Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.


Dig Deeper


Become a Money Crasher!
Join our community.

How to Shop for One-Time Purchases – Buy High-Quality Products That Last a Lifetime

In this post, I’ll be talking about how you can save money on the various one-time purchases that you’ll need to make throughout your life. So what exactly do I mean by a one-time purchase? This is obviously any item that you’ll likely only have to buy once, but I’m not referring to homes, cars, or other large purchases which you may be thinking of. Instead, I’m referring to smaller, simpler items that usually last you a lifetime for whatever reason.

Depending on your interests and lifestyle, these products might range from kick boxing pads to a leather briefcase. In my case, I’ll likely only buy one briefcase in my life and I doubt that I’ll need more than one set of kickboxing pads in the long-term. Some other potential one-time purchases include: musical instruments, tennis rackets, ice skates, tuxedos (men’s clothing), winter jackets, workout dumbbells, dining room tables, lawn mowers, large appliances, a chess game set, the list goes on and on. These are all one-time purchases that you may have to make, and make wisely at that. You don’t want to have to re-buy anything because of poor quality or because of mistakes in the shopping process.

Sign up for an account at Simple by 7/31/19 4:59 PM PT and get up to a $500 bonus on top of 2.02% APY.

So let’s look at how you can make better informed one-time purchases that you won’t regret.

1. Shop Around
You’ll often feel guilty when you make a spur of the moment purchase and eventually go back to find a better deal somewhere else. This is why shopping around before committing to anything always pays off. Now, I’m not suggesting that you spend hours shopping around for a simple t-shirt, but it’s always beneficial to check a few sources before making a purchase in excess of $50-100. This way you’ll at least know that you paid a reasonable, competitive price. Another benefit to shopping around is that through the process you may realize that you don’t really need to buy what you were looking for.

2. Don’t be Cheap, Pay for Value
Keep in mind that you’re looking to make a one-time purchase only. Knowing that, you should look to get the most value rather than just the lowest price. Trust me, you’ll regret being cheap when you have to spend even more money replacing your broken items. For example, I used to buy cheap gym bags from Walmart all the time, and constantly needed to get them replaced year after year. I didn’t realize how much this was actually costing me until I forked over $50 for a premium UnderArmour bag that has lasted me a very long time and is still in perfect condition. Don’t turn one-time purchases into unnecessary annual or monthly purchases because you skimped out on quality.

3. Talk to Others
Just like with any other big purchase, always ask around. Unless you’re buying an exotic Brazilian butterfly collection, you’re probably not the first person who has ever made the same purchase. You can easily find someone who has bought something similar, especially through reviews on online shopping sites, and get useful tips and guidance based on previous experiences.

4. Get a Warranty
Buying high-quality goods usually means that you’ll get more value for a longer period of time. In fact, a lot of companies will even guarantee this by attaching warranties to products. For example, all The North Face jackets and apparel are “fully warranted to the original owner against defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product. If a product ever fails due to a manufacturing defect, even after extended use, they will repair the product, without charge, or replace it, at their discretion.” If you’re looking to make a one-time purchase, look for warranties (preferably lifetime) whenever possible. Not only will you be getting the assurance of high quality, but you’ll also get free repairs and replacements should something go wrong. You know you’re getting your money’s worth.

If you’re only going to buy something once, you might as well make it worth your time. What is your stance on one-time purchases and how have you approached the process?  Share your experiences and tips here!

Martin Dasko
Martin is a 22 year old personal finance writer that attempts to make money talk fun. After taking many finance courses in college he realized that this stuff is completely boring and that nobody cares about complex calculations. He started his own personal finance blog in November of 2008 and has been passionate about making matters interesting ever since then. His goal is to show you how to get the most out of life, while still saving a buck or two.

Next Up on
Money Crashers

Amazon Prime Day Coming Soon

Amazon Prime Day 2019: How to Get the Best Deals

What is Amazon Prime Day? It's a day-long (or longer) extravaganza of exclusive deals for Amazon Prime members. During this sales-fest, the world’s biggest retailer will slash prices on a wide variety of items — some of them by as much as 50%. To get the most out of Prime Day, it pays to plan ahead — researching deals, deciding what to buy, and keeping track of when sales pop up. By preparing for Prime Day in advance, you can get the most for your money with minimal hassle.
Leadership Lessons Quotes

9 Leadership Lessons & Quotes from Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-fil-A

People everywhere love Chick-fil-A, especially where I live, in the suburbs of Atlanta. If we have an occasion to go out to a fast...

Latest on
Money Crashers

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

See why 218,388 people subscribe to our newsletter.

What Do You Want To Do
With Your Money?