Most of the time, I consider myself to be very methodical and logical when it comes to planning out my purchases, especially big-ticket items or electronics. I scout retail websites to get a handle on what the going price is and then look for the cheapest price. I read professional and user reviews from a number of sites to see if folks are happy with their purchases. Then — and only then — will I head out to a store to make the purchase.
I didn’t follow that process the other day at one of my favorite stores — Lowe’s. Actually, I love any store that helps me furnish, decorate or improve our home, but I’ve grown fond of Home Depot and Lowe’s in particular.
I’d been wanting to change the light fixture in the kitchen for a while now, since the one that’s there doesn’t throw nearly enough light on the room — it’s got the two circular fluorescent bulbs in it, and they are beyond dim. So I decided that I want to put up a ceiling fan with a light kit. Seems simple enough — I’ve put in new light switches and done some wiring in the past.
When I get to Lowe’s, I don’t see exactly what I want — a darker wood (not mahogany/reddish, though), and a width of anywhere from 36″ to 44″ in order to clear the cabinets with the doors open. I managed to plan for that much. After wandering up and down the two aisles for about 15 minutes, I finally settled on a fan, bought it, and returned home.
After opening up the box, I realize I don’t like the wood finish on the fan blades — they totally clash with our strange cabinet color — they’re a medium stain with cool undertones — not reddish, not blonde — almost grayish? It’s hard to explain. But our appliances are black. “Shoot,” I thought. “Should have gone with a black fan.” But they didn’t have a black fan in the size I needed, so what did I do? I settled.
Now, I have to return the fan to the Lowe’s and head to Home Depot to see what they have. Another detail that I neglected to account for is that I need to put up a bracket specifically made for fans so that it will stay securely in the ceiling and not wobble or loosen over time.
So I’ve wasted time, money, and gasoline why not really thinking about what I wanted to buy. I didn’t do my usual research beforehand.
Every once in a while, I do something uncharacteristic like this. It’s a good thing this was only a minor ($60 purchase), and I can return the fan and get a refund. If it were a car or some other large purchase, I’d be screwed. It’s not the first time I’ve done this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!
Have you rushed into a purchase and then immediately regretted it?