This post suggests that not trying to buy the best will decrease your stress.
It is true that we on the blog are big proponents of satisficing. The paradox of choice is awesome. (Here’s our book review.) For many things we’re happy to just buy what’s good enough rather than trying to optimize.
However, sometimes spending a little extra effort and money to get quality is worth it in terms of happiness and decreased stress in the long run. Unlike the author of the original post, I get a lot of pleasure out of using a high quality pot or pan. We’ve had the target knock off Le Crueset and we’ve had the genuine Le Crueset, and after a couple of years there’s a big difference between the two. Sometimes spending the extra money and research is worth it. (And maybe we are still technically satisficing with a high bar.)
Our method of satisficing is usually to go on Amazon and look for the highest rated item in our price range and just buy that. (#2 does that sometimes when the method below fails; I trust Amazon reviews far, far less than #1 does. #1 notes that the important Amazon reviews are the negative ones, not the positive ones, so it is important to check out the one and two star reviews before committing.) We used to use Consumer Search but then they stopped updating as frequently so we don’t use it as much.
Do you try to buy the best? How do you feel about optimizing vs. satisficing? Does it vary by the decision you’re trying to make? How so?