What to do After You Make a Purchase

So, being a smart consumer, you researched as much as you could about your big purchase before you went out and bought it. Good for you. You’re not quite finished in your smart-consumer responsibilities though! There are a few things you should do after you make a purchase to protect yourself and whatever product you bought. There are a lot of things that can go wrong after-the-fact and it’s important to prepare for that, even if they don’t happen to you. Now you’re protecting your purchase—it’s your money after all!

Once again our friends at USA.gov are here to provide some good advice for smart consumers like you. They have three points that are very important to remember and we’ll go over them now.

First of all, “make sure to get your receipt at the end of your purchase.” A forgotten receipt can cause a lot of trouble down the road if you need it. You can be completely stuck with your purchase without a receipt. In addition to the receipt, make sure you keep “all contracts, sales receipts, canceled checks, owner’s manuals, and warranty documents.” Buy yourself a folder or notebook to store all of these things in. That way you will be organized and know exactly where to look in case you need any of these documents.

Second, “Read and follow product and service instructions.” Most people, even savvy consumers, do not take the time to read manuals or instructions. We all think we know what we’re doing; many times we do know. But there can be some useful information in these manuals. They wouldn’t write them unless they thought you should know what they put in them!

Third, “Be sure to retrieve your credit card after completing your purchase.” I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but it happens. People get so distracted or excited about their new purchase that they forget to grab their credit card. This opens you up to fraud at the worst, and a return trip to the store at the least. After a purchase, take stock of what you have and make sure everything is where it should be.

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