by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
It doesn’t matter whether the product you recently purchased is an appliance, something electronic, lawn equipment, furniture or an outdoor grill, the process before and after purchase should be the same for all of them. What my husband likes to do before any costly major purchase or an item that will be kept for many years is to “research” every aspect about it before making his decision. Besides price comparisons, he reads online reviews of the product, its functions and most important of all, is it the right item for what his intended use will be. He also subscribes to Consumer Reports and that publication provides access for every imaginable product from food items, cleaning supplies, cars and any item you can name that a consumer might want to buy. However, expectations can vary and the wise consumer investigates several avenues before purchasing anything and not solely relying on one publication.
One of the most important things we do after making a large purchase, especially something electrical, is to keep the original box and packing for at least a month. Naturally, this depends on how frequently you use the item. Something like a coffee maker or hair dryer is used daily, so we would know within days if they were malfunctioning. Perhaps a blender, bread maker or iron will not be used that often, so keeping the box longer is vital. This makes it easier to return when you have the original carton. After the purchase read the instructions BEFORE you use the item the first time. Very often instructions are minimal and consumer must download the instructions to read the full description and all functions of the product. Heed the warnings about overheating, over loading and in the case of a heavy duty mixer we bought the notation was surely unexpected. It read, in bold print, DO NOT LEAVE THE MIXER UNATTENDED, as it can “shimmy” off the counter when filled with ingredients and on the highest setting. Besides the instruction booklet, all appliances and electrical or electronic products will have a warranty card included in the packaging. Take the time to complete this form so the manufacturer has your name, contact number and model number of the item in case of a recall. Recently many of these forms inside of a purchase describe that the warranty can be done online, making it easier for the consumer to send in this information.
On the outside of the brochure or pamphlet that comes with the item we bought, I write the name of the model number clearly on the cover page. Often the same instructions apply to similar models in the company’s line up of products, so knowing what model we have is important. The name of the store we bought it at and the price we paid are also noted below the model number. Sometimes I just tape the receipt to the back page of the instruction booklet, so I know exactly where it was bought. One last tip that we found to be really important is to keep your item clean, safely stored and maintained as described in the instructions. If you do this the product will serve you well and function as described and the main reason why you decided on this purchase.