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How Many Tape Measures Have You Purchased at a Store vs Online?

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As the title asks, I’m curious to hear about your tape measure purchasing tendencies.

How many tape measures have you purchased in stores, and how many online?

More specifically, how many new-to-you models have you purchased in a store vs sight unseen?

I also like to try new brands and styles, but have found that I am far more inclined to try a new tape measure if I see it in person, compared to just seeing it online.

There are a couple of exceptions, but mainly for brands I already know and trust.

I find that I am particular about many different tape measure aspects, such as the contrast of the markings, the strength of the spring return, the action of the locking tab, and the size and shape of the hook. After handling a tape measure for just a couple of seconds, I can usually tell with high confidence whether I am likely to favor it or not.

All this came to mind earlier today when I was writing about the new Metabo HPT tape measure I spotted at an online retailer.

I’m a fan of Metabo HPT cordless power tools, but I probably won’t be buying that one without first having the opportunity to try it out. This might not be the ideal standpoint, but I know myself well enough to make such a prediction.

Convenience and value both play a big part. How many tape measures have I purchased at full price, compared to how many I purchased on sale, as part of a special buy 2-pack, or similar?

With that in mind, it’s not just about preference for me, or a quick in-person determination about how well a particular tape measure might suit my tastes.

I think I have gotten so accustomed to 2-for-1 special buys and other such aggressive promotions that I need a strong incentive to pay full price for a premium tape measure. A tape that closely aligns with preferences might do the trick.

That makes sense, right? Why try a new premium tape that only exists online when I can get 2 premium tapes from other brands for the same or lower price the next time a seasonal sale or promo rolls around? If try a tape in person, there’s a greater chance of a convincing factor.

I have also tested all kinds of tape measures over the past 15+ years. Just because a tape is well-made, durable, ergonomically designed, and easy to read, that doesn’t mean I’ll like it.

So, which is it? Why exactly am I more inclined to buy new types of tape measures in person than online? I shared some ideas, but I’m really trying to work backwards to explain my perceived pattern of purchasing behavior.

How many of my tape measure purchases were deliberate, rather than impulse buys or based on limited-time promotional value? What about yours?

How likely are you to buy a tape measure online without trying it out first?

For me, I think the answer is “not very likely,” even though I can’t pinpoint the exact reasons why.