-- intro: Pretty much anyone can go to a store to try on clothes or drive to an auto dealer to test drive a car — trying things out is a routine part of making purchases. It's just not that enjoyable. Sometimes, trying things out is a hassle or isn't enough to help you make a confident buying decision, but most people accept it as one of life's little annoyances.
From filling out your wardrobe to deciding on big-ticket purchases, there are more and more options for consumers to conveniently and confidently spend money. Here are some examples of things that don't have to be terrible to shop for, thanks to some creative business people.
Many car rental companies sell their vehicles to consumers, and renting the same make and model you're considering buying is a good strategy for finding out if you really like it — it'll give you a bit more time the familiarize yourself with the vehicle than a traditional test drive.
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As we previously reported, Airbnb started a program with Realtor.com in which potential homebuyers can rent homes they're considering purchasing. You pay for the Airbnb cost, of course, but you actually get to live in the home and test out the feel of the neighborhood before you commit to a massive loan and the next several years (or decades) in one place.
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If you need adjustments, however, you will likely have to leave your house to have them fitted at an eyewear store. Otherwise, you can do this whole glasses-shopping thing from the comfort of your couch.
There are some services in which you can have a stylist shop for you and deliver selections to your door. There's one called Trunk Club for men and another called Stitch Fix for women. Shipping is free (Stitch Fix has a stylist fee that can be applied to a final order, while Trunk Club's website says there are no membership fees), and you pay for only what you keep.
quicklist:title: Household Appliancestext:
Pirch sells indoor and outdoor home appliances and fixtures, but the showrooms are interactive, allowing customers to base their kitchen and bathroom remodeling decisions off more than how much they like the way the stove top or shower head looks. There a few of the swanky stores in major cities, and the locations have a calendar of events, so you can see what appliances you get to play with when you show up.
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Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.