The Big Purchase Cycle

Having just ordered a $1500 grill, I have identified the stages that I go through when making a big purchase:

  1. Discovery: “Oh my gosh, this is so cool! I didn’t even know stuff like this existed!  I have GOT to get me one of these!”  This ecstasy is followed by hours of internet research: video reviews, Amazon comments and other Google searches.  Looks like a pretty sweet deal!
  2. Suspicion: “Eh, it probably won’t work for me.  It’s probably just a big rip-off.” I notice that I have an un-natural excitement over an inanimate object.  Start to search for negative information.  Get slightly depressed.  Give up on the whole thing.
  3. Revival: “You know, after think about it a few days, I DO want one of those!” After letting the positive and negative swings level out, I can make a clear-headed decision.  I re-visit the web reviews, double-check the feedback, and convince myself that this is a really, really good product.
  4. Purchase: “I’m going to go for it.  I’m going to go to Amazon and press that Add To Cart button like a real man!”  It’s a Friday, and I start to think about how I will regret not buying one.  Having talked myself into it, and afraid I’ll get depressed if I don’t do something nice for myself, I place the order before I change my mind.
  5. Panic: “Oh dear God, what have I done?!  I just blew a ton of money on something I didn’t even know existed a week ago!  I’ve made a huge mistake!”  After the rush of purchasing, the adrenaline subsides and I get my suspicion back, but this time with an overwhelming sense of having made a huge mistake, blowing a ton of money on the first thing I saw after I got my bonus.
  6. Calm: “It’s OK, it was a good decision, and it’s only money, no big deal, right?”  I remember why I bought this thing in the first place: I’ve been working very hard and I deserve it, and it got 4.8 out of 5 stars.  It’s going to be great.  I’m really looking forward to getting it and making some amazing BBQ!
  7. Doubt: “Hey Bob, I just bought a new smoker!”  “Oh man, did you pay for it already?  I wish I’d’ve known you were looking for one.  I know where you can get a better one for much less money than that!”  This always happens.  I finally get to stage 6, and the minute I tell someone, I’m back to worrying I made a horrible decision.  To get past this newfound buyer’s remorse, I have to go through, again, the thought process that got me here: why I ended up picking the one I did, why I don’t trust Bob’s recommendation, and even though I can see how stupid my decision was through Bob’s eyes, it was the right one for me.

I went through this recently when I bought a new car.  I bought one that I hadn’t really seen before, and the exact opposite of what I had: went from an 8-cylinder Camaro to a 4-cylinder Subaru.  Got the same response, the same confused-dog stare when I told my friends about it.  Most people when they want a fast car get one with a big V-8.  Most people when they want a good smoker get a big, heavy pit.  Maybe it’s because I live in Texas; everything is supposed to be bigger in Texas I guess.  But for me, I like compact, high performance.  I love my new Subaru, which by the way is faster than my old Camaro, and I hope to love my new grill.  It’s small, but you can stack a lot of meat in it, there’s better smoke control, and it should make some amazing food.  It think it will be a huge success.  And it’s not about competition.  It’s all about making good food for my family.

As long as I can make a better brisket than Bob.

-Mark

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