf let me say I look at everything out of curiosity too).
Liberal return policies are my Kindly Friends. My insurance policy in case I get the wrong thing or I don’t like it after all. Whew! And I dare say I’ve gotten better about all this. I’ve noticed, shockingly, that disaster does not necessarily ensue if all the proper techniques are not first employed before daring to actually buy something.
Although I take plenty of time before online purchases too, Amazon has almost made a reformed woman out of me. Not only do they not need a big song and dance from the customer who has decided not to keep an item – which years of shopping in brick & mortar stores beat into me: “Oh please, Sullen Customer Service Representative, may I trouble you from your busy schedule of shirking and scowling in order to return this piece-o-crap?” – the place on the online form where you can type in the “reason for return” has a word limit! I think they saw me coming.