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Now Or Later? Consumer Product Evaluation Depends On Purchase Timing

Date:
May 12, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Let's say you planned to buy a new car at the end of the year. But then your car conks out and suddenly you need to make a purchase. A new study says you'll use different criteria to evaluate vehicles in that situation than you would if you planned to buy a car immediately but then had to postpone the purchase.

Let's say you planned to buy a new car at the end of the year. But then your car conks out and suddenly you need to make a purchase. A new study says you'll use different criteria to evaluate vehicles in that situation than you would if you planned to buy a car immediately but then had to postpone the purchase.

Authors Yeung-Jo Kim and Jongwon Park (both Korea University Business School) and Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) examined the way consumers evaluate immediate purchases versus purchases for future use.

The authors explain that when people consider products for future use, "desirability" is a primary consideration. When people consider a product for immediate use, "feasibility" considerations become a priority. "For example, consumers who contemplate purchasing a new word processor for future use give great weight to quality-related features only, whereas those who consider purchasing it immediately attach importance to the feasibility of learning how to use it as well," the authors explain.

So what happens when people have a chance to reevaluate a product they have considered earlier? In one example, participants read information about an apartment to evaluate it for occupancy the next day or six months later. One was considered a "desirability-positive" apartment (large living space, high moving expense) and another was considered "feasibility positive" (limited living space, low moving expense).

"After making their initial judgments, participants returned to the experiment 48 hours later and reevaluated the apartment for either the same point in time or a different time. As expected, participants who reconsidered the apartment for future occupancy reevaluated the desirability-positive apartment more favorably than the feasibility-positive apartment, regardless of when they had considered occupying it initially," the authors write.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kim et al. Effects of Temporal Distance and Memory on Consumer Judgments. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 090421074228011 DOI: 10.1086/599765

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Now Or Later? Consumer Product Evaluation Depends On Purchase Timing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512102600.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, May 12). Now Or Later? Consumer Product Evaluation Depends On Purchase Timing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512102600.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Now Or Later? Consumer Product Evaluation Depends On Purchase Timing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512102600.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

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