Be A Better Buyer

When you wish to purchase turning accessories, or anything for that matter, there are two scenarios in which you might find yourself. 1) You know the specific item you are seeking and just want the best value without overpaying, 2) you have a specific problem or task you wish to solve, but are unsure of the best solution for your issue.

An example for the first situation might be that you want a round carbide scraper for use with green wood bowl blanks. You have very limited choices, i.e. tool size and handle length. There are generally only two brands to choose from and one offers a limited size selection but can be much less expensive. Being a better buyer entails asking if there are any alternative brands, discounts, specials, or package deals available. You already know what you want and what you are going to use it for.

The second situation is the one I see more often. Folks will ask for a specific item, but seem a bit unsure of their purchase or hesitate when I hand it to them. That is my que to ask how they are going to use that item and very often I can recommend a more appropriate choice. Sometimes what I recommend costs less money, sometimes a bit more, but the recommended tool is a better fit for their situation.

In order to be a better buyer, I recommend that you briefly explain the situation you are faced with then ask for the knowledgeable salesperson’s recommendation to solve it. If you already had an idea of what it would take and they confirm your selection, you can be pretty sure your approach was the right one. If they recommend something entirely different, mention what you originally had in mind and get their reaction. A very knowledgeable salesperson can sometimes recommend a solution that you didn’t even know existed.

Four Magic Questions:

I also recommend that you ask four questions in either scenario: 1) is there a less expensive alternative? 2) If I only need to do this once or infrequently, is there a better – less expensive alternative? 3) If money weren’t the issue what would you recommend? 4) If you were in my situation, what would you do?

Seasoned salespeople regardless of the item or field have spent countless hours learning their products so they can often be the best source of information (you can quickly discern if they are new or uninformed). Many are avid users or participants themselves and are very often glad to share their knowledge with you. In this information age, it is a given that if you are going to spend more than a couple of bucks that you have researched your dilemma via the internet. My first choice is a search engine and usually involves YouTube at some point. I scan various blogs and other articles to educate myself about whatever it is I am in the market for at the moment. It helps tremendously if you understand the jargon used to describe your choices. Ultimately you have to make the decision, it helps if you gather as much information as practical along the way.

In summary, “Question Me an Answer” is always a good approach because wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this message.
Prov 20:14 NIV2
“It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer— then goes off and boasts about the purchase.

John 16:30 NIV
Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

Matt 10:16 KJV
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

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