Tech Buying Tip #12: Wait Six Months

by Randy Murray on June 27, 2012

It is so exciting when new gadgets come out. Last year’s model now looks ugly and slow. The new one is so beautiful, fast, and feature-filled. The urge to buy now can be intense.

But if you buy now, immediately upon the release of this shiny new thing, you’ll risk some clear penalties. A swift and emotional purchase decision is often followed by an equal and opposite reaction: buyer’s remorse. That can take the joy out of any new purchase.

In addition, new things frequently have problems, bugs to iron out. By purchasing early you become part of the extended beta team and will be forced to deal with frustrations and performance issues.

If you wait, wait just six months, all of these things will go away. The initial problems will be identified and corrected. When you make the purchase it won’t be an impulse. It will be planned and considered and no remorse will follow.

And at the six month mark you’ll also be able to tell yourself this: “Why buy now? In just six more months there will be a new and better model!”

If your current tech is functional, if it does what you need to do, then anything that you can tell yourself to delay a future purchase is a good idea. I can tell you from experience that you will enjoy a purchase that you make after waiting three years more than buying a new model every year.

More tips coming all this week.

Here’s the complete list of Tech Buying Tips.

The Tech Buying Tip #12: Wait Six Months by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jough Dempsey June 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

If you’re just looking to upgrade something you already have, for minimal performance gains in a shiny new package (I’m thinking about the new Retina MacBook Pro here) then sure, wait a bit for what’s essentially a new product and see where it is the next revision.

If you’re talking about something that you don’t already have, though, and it can improve your life by a bit *now*, why wait? There will always be something newer and shinier in the future, but if you can enjoy the new iPad now why wait until next year when there’s a better one? The next one will almost always be better than the one that’s out now. Life is short and things I can enjoy for six months to a year are rare. I’ve upgraded my iPhone every year since they came out because it’s a device I use every single day and enjoy the benefits that the new models offer (although your point is well-taken with regards to the iPhone 4 to 4S upgrade – Siri is fun to play with and nice to demo, but I probably could’ve sat this revision out without any regret). Still, if you can afford it, and you can find a good home for the previous version, I’ve found I have little buyer’s remorse about something that I use constantly. I tend to only regret the things that I didn’t really want or use.

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