Savvy Short Cuts for Major Purchases

by Chris Bjorklund

Do you ever approach a large home improvement project or a major purchase with fear and trepidation? Right now, my husband and I are making some changes around the house—buying new appliances, a TV for the bedroom, drapes for the living room. We both dread the prospect of spending precious weekends at the mall or at appliance showrooms, and that’s after you invest time in figuring out what you want.

If you’re a savvy consumer like me, I do my homework, but streamline the process. For starters, I only go to trusted sources for information on products. Consumer Reports magazine is always my first choice when it comes to finding objective and independent ratings for most items.

Another short cut is to talk to the experts, but come prepared. While shopping for appliances, I met several knowledgeable salespeople who gave me a crash course on each type. You might be surprised at how much you can learn by not only asking good questions, but also openly acknowledging their skill and expertise.

You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle by going back to a business where you’ve had a successful experience in the past. My little black book is full of great businesses and wonderful service people.

If you’re just getting started developing your “A” list of local companies to do business with, I recommend that you start with Remember, each company must score over 90 on a 100 scale on customer satisfaction and pass all of the credential rating steps to earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award, so you can choose them with confidence.