Late adopters are not people who hate technology, think trends are evil, and spend their time sitting in candlelit rooms grumbling about the modernization of things that used to matter. Late adopters are a segment of the consumer population who don’t feel the need to jump on a new tech or trend as soon as it’s available. They wait. They eye before they try. They are also often the last to try, and they save money and get more value out of what they do decide to buy. Here’s how you can, too.
1. Skip the newest version
People often think of late adopters in the context of new technology. Late adopters won’t be in line for the latest iPhone, or fighting crowds for the newest smart home thermostat. Their willingness to wait means they avoid the premium prices that come with getting the newest thing, now.
For example, older versions of the iPhone typically drop in price by $100 when Apple releases the newest version. Late adopters save that $100, at a minimum. Potentially, they can save more by buying a used phone in great condition from someone who can’t wait. (See also: 5 Smart Ways to Save on Smartphones)
2. Save time and data
Late adopters save by avoiding the time and money spent on buying relatively untested tech trends, or gadgets. Tech is a competitive industry; not all that launches will last. Early adopters who sign on for the latest service or product provided by a startup get the thrill of the new. They also get the hassle of the new: keeping up with continual upgrades, dealing with bugs, and having to move (or lose) their data when a service shuts down. (See also: 8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be an Early Adopter)
3. Avoid premium pricing
The premium pricing concept translates to many industries beyond fashion. If you’re set on having the newest designs, as soon as they’re released, you’ll pay more for it. This “hunger marketing” strategy creates a sense of urgency and scarcity, and many consumers buy into it. Literally.
Late adopters avoid price markups by waiting before purchasing. That new fashion trend highlighted on the main display will be in the bargain bin in a few weeks, and the price will drop accordingly. The timeline might be a bit longer, but the same goes for new tech toys.
4. Wait on tech stocks
By waiting, you can benefit financially by avoiding trend-chasing, a common strategy in the stock market. Prices on “trending” stocks increase to a maximum, then fall, sometimes dramatically. If you chase those trends, purchasing as the trend is growing or peaking, you might overpay.
Seasonal cycles and holidays in the stock market can favor late adopters, as well. Trading activity, and prices, follow predictable patterns. People who are willing to wait can buy and sell at the best time, rather than taking what they can get right away.
5. Evaluate your true necessities
Turns out, the necessities of life aren’t always necessities. If you talk to the sales rep at your nearest baby goods warehouse, you’ll get a long list of items that you simply must have. If you talk to a seasoned parent, you’ll get a much shorter list: the essentials, and those daily-use items that save a parent’s sanity more than a few times.
Taking the late adopter approach for a new baby, or for family entertainment, or for your tween’s wish list will help you filter it to a shorter, smarter list. Many things seem optimum and exciting when we first hear about them and when our friends all have them. The crystal-clear voice of experience will save you money if you give it enough time.