Let’s face it, most of us don’t need an excuse to spend money on studio and music gear - but how often do you end up buying things that gather dust and don’t really give a return on investment? We recently ran a survey on how much we trust our dealers to give us good advice, but perhaps we also need to give them a little more to go on than we do right now.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, then how will you know when you’ve found it? So here are our 5 habits of a happy buyer.
- Make a list of what you need it to do. Wants are nice, but needs come first. If it’s an interface for example, don’t start with how many inputs and sample rates, start with how you plan to use it, then you’ll be able to figure out the other stuff. You’re ‘needs’ are the least the product should have.
- Then make a ‘nice-to-have’ list, things that could sway your choice in a shoot-out between competing products.
- Do you research; read reviews, blogs like this, ask friends via email, shoot out on Twitter and Facebook for opinions.
- Decide what you have to spend. First set what you can afford to pay, that’s your budget target, then set what you would like to pay, that’s your bargain target.
- Do your research on dealers, both online and offline. Call a few up or email them and see what advice you get - that exercise alone can sort the wood from the trees. If they don’t answer your questions, or even worse don’t bother answering, then don’t give them your money, simple as that, Find a dealer who cares about you. Find out about returns, after sales support and warranty, sometimes you might save $50 with a dealer who you later regret spending your money on.
These habits should help you find the things you need at prices that are competitive from reliable dealers. All three matter and a little research can get you all of them.