When to Upgrade… And When Not To

I think it’s so easy to get swallowed up by the promise of upgrades – of getting larger meals or longer warranties or more discounts – that it becomes hard to decide whether or not paying for upgrades is logical.  Firms know this, which is why they often spring these offers last minute or at the time of the purchase, when consumers are confident with their purchase.  It is so difficult to not “just” pay the “little” extra charge and get the upgrade.  In these situations, I try to remember the following points:

  • Ask if the discount or warranty can be added later.  If so, postpone the extra purchase until you can rationally think it over and act accordingly.
  • Consider if you will actually want the extra amount.  For example, if you are considering purchasing an extended warranty on a kitchen appliance, ask yourself if you will still want that appliance for  that amount of time.  The answer might be yes, but just make sure it is worth adding the cost.
  • Ask for details regarding the extra purchase.  For instance, if you are paying for an extended warranty, ask about the exceptions that will still not be covered by the warranty.  Ask about what you will still not be getting, even after paying extra.
  • Remember that for most non-edible items, you already have the ability to return the item within a certain amount of time.  Don’t pay extra to cover your bases twice.  Obviously, this tip is geared towards warranties for the most part, but think of other ways that you might be paying twice for the same service or time frame.
  • Ask how accessible the extra service will be.  I don’t pay for extras that I know I will lose in my own house.  If the extra service can be tracked or kept online, for me that is a much better deal than an extra service that requires paperwork.
  • Ask about the time frame for the extra service.  I strongly dislike “coupons” you can buy in advance for a massive discount, but expired within a strong time frame.  Warranties, even extended, have time limits too, as do most services, coupons, rain checks, and refills.  Be careful – avoid being bitter!
  • Get a second opinion.  I always check online or ask friends about adding extras before doing so.  Online reviews will get you the dirt on why or why not to pay the extra cost, and all the hidden problems (or perks) of paying it.  My mother always said we don’t have time to make all the mistakes ourselves.
  • Trust your gut.  If something feels too good to be true, really question it.  Likewise, if a deal doesn’t seem like a deal, don’t let the salesperson (not an unbiased source) talk you into it.

Some extras are worthwhile, and even real lifesavers, so I am not saying to always say no – just be cautious.  These are tricks that help me weigh those “extra” decisions.

Remind you of any “extras” that you regret?

This post was included at:

Financial Carnival for Young Adults at Degrees and Debt
Carnival of Financial Planning at Mom and Dad Money
Carnival of MoneyPros at Money Wise Pastor
Yakezie Carnival at Money Life and More

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