I'm beginning to feel that I am
OCD educated about things I purchase. Mostly major purchases, but some, not so much. I spend countless hours researching. I find myself upset when my eventual choice ends in some crazy mishap such as inflated shipping costs or out of stock.
1. Remodel bathroom, need a new toilet: Can you believe that I spent 4 months researching toilets online? I read reviews, I compared features - I wanted to know how exactly the shit went down! And I wanted to be environmentally conscious. All these factors weighed in as I found, and unfound, the perfect crapper.
2. Books: I find 50% of my new reads from friends, 25% from Amazon's "Recommended for You" and 25% from "that's an odd title, I'll give it a try"
3. Clothing: Just feels comfortable in an honest to goodness brick and mortar store when you try it on, with the exception of task specific items such as rain jackets and shoes. Between the two, time spent researching is probably close to 15 hours
4. Beach paraphernalia: Good gracious, I love the beach, and between beach chairs, beach bags, beach blankets, suntan lotion, and first aid kits, I'd bet I logged 50 hours in research
5. Electronics -> Televisions: I spent 8 months reading reviews a few times a week before finally diving into the flat panel realm, and that was some years ago. I've been at an upgrade purchase for 2 months now and still no definitive answer
6. Smelly good stuff: Yeah, so I'm a dude, but I still like my house to smell nice. Unfortunately, smell is a personal experience and cannot really be portrayed in online reviews and comments. Even when it's "smells like crap," it is in the nose of the beholder
7. Cleaning things: Those crystal fabric softener things you put in the washer - success! The gel toilet bowl cleaner thingy - failure! The dish washer cleaner - failure!
8. Electronics -> Laptops: Hmmm, this is hard. I do spend time reading reviews, but ultimately, it's about the components that make the deal - and sometimes, it's just the WOW factor
9. Food establishments: Best recommended by friends!
10. Wine: It's a matter of taste
So in summary, the social aspects of commerce are sometime beneficial, but sometimes, it just doesn't work. Overall, though, for things that need thoughts before purchasing, social attached it awesome, and I'm glad we are there in technology. I can look to many e-commerce websites and drown myself in reviews, I can post potential purchases to social networks and usually get responses. I love the digital age, I'm thrilled I don't have to make all the choices blindly and can rely on others experience to make my ultimate OCD decision.