3rd step may have a funny name to many of
you, unless you have actually performed
sites visits in the process of deciding
on a purchase. What you would do on those
sites visits is to see the product in live
action and talk with real users of the product
to determine what they like and what they
don't like about the product, the vendor,
and the service the vendor provides.
you usually stop at Step 2 and then rush
in to make your purchase decision, you will
end up disappointed quite a number of times.
It might not matter too much when the purchase
is for a cheap item, but when hundreds (or
thousands) of dollars are involved, you
would be wise to obtain the opinions of
current users of the item before you choose
between the candidates on your shortlist.
I have personally seen too many otherwise
experienced project managers buy software
applications based solely on a comparison
of the features set on paper and end up
with a dud. In too many cases, the premise
of a special feature sounds better than
is it not enough to just stop at Step 2?
Well, consider that most vendors are not
stupid. They know well enough that you are
going to compare their products with other
vendors' products. So, they try to build
into their products most of the features
they know most people ask for. The clincher
is that, when you ask current users of the
product, they might tell you that a particular
feature might be so cumbersome to use in
practice as to be totally useless. So, what
if you made your purchase decision because
that product had this one particular feature
on paper? Strictly speaking, the vendor
was not lying; they were just being sneaky.
does this apply to us? Well, say you want
to buy a digital camera mostly for action
shots. You want to catch really fast action
at the most dramatic moment. You go through
Step 1 and Step 2 and end up with a shortlist
of, say, three cameras. One of the cameras
has a top shutter speed of 1/2,000 sec.
while the others max out at 1/1,000 sec.
A fast shutter speed is needed to stop action,
so is the first camera better than the other
two? Not necessarily. When you read the
detailed reviews, and especially the users'
opinions, you might find that the first
camera has a horrible shutter lag, i.e.
the time between the moment you press the
shutter release and the moment the camera
actually takes the picture is, say, 2 sec.
Result: you would stop all the action --
but 2 sec. later, thus missing those dramatic
moments that you caught only in the viewfinder
but not on your storage media.
Trust me, you need to read the independent
reviews and users' opinions before you buy.
And, asking the salesperson is not
going to guarantee you an independent opinion.
for some of the best digital camera review
sites on the Internet.