August 1, 2010

Purchases That I Regret

Over the years I've bought things that I wish I hadn't.  Like everyone I am not perfect and I make mistakes.   Many of those mistakes are pretty easily avoidable.

Purchases I regret

Maintenance for my car at a car dealer.   One time several years ago took my previous car to the dealer to get the regular maintenance checkup done.   It was probably something like a 50,000 or 75,000 checkup.  I don't know for sure what they did.   I didn't check the price before hand and I didn't shop around.   Cost $400.

ASL Solutions DP Hunter Insulated Dog HouseEarlier this year we got a dog house with a heater mat for our newly adopted dog.   Its a perfectly good dog house and we paid a reasonable price for it.   I don't think the dog has used it at all.  Cost $180

Manual lawn trimmer thing that barely works.  I since realized that our weed wacker pivots to act as an edger and I now don't use the manual tool.  Cost $25. (?)

I got an HD-DVD player during the battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats.  I got it in late 2007 and shortly after that the HD-DVD format died.  Its now no better than a $50 DVD player.  Cost $200.

URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle w/ MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlasterAbout 3 years ago I bought a remote control that will work from anywhere in the house.   At the time I was going to use it to control my Tivo box while I was using the computer in the other room.  I barely used it.  Cost $120.

Over 10 years ago I got a X10 home remote control system.  I bought this one because I followed a banner ad on a webpage.   It looked like a neato gadget.  It actually was a very neato gadget but I barely ever used it and it sat in a closet for years.  Cost $50.

Many years ago I got an off brand CD changer for my car.  It was a very good price at the time.   Unfortunately the good price was not a bargain for what turned out to be a very very poor product.   I really regret that purchase. Cost $130 (?)

Over the years I've bought various video games at the store because the box looked good.   I have had several PC games that I distinctly remember paying $20 or more for and then playing just a few hours.   These games weren't really that bad but they just weren't my kind of game or not a great use of my money.   I've probably had at least 5 games in this category.   Cost $100

 Around 7 years ago I went on a vacation to Florida.  I got a rental car from Thrifty in Orlando (who has 1.5 out of 5 stars at Yelp) and at the checkout they did a hard sell on extra insurance.   I wasn't sure what insurance I needed or what kind of coverage I had so I went ahead and got the optional insurance.   Cost $50-$100

All together thats about $1000 that I have spent or over-spent and now regret.   This list does span many years but it is just the items off the top of my head and I probably have other regretted expenses.    I've probably spent $100-$200 or more in a typical year on items I later turn around and regret.   So what can I do to stop this?   I should look at why I'm making these purchases and what I can do to stop them.

Mistakes I made

Don't buy things on a whim based on marketing.   The X10 system and video games are things I've bought on an impulse due to good marketing which turned out to be things I didn't really want or like all that much.  

Buying without research.   The CD changer I bought was a bargain and I had not heard of the brand.   I should have done some market research to see if they were any good.   I should have figured out what I needed for rental car insurance before going on vacation.

Shop around before buying.   I really should have called a few auto shops before I got my car serviced.  I'm sure I could have saved a substantial amount by doing so compared to what I ended up paying the dealer.

Don't gamble on new technology formats.   If I had held off a few more months before buying the HD-DVD player then the format war would have ended and I could have then safely used my money and bought a Blu-ray player.

You're still going to make simple mistakes in purchases.   The dog house, remote control and lawn edger are products that I really thought I'd use but just ended up not using. 

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