Buying decision time, or Time for a sanity check?

Have you ever asked yourself this question:

“Why in the world did I buy that?”

… or what moves you to buy anything else for that matter?

I get the impression much of the time, many sales are driven either by brand loyualty or familiarity. There is something to be said about popularity and technology, as well. However, in the realm of high end audio, attaining the best sound is the undisputed goal. Along that path many ‘audiophiles’ must make decisions about current or up and coming product manufacturers. Each and every decision revolves around a number of items, with performance being routinely at the top of the list. Although performance seems chiefly the reason we purchase items I do not believe it solely why an item (s), finds some way into our homes.

Many audio enthusiasts, myself included, must compromise the amount of performance they seek due to other constraints. . . Pricing, WAF, compatibility, confidence level, or preconceived notions, be they real or imagined, I think play a part.. but I’ve been wrong before.

Thus, when new companies arise offering us vaunted or so called, instituted value, or bleeding edge technology, or just a new slant on an old theme, what is it that promotes you to diminish your savings account? If there is ‘ONE’ main reason that will swing you to buy a product, what usually is that reason?

I’m simply curious as to what it is that drives our decisions for purchasing audio gear. Mainly. Naturally there are more than simply one or two of the following list which play important roles in the final analysis for myself. For me it comes down more often to value than to anything else. I am not a “no compromise” audiophile. Technology, although quite important enough, is also not the main qualifier. Color and style usually do not matter to any great extent with the exception of speaker coloring. I simply hate black… but that’s just me, and at times I have overlooked that too. I do so admire a good looking remote that can operate universally, many other electronics, and some kitchen appliances as well. I’ve always seen that as additive. One can not have too many remotes you know.

It’s your company, so you have to?
Your “electronic clock”, is ticking?
“Stereophile’s” say so?
Ego? (just got to have the latest & greatest)
Product recognition?
The kids have finally moved out?
Easy to read owner’s manual? (I’m lukewarm here)
Free delivery?
Brand loyalty?
Arrival of a new credit card?
Batteries included? (always a plus for me)
Payment Terms?
A darned good looking remote?
Future upgrade options?
Strictly the sound?
The I.R.S. made a mistake in your favor?
A darned good looking salesperson?
My stuff is ancient!

So what is it, friends? What are the main reasons you lay down your hard earned, or easily quaffed duckets for the “XYZ” Model “Eight” series X?

Do make an effort to be fair with yourself in this regard, and as always, have fun.
My last purchase was for a pre-amp. I hadn't heard of the brand until two months before I bought a used one from another a-gonner... it's extremely rare for me to do something that can be considered so impulsive. I had never tried switching pre-amps in my system and had no idea what sort of difference it would make. BUT, I just got married and absolutely had to buy something before getting hitched.
so, short story made shorter- deep dark fear that marriage would prevent any future audio purchases!
Smart move! One for fear.

Next time buy what you want, and give it to her as a gift... if she doens't like it, just apologize and tell her "OK. Then I guess I'll be forced to use it myself... but it's OK dear, I'll make do with it." Whatever it is, get an expensive one... probably this tact may not work very often... and results will vary.
I doubt I could get away with such trickery! At least she reckonizes sound quality... I became instant friends with her best work friend's husband when I discovered he has an audio set up a step up from mine (his- Vandy 2ce sigs, Audio Research, Odyssey, Arcam). We sat down for a listen at their house and my wife, ever so bluntly, said "his stereo sounds better than your stereo." How's that for a wife killing her husband's ego? And then she tells me that I can't buy anything. I'm glad I listened to my fears and bought my pre-amp when I did.
oouch! yep. that would have hurt me too, I'm sure. Keep going over there and letting her hear that system... ultimately she'll cave, as she'll get used to that one and want to upgrade! ..maybe.

Or, simply point out the "cute little remote" a new SYZ comes with... always a plus, not to mention that E Z payment plan.
It's the concordance of two events: 1) there's money in my savings account, and 2) I hear something better. Neither of these happens very often, as I know full well the danger of wandering into a good audio dealership.

Every few years, if event 1 happens, I'll look for something affordable that's demonstrably better. Did that this year, twice, when I replaced my Mission 772s with a used pair of Spica TC-60s, then replaced the Spicas with a used pair of Martin Logan Aeriuses, which, at $1,000, took several gut checks.

Oh yeah, I forgot event 3) there's an irresistable dirt-cheap bargain on eBay. Replaced my HK receiver with an Adcom preamp and two Adcom power amps for $350 total this way. Just couldn't let 'em pass by.

Best not to watch auctions too much. Otherwise I'll find myself with a Rega Planet 2000 and zero balance.