As 2011 comes to a close, here’s your chance to reflect on all the things you spent money on and weigh up whether they were worth all that dosh. What product do you wish you didn’t bother buying in 2011?
Personally, I don’t have any purchase regrets this year. That’s apart from when I bought it. My new smartphone, the HTC Incredible S, has well and truly pulled me out of the dark ages, but it also well and truly blew a hole in my pocket.
I decided to buy it outright, as I knew I’d get savings down the line with the pay-as-you-go deal I’m currently on. And who wants to be locked into a contract? However, I did spend over £300 on it. A month or so later? It was on sale for around £200. One hundred smackers down the drain. Serves me right, I guess.
Purchase regrets round-up
So what about others in Which? – what did they regret buying this year?
Jess Moreton, Advocacy Graduate: ‘When I moved into my flat with my ex last year, we bought a second-hand TV. We don’t live together anymore and so I bought my ex’s share last week and guess what?! Yesterday, it stopped working. I wish I hadn’t bothered to buy him out now and that I’d just gone for a new one.
‘Sometimes economising on second-hand products ends up being a false economy. Also, I bet it’s really energy inefficient anyway, so I’m probably better off with a swanky new one.’
Jack Turner, Technology Researcher: ‘It’s an easy one for me – the Nintendo 3DS. I picked up the Nintendo 3DS near launch, more through routine than desire, having had a long history of owning Nintendo handhelds. However, what I hadn’t accounted for was the lack of software at launch. As if this wasn’t disappointing enough, the price was dropped by £100 shortly after I purchased it.
‘Working for the Which? Tech team, I know full well the pitfalls of being an early adopter, and the Nintendo 3DS is a classic example of the perils of buying early!’
Joanna Pearl, Senior Health Researcher: ‘I bought some GHDs – the alleged Rolls Royce of hair straighteners – but they were so hot they frightened me! I used them once, and touched my hair immediately afterwards, nearly burning it! I immediately gave them to my mum who is made of sterner stuff than me.’
Liz Edwards, Home Editor: ‘I’ve again, but especially this year, regretted buying plastic party bags for kids and almost everything you put in them. At every party you give each guest a plastic bag full of sweets and plastic toys to take home. They’ll either put most of it in the bin, or hold on to the plastic trinkets for their own party, when their parents can wheel out the bits of plastic and redistribute them into plastic party bags etc.’
‘I had a friend who gave each child a cactus in a pot as a going-home present. I wish I had the courage to do that.’
Hannah Jolliffe, Conversation Editor: ‘We bought a king-size bed in Ikea without realising that Ikea has its own sizing system and doesn’t fit conventional sizes. So, when we put it together and placed our king-size mattress on top, there was a few inches gap on either side of the mattress!
‘Not only is the bed ugly, it’s also enormous, and things keep falling down the gaps (though this quite a good place to put my book!) Still, I’ll definitely be measuring up before buying anything from Ikea in future.’
So, there you have it – those are the products we wished money didn’t buy. Is there anything you’d like to add to the list?