As consumers, we are faced with a daily barrage of advertising, product endorsements, and special offers. Sometimes making a choice is really tough, but fortunately, there are a number of ‘tools’ at your disposal that can help you make decisions. Things like a price per kilogram or price per litre comparisons allow you to highlight the cheaper of two products and facilitate a choice.

However, marketers and merchandisers have a number of tricks which they regularly use to obfuscate the situation, in an attempt to get you to spend more money.

The scary thing is that the above is only describing a regular visit down to the local supermarket. What about more expensive purchases or negative consequences arising as a result of a ‘bad buy’?

Short-term insurance is a prime example is this. When shopping around for car insurance, comparisons are largely made on policy price and affordability. Although, I think the majority of consumers would prefer to pay a reasonable premium for a brand they are familiar with, just because of the perceived credibility of that brand. When it comes to the crunch though, what happens in the event of an accident when the insurer won’t or cannot reimburse you? You can’t take out a policy with another insurer and claim from them. In reality, then, you have incurred both the loss created by the accident as well as the money you have forked out on the insurance premiums.

At best, there are some courses of action to take but realistically you’ll end up walking away from the incident hopefully a bit wiser and more selective when insuring your next car.

What happens though if this was life-insurance? You die and there is no payout to your beneficiary. There is no shopping around or trying again option here.

What about buying things like fire extinguishers, condoms, or airbags? How do you know that you have made the best decision?

Clearly, there are some tough choices to be made with some really big implications if you choose incorrectly. Surely there must be a better way?

No pressure in the meantime though!