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Topic: Money and Finances F1.5 – Choosing Which Product to Buy

Ontario Curriculum Expectation:

4.F1.5 describe some ways of determining whether something is reasonably priced and therefore a good purchase

Read the Following Selection

Read the following selection, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Choosing Which Product to Buy

Mr. Salas wants to buy a blender so he can make healthy smoothies. First, he figures out the maximum amount he can afford to pay, which he decides is $200. Then, he goes online to see what blenders are available at a cost of $200 or less.

Mr. Salas finds several blenders that cost $200 or less. What should he consider when thinking about which blender is the best one for him?

Many websites that sell goods allow people to post ratings of one to five stars.

What Are My Needs?

Mr. Salas believes he will probably use the blender only for making smoothies. He decides that he needs a blender with only three or four speeds. He sees that some blenders have 8 speeds or more, and these blenders cost more.

How Have People Rated This Product?

Mr. Salas decides to look at the ratings of different blenders. Many websites that sell goods allow people to post ratings of one to five stars (with five stars being the best rating). These sites also usually show the average rating of the product. An average rating is based on the ratings of all the people who have rated the product so far.

Ratings can provide valuable information. But unfortunately, not all ratings from individuals can be trusted. Sometimes, a company will pay people to go on various sites and post high ratings of the company’s product. The people who post these ratings might never have used the product. A company might also pay people to post low ratings of similar products made by other companies.

Most sites tell how many ratings the average rating is based on. Mr. Salas sees that on one site, the average rating for a particular blender is three stars out of five. This average rating is based on eight people’s opinions. Another site shows an average rating of four stars out of five for the same blender. This rating is based on 127 people’s opinions. Mr. Salas knows it is better to trust an average rating that is based on a large number of ratings by individuals.

Reviews tell what people like and/or don’t like about the product.

What Do People Say About the Product in Reviews?

Many websites allow people to post a review of the product with their rating. Reviews tell what people like and/or don’t like about the product. But beware—some reviews might be coming from people who were paid to post a positive or negative review of the product. Mr. Salas decides to spend some time reading many reviews of each blender he is interested in. For each blender, he makes notes about specific good points and bad points that are mentioned in reviews from several different people.

Where Can I Get This Product at the Best Price?

Once Mr. Salas has decided which blender to buy, he looks at several different websites to see which one sells the blender at the best price. He wants to have the blender shipped to him, so he also checks out the cost of shipping on various sites. Mr. Salas finds the blender on sale for a great price on one website, and the shipping cost is not too high. He also discovers that if he is unhappy with the blender, he can return it and get his money back, even though the blender is on sale. (Sometimes, stores do not allow people to return products that were sold at a sale price. If you see a message such as “All sales are final” with a product, that means you cannot return it.)

Mr. Salas orders the blender and looks forward to drinking healthy and delicious smoothies in the future!

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