3 Mantras that will Prevent You from Getting Ripped Off
We often think of mantras in a religious sense, as a way to stay focused while praying or meditating. The mantras we describe today might not necessarily help you connect to the divine, but are designed to help you stay focused to your mission when you are about to make a purchase. If you truly cannot afford more than you have budgeted for a product or service, we do recommend that you used them religiously to avoid making purchases you are not prepared to make.
1. “If it’s included in the price”
Many times when an unsuspecting, relatively submissive consumer encounters a skilled salesperson, the consumer may be unaware that the salesperson is attempting to sell add-ons to a product, or “upsell” a service before the deal is finalized. While many of these additions may be a tremendous value, it is in you best interest to be aware of what you might be agreeing to throughout the conversation before you end up with an unexpected charge at the end of the transaction. When you come to a retail store to purchase a product and you are presented with exciting features and benefits you didn’t know about prior to talking to the salesperson, get ready to use this mantra:
“If it’s included in the price”
After explaining each of these awesome, new functions in detail, your sales rep will likely follow up with a check in question such as, “does this sound like something that would be of benefit to you?” or “Does this sound like something that would interest you?”
At this point, and every time a similar question is asked during the discussion simply say:
“If it’s included in the price.”
If it is not included in the price, your sales rep will take that opportunity to let you know this will be extra money. Then you can decide.
If the salesperson continues to make upsell attempts, and you continue to respond the same way, the rep may stop making further attempts to sell add-ons altogether. If you are on a tight budget, this is exactly what you will want to have happen.
2. “I just want my oil changed.”
Many fast lube services offer a price for an oil change that is less expensive than if you were to buy the oil, filter, and take on the task yourself. When customers leave they end up spending much more money than they would have on a DIY oil change. What happened? They got upsold.
Unlike the, “If it’s included in the price” mantra above, this one requires something more specific because it is quite obvious that a radiator flush is not going to be included in the price of a $19.95 oil change.
A Little Change would be to take a quick look at the owner’s manual for your vehicle prior to getting an oil change to determine which services are required by your manufacturer, as opposed to what is merely recommended. Neglecting to perform the required maintenance could void your warranty. If you are tightly budgeted you will want to pay only for the required services, and add the recommended ones at a later time when they are more affordable.
Drive thru oil change franchises will be very quick to let you know about all of your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. If you determine the only service you need for the mileage of your car is an oil change, commit to it and use the mantra, “I just want my oil changed” each and every time you are offered an additional recommended service.
It might go something like this:
“I notice you have a five year battery, and it has been four years already since you purchased it. It’s better to replace it now than have your battery die sometime down the road.”
“I just want my oil changed.”
Repeat as often as necessary to get the desired outcome.
3. “I’m not making a purchase today.”
There are two competing forces in the marketplace; consumers who want the best value for their money, and merchants who want to maximize their investment for acquiring a consumer. It costs money to get you in the door of a retail place, or to click on their website. The more money you spend when you visit, the better the return on the merchant’s advertising investment. On the other hand, you have limited resources and need to make sure you get the most from your investment–especially when spending large amounts of money. Both of these forces make for a thriving economy so this article is not intended to frame the situation as us vs. them, or you vs. them. That being said, you might need to make a Little Change in your purchasing strategy if you happen to be on a tight budget.
We have all heard that it’s best to check out at least three products, or get at least three estimates for a service prior to making a buying decision. We agree this is good advice, while acknowledging that few of us really adhere to it. This is where our mantra can help you stick to a smart purchasing strategy.
Whether you are in an appliance store, a new car lot, or have a home improvement sales rep in your home, simply use this mantra any time you are asked what it would take to earn your business that day:
“I’m not making a purchase today.”
This doesn’t mean you won’t be asked that same question several times, but using this mantra unwaveringly each occasion it is asked will ensure that you have the opportunity to get the other two prices you need to make a good, logical buying decision.
We all get excited over the idea of having a brand new car, stove, furniture or having a freshly remodeled den, but buying on the first day will blind us to potential features we don’t yet know are available to us, and potentially better prices. It’s difficult to override that excitement, but one thing we can do to keep our intentions on track is say:
“I’m not making a purchase today.”
When shopping online you need to remember to say this mantra to yourself each website you visit. Save each website in its own tab and come back the next day and make a decision.
Because you are not making a purchase today.