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First buyer disadvantage: Rushing to make a purchase

First buyer disadvantage: Rushing to make a purchase

Rajshekhar spent Rs 11,400 on an iPod Nano in February. “Had I waited a few more months, I could have bought a new mobile phone along with the iPod,” he says.

Remember when the final book in the Harry Potter series was launched and bookstores stayed open past midnight so that kids could get the first copies? A month later, they were offering the same book at a discount, with freebies thrown in. More recently, when the iPhone 3G was launched in India, a few stores stayed open till late, hoping for an influx of buyers.

Customers often buy the hype created and rush to purchase any product at whatever price the minute it’s out in the market. Two weeks later, the same product, perhaps with a few bugs removed, is being sold in the same shop, during daylight hours, for at least a few thousand rupees less.

Kolkata-based Rajshekhar thought he had done the smart thing when he bought his 8GB iPod Nano in February this year for Rs 11,400. What he did not take into account was the fact that electronic goods become cheaper with time and with the launch of newer models. The same iPod Nano costs Rs 9,000 today.

It’s not just gadgets and books that people want hot off the press. The same story goes for investments too. When IPO s were flooding the market late last year, Delhi businessman Vipen Jain decided to join the bandwagon. He invested about Rs 3 lakh in various IPOs, among them the much-awaited Reliance Power . “I just followed what all my friends were saying. I thought I’d make a huge profit by investing in IPOs. Instead, I had to suffer a loss,” says Jain. He’s learnt his lesson and now invests in products only after thoroughly researching them.

Whether it’s cars, gadgets, gizmos or investments, getting there first is not necessarily a virtue. You could end up spending a bomb on a lemon.

Rajshekhar
Rajshekhar, 26

He spent Rs 11,400 on an iPod Nano in February. “Had I waited a few more months, I could have bought a new mobile phone along with the iPod,” he says.

SOLUTIONS

• Do your homework. Research the product extensively and get expert opinion on the likely problems.

• Check how badly you need the product. If you have done without it for so long, waiting for a few more days won’t hurt you. In fact, being patient will help you save some money.

• Cut your losses. If you realise the product is really not for you, sell it at whatever the going rate is.

HOW PRICES FALL
A look at the launch prices of some products—and how much they cost today.
Product
Launch DateLaunch Price (Rs)Current Price* (Rs)
Nokia 6210 Navigator phoneAug ’0818,21915,000
Sony DCR - DVD 810E handycamFeb ’0829,99027,990
BlackBerry Pearl 8110Feb ’0824,99022,000
Sony NWZ S615 F/S MP3 playerFeb ’087,9904,990
Bose Portable Sound dockJan ’0824,60022,400
Canon MD 140 cameraDec ’0716,99514,995
* As in September 2008