Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Process of Buying a Used Car

This past summer I purchased my first car. I had $5,000 in my savings account to use towards the purchase of a used car. This decision involved high perceived risk, high felt involvement, and high cognition. The magnitude of this purchase required the use of a five-step decision-making process (Hoyer and MacInnes 14). The first step is problem recognition. I live in Ohio, but my job this summer was in northern Michigan, thus I needed a car to drive to my summer job. Step two is searching for information. I started this process by looking online at several used car websites. I narrowed my choices down to a Toyota or Honda sedan with automatic transmission. I based that off of successful family and friend history with the brand and their general strong reputations. I printed off information about car dealerships and private owners that carried cars I was interested in considering, and I visited these places to test drive the prospective cars.

The next step is an evaluation of the alternatives. I test drove two Honda Civics and a Honda Accord. The Civics were from a Honda dealership and the Accord was from a private owner. All models were in very good condition, similar year models, automatic, black exterior, and all within $500 of each other in price. The decision was a very difficult one. The fourth decision is to make a decision. I decided to purchase the Honda Accord. My selection came down to the fact that I trusted the private owner more than the dealership, and two of my good friends had the same model of car. They had very minor or no problems with the car and had each generated over 150,000 miles on their engines. The final step of the decision-making process is the post-decision analysis. After driving my car for almost four months now, I am very happy with my decision. I have had no problems whatsoever with the Accord, and I plan to use the car for as long as it can stay on the road, or until I get enough money and feel the need to buy a new car.

This process taught me a lot about the differences between a minor purchase and a major purchase. The purchase required much cognitive thought, extended amounts of research, and high involvement. Buying a used car is very risky because of the uncertainty of how it will perform and it's driving history. I am pleased with how I approached the decision-making process, and hopefully my purchase will continue to perform as I envisioned.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Motivated for a Mac Book

Motivation, an inner state of arousal with aroused energy directed to achieving a goal (Hoyer, MacInnis 49). Brittany bought a Dell laptop when she went away to school two years ago. She did not experience problems with her Dell until a year after she bought it, but then she noticed it started getting slower; it took up to ten minutes to turn on, and it would randomly shut off in the middle of her using it. Brittany decided she needed a new laptop and was motivated to get one.

Drew, Brittany’s boyfriend, had bought a Mac Book when he went to school. He had not experienced any problems with his laptop, and he constantly would tell Brittany how she needed to get a Mac Book even when her Dell was working fine. Once her Dell started “breaking,” Drew urged her even more to get a Mac Book, telling her how much better they were. Brittany’s goal was to have a laptop that would last a long time and would not cause her problems. Her felt involvement was enduring because she was going to have the laptop for a long time and wanted to feel like she had made the right decision even a couple years down the road. Brittany decided to buy a Mac Book instead of a Dell as her new laptop. Her outside influence from someone she loved affected what she bought. Brittany has had her laptop for one week and is very happy with her decision so far. She even remarked, “We (Brittany and Drew) have a Mac Book family.”