“I don’t care what I buy!”

stumbling purchase

Analogy: TVski-R-Uski

Mr Soap is looking to buy a new TV. And being nobody’s fool he is determined this purchasing decision will be 100% correct. After all, there are no flies on Charlie Soap.

So what entails a 100% whiz-bang purchasing decision? One thing – information!

First, Charlie will write a detailed brief for himself of the TV model he would ideally like to ferment in front of. This brief no-doubt includes a list of features he desires. To do this Charlie will need to research the market place: read up on technical data and study in-depth reviews from such well-read publications as Coach Potato Today. Being cute, Charlie also realises the financial strength of the manufacturer is also crucial. After all, he needs reassurance the company is going to be around to supply spare parts should his new found love blow a thingamejig at any time in the future.

Obsessed, Charlie carefully studies every TV manufacturer on planet Earth. After two years of tireless research he finally decides the Side-Winder high resolution T60 is the set for him. Now Charlie needs to determine where to buy it from – this is trickier. With his slowly developing stress related heart condition, Charlie contacts every TV retailer known to mankind. An online feed is downloaded to cope with those darned fluctuating exchange rates. And finally, after fifteen years of detailed research, Charlie is ready to make that ‘no mug’ purchase. TVski-R-Uski, three miles outside Moscow sells Charlie the perfect deal.

Frantically opening the box, Charlie suddenly realises the power supplies don’t match. After releasing a pathetic whimper, he ingeniously adapts the TV to emulate a rather attractive (if somewhat obscure) stain resistant coffee table – and begins his search all over again.

Next door, Mrs Viewing is also looking to buy a new TV. She is also no mug and will not purposely make a shoddy purchasing decision. But hitting a new low-point in her life at the sudden and brutal realisation that she can’t watch her favourite depressing news items without this box (and aware of the non-compromising width of a life-span) she decides to pick up a new TV on her way home from work from Easy Parking TVs.


Let’s make an intelligent and fairly save assumption for a moment; all purchases are made using incomplete information. In other words – we stumble purchase. Whether we just happen to see that advertisement on the television, or that crooked hand of fate causes us to drive past the well situated mobile phone shop to see that special finance offer splashed on the shop window, you, me, everyone buy things on chance. Call it random theory or whatever.

You enter a convenience store and buy a newspaper, you see a bar of chocolate and a pack of chewing gum. You buy the newspaper and the chewing gum, then you leave. There is no sale on the chocolate: IT’S THAT SIMPLE!

You’re looking to buy a new house. Walking down the road you wander into an estate agent and scan through the property on the board. The sales person is good, he approaches, skilfully qualifies you, chats a bit, then closes. You’re on their list. They send you properties to look at. You buy. Around the corner is another estate agent advertising the home of your dreams: a place where a long life of unforgettable fond memories is just waiting to be realised – and at a better price. Why didn’t you buy the property of your dreams? Because initially you wandered or ‘stumbled’ into the wrong estate agent –and you did that because it was on your bus route – no sale on the dream home: IT’S THAT SIMPLE!

Understand this: purchases (your sales) are done on your customers’ terms and a fundamental condition of those terms is stumbling. We as buyers have no other choice. Life is too chaotic, time is too limited, selective perception too strong – to do anything but ‘stumble’.

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