You may have noticed that startups seem to be everywhere these days. Indeed, many products use their startup origins as a selling point, but it isn’t always clear what this means for consumers. According to Wired, startup culture in and of itself is somewhat amorphous and difficult to pin down. If you consider yourself a savvy buyer, and want to invest in only the best products, you might find it difficult to do so when there are so many new brands popping up, gaining in popularity and claiming to be the best new thing on the market.

There are a few surefire ways you can circumvent such marketing schemes, though, and identify the products that are truly worth investing in. If you want to navigate startup culture without getting lost in it, consider the following tips for taking advantage of available resources to hone your shopping savvy.

Scrutinize the funding source

A key component of startup culture is its reliance on atypical funding sources. Many startup products are crowdfunded, for example, and others are backed by corporate investors. It is a good idea to scrutinize the source of funding that any product in question is benefitting from. According to Forbes, crowdfunding is often viewed pejoratively, but it is also indicative that a product exists in response to popular demand. This form of funding also obligates producers to satisfy the feedback of customers, and the ones directly responsible for a product’s existence.

Look for reviews and information

Another important consideration is the feedback other customers have provided after trying a product. You likely ask family and friends for their advice when you are looking for recommendations, but browsing online reviews allows you to access a collection of such information to quickly and accurately assess what other shoppers think about certain items.

There are many sites, including BrandBallot, that offer this information to consumers. Taking advantage of resources such as these could save you considerable money and time, not to mention the hassle of testing a litany of products until you find the right one.

Don’t assume that newer is better

Improvement and innovation and major tenets of startup culture. It’s easy to be lured by claims that a single product is the most exciting and revolutionary item available. How much of this is window dressing, though? This is an important question for anybody who wants to be sure they invest their money in products that will work, and more importantly, facilitate better living. Rather than getting caught up in the allure of startup products’ impressive marketing and bold claims, do your research and select the products you buy carefully. You will likely be glad you exercised caution.

These are just a few of the ways you can avoid the pitfalls of product advertising and hone your abilities as a savvy shopper. Startup culture has brought many great things to consumers, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the assumption that the newest products are always the best.

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