We purchase millions of products and services each year and throughout our lives. Whether it’s the weekly trip to the grocery store or big purchases like real estate or automobiles, we are all constantly evaluating products and determining how much we want to spend on them.
To dive a little deeper into the mind of the average consumer, we surveyed 2,000 people to find out what their expectations for quality and discounts are when shopping for a range of services from toiletries to professional services.
Let’s go over the results and what kind of conclusions we can come to about quality vs. bargain hunting.
Most of us would say that when we’re shopping for a good or service that we have reasonable expectations that the product or service we are buying will do what it says or meet the goals of what the service intends. However, there are a few products or services that we are more or less willing to compromise on.
Based on our survey results, we calculated what goods and services our respondents cared most about quality when purchasing and which ones they cared least about.
Unsurprisingly, our survey revealed that most consumers care more about the quality of the big stuff in life: birth control, repair services, healthcare, and education. Our respondents indicated they cared most about the quality of condoms, followed by car repair services, electrical repairs, dentist visits, doctor visits, lawyer services, education, accountant services, a car, and finally, the services of a financial advisor.
Our respondents indicated that they cared least about quality when shopping for manicures, followed by pedicures, tattoos, a bikini wax, an eyebrow wax, hair coloring services at a salon, makeup, facials, alcohol, and maid services. And although tattoos made this list, Millennials were 33% more concerned about the quality of tattoos than Baby Boomers, and women were 31% more likely to be concerned with the quality of beauty products and services than men.
We all like a good bargain every once in a while, but how far are we willing to go for a discount? Do we only want a bargain when it’s on more frivolous purchases or are consumers willing to take a chance on more important services like lawyers or doctors?
Our respondents indicated that they most likely bargain shopped for clothes, followed by cars, toys, toilet paper, magazines, smartphones, books, concert tickets, electronics, and shoes. And what were they least likely to bargain shop for? Our respondents said they wouldn’t be looking for discounts for condoms, doctor visits, tattoos, therapy, a dentist visit, financial advisor services, an eyebrow wax, lawyer services, a bikini wax, and accountant services.
We found that our survey participants had absolutely no interest in discounts for the services of an accountant, a doctor visit, services of a lawyer, and therapy. Interestingly, there were no products on this list. From this we can most likely conclude that we expect a lot out of the people who provide us with regular services for healthcare and money management.
Consumers are always looking for the highest quality that we can get—but on a limited budget. Our survey revealed what products and services consumers wanted to be of the highest quality, but strictly at a discount.
At the top of the list was clothing, followed by car repairs, books, dining out, furniture, produce, meat, Internet, a mattress, the services of a real estate agent, shoes, a smartphone, and finally, toilet paper. In other words, we expect to get a lot of our money when it comes to many of our daily products.
One of the most interesting things we found when looking at our survey results was that income was not much of a factor when looking at people’s preferences for both quality and bargaining. Although someone at a higher income level might have a different idea of what a “bargain” is, we all mostly agree on what the most important products and services are—and we put our money where our mouths are.
Our respondents income level was fairly evenly distributed, with 27% of respondents making under $30k, 33% making $30-$60k, 23% making between $60-$90k, 10% making between $90-$120k, and only 7% making over $120k each year.