We’ve all experienced buyer’s remorse.
No matter how big or small the purchase, you know that it was a bad decision. And, worse, you can’t send it back or get rid of that damn thing in any other way without it costing you.
When it comes to Apple, I’ve experienced buyer’s remorse with iPhones, Macs, and iPads. It’s pretty horrible when it happens.
Thankfully, I’ve learned my lesson, and I’d like to share with you four tips for avoiding buyer’s remorse if you’re about to make a big Apple purchase.
Tip 1: If you’re worried about it, buy it
In December last year, I wrote a quick guide on how to decide between 8GB and 16GB when it comes to buying an M1 Mac. To date, it remains my most popular piece of content, ever.
I still receive questions every single day from people on the same topic, but my advice has changed.
Previously, I’d suggest that they could probably get away with 8GB of RAM, depending on their use case. But now, I simply say, “if you’re worried about it and can afford it, just buy the 16GB version”.
Of course, if you can’t afford something, there’s no point in over stretching yourself or reaching for a line of credit you’ll struggle to repay. But if you can work the numbers and afford the slightly more expensive thing that you keep thinking about, just do it. This is the simplest way to avoid any form of buyer’s remorse.
Tip 2: Watch and read people like you
One of the best things about platforms like YouTube, Medium, and the multitude of social networks is that you can find people just like yourself who go out of their way to share their buying advice – for free!
This means you can find you, from the future, and assess whether or not you’re going to like a piece of Apple gear.
This wasn’t possible a few years ago; you’d have to rely on magazine reviews to assess whether or not you’d be making a good purchasing decision, and that meant relying on advice designed for the masses. But the explosion of independent reviewers means you’ve got a wealth of opinion to work from in 2021.
Try and identify people whose buying advice matches your use case, or at least who appear to have the same values as you when it comes to tech. It makes the purchasing decision a whole lot easier when you can relate to a reviewer in that way.
Tip 3: Try it (but don’t buy-to-return)
There’s nothing quite like sitting in front of a device or picking it up and turning it over in your hands.
The challenge with Apple gear is that it is often so desirable that experiencing an iPhone, iPad, or pair of AirPods Max in person can prompt you to make a bad buying decision.
This is why this tip should only be acted upon after you’ve followed tip 2, first. Undertake your research, and then head out and try the device in question.
I’ve been amazed by how many times I’ve been either disappointed by something I desperately wanted, or pleasantly surprised by a lesser model. The same will probably happen to you if you take some time to go out and have a play.
Apple stores (or third-party retailers) are the best place to do this, and I’d advise against ordering something with Apple’s return policy in mind. As overly generous as the latter option might be, I think you’re far more likely to simply keep whatever it is you’ve taken a punt on if it’s within your possession.
Because sending it back is a faff, right?
Tip 4: Don’t wait (unless you’re an early adopter)
I’ve been guilty of waiting for Apple to release something, and I’ve been just as guilty of recommending that my audience does the same thing.
There’s always something more exciting around the corner.
Sometimes, this tactic works. For instance, when I needed a new MacBook in 2019, I waited patiently for the rumoured 16” MacBook Pro to arrive. When it did, I bought it immediately and didn’t regret the purchase one bit. I still don’t, regardless of what happened a year later.
My advice for you if you’re waiting for something to arrive (be it the M-powered 16” MacBook Pro or the next big iMac) is to only do so if you’re willing to become an early adopter.
I’ve early adopted a lot of Apple stuff, and it’s nearly always a bad idea. M1 Macs aside, I can think of several newly released iPhones, iPads, and headphones I’ve bought that have exhibited first-batch problems.
If you instead buy whatever it is you need or want today, you’ll be able to enjoy it immediately and probably benefit from something that has been through a few rounds of quality assurance. Play it safe when it comes to Apple’s predictable release cycles, of course (for instance, I wouldn’t recommend buying an iPhone 12 Pro today), but if the thing you want to buy has a ‘long-rumoured’ replacement waiting in the wings, don’t hang on the words of Jon Prosser.
If you’ve done your research, tried it, and want it in your life – buy it. Don’t wait for the next big thing, because it may never arrive at all.
Before you buy your next Apple device, undertake plenty of research, try it out, and either wait (if you’re an early adopter) or commit. It’s that simple.
I’m interested, though – which Apple purchase was your biggest regret? Let me know in the comments!