5 questions to ask before buying big ticket items

Buying a big ticket item for your home – a fridge, a six-seater leather sofa, a large timber dining table – can be a really daunting experience.

For starters, big ticket items are usually really expensive, so you want to make sure that you’re getting the right product, at the right price, that’s going to suit your needs.

Here are five essential question to ask yourself before forking over money for that expensive oriental rug or outdoor furniture set.

1. Is it a long or short-term investment?

Are you buying a cheap and cheerful fridge for a tiny rental or investing in a big, family-sized fridge and freezer combo for your family home? Have a think about your basic needs and shop accordingly.

For example, if you live in a tiny apartment, it’s probably not the best time to invest in an eight seater dining table with matching chairs.

Alternatively, if you live in a home that you own or one that you plan on staying in for an extended period, you can probably afford to splurge a little more on big ticket items like couches and dining tables.

2. Will it fit in my current/future homes?

Have a little think about your future living plans before you drop an obscene amount of cash on a giant washer and dryer if they’re only going to fit in the house you live in now.

Have a think about your future living plans before you drop an obscene amount of cash on products.

This also applies to custom items like furniture and storage solutions. It’s a great idea to invest in custom shelving for your kitchen and bedroom cupboards but if you’re only going to be living in your home for another six months and you can’t take the shelving with you when you go, it’s a waste of time and money.

Make sure your big ticket items are easily moveable and are standard size if you tend to move around a lot.

3. Is this the very best deal I can get?

Retail prices for big ticket items can vary enormously, so make sure that you shop around.

Visit different department stores and seconds stores and ask about discounts for bulk purchases or for paying in cash. Don’t forget to look online.

You can get excellent new and used items that often include delivery on sites like eBay and Gumtree. This is a great option for interim big ticket items like a small fridge to keep you going while you’re living in a rental or a second less expensive couch for the spare room.

4. Will it stand the test of time?

It’s important to stop and think about whether or not the big ticket item of your desire is going to last the distance in terms of both quality and style.

Stop and think about whether or not the big ticket item of your desire is going to last the distance.

An acid yellow couch, while very trendy right now, might not look so sleek in five years time when the colour has faded, it’s covered in grubby marks and no-one likes acid yellow anymore.

Go simple and classic with expensive items and you can use less expensive decorator items to style up your home, as they’re easily replaceable and won’t break the bank.

5. What do the experts say?

Do your research and use an impartial third party review site like Choice to figure out which companies make the best version of the item that you’re after.

Don’t necessarily trust the first salesperson you speak to. Ask around and collect lots of data before you make your decision.

Keep in mind that you may not always be able to afford the best but at least you’ll able to make an educated decision and get the most appropriate product, within your own budget, that also suits your needs.

There are many things to consider when buying an expensive, big ticket item but as long as you do your research, shop around and make sensible and classic choices in terms of design and functionally, hopefully, your shopping experience will be free from dreaded buyer’s remorse.