After The Purchase
Once you've done all of your research and made the decision to make a purchase, there are several things that you should do right away to make sure that you're better covered down the road should some type of issue arise.
Keep your receipts handy
Anyone that has ever had to return an item to a store knows that the vast majority of the time it is much easier if you have your receipt handy. The same can be said for any type of purchase. Holding on to a receipt is a great idea in case you need to return an item later, file a warranty claim, or pursue any kind of other action against the company. Without it, you could be left trying to prove you made the purchase or may have trouble getting repairs or refunds.
Keep (and Read) Contracts
If the purchase involves a signed contract, such as a gym membership or home improvement project, make sure you keep an original copy of the contract. This way you have proof of what was originally agreed upon if you ever need to go back and reference it. Otherwise, it will be their word against yours should the scope of the deal ever come into question.
Keep things secure and make backups
When you're saving receipts and contracts, make sure to keep them all in the same place so it's easy to find one when needed. Make sure to keep them in a safe place. While you're at it, it's a good idea to make a copy or photo of the original to keep in another area in case you lose one or it gets damaged.
Don't be so hasty to toss manuals and contact info
It's easy to get excited about your new product and disregard the manuals, literature and packaging that comes with it. But holding on to this information gives you a great place to turn if you have a problem and need to verify the warranty period, warranty procedures or even contact info.