Campers planning their summer excursions should be aware of a new survey showing that 25 percent of self-described outdoor enthusiasts admit to regretting at least half of the outdoor gear purchases they’ve made within the last 12 months.

The Outdoor Industry Association estimates that every year, the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending; $184.5 billion of that spending is strictly on gear. Based on survey results, if a quarter of those product purchases ended in regret at least half the time, the result is an astonishing $23 billion spent annually on outdoor gear the consumer later regrets buying.

“Overall, the number one reason for regret is that the product did not work as advertised, followed by the product being cheaply constructed, or of limited use,” said Amit Bhatnagar, an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who performed an analysis of the survey results.

To combat this rampant buyer’s remorse, Panther Vision commissioned a nationwide survey to better understand the problem as the company designs and launches the revamped version of its “headlamp-in-a-hat,” the POWERCAP 2.0.

“In our shop, we refer to those regretful purchases as PUIs – Purchasing Under the Influence – which most people call impulse buying,” said Chas Waters, Panther Vision’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We’re all guilty of it, and as outdoorsmen ourselves who’ve felt let down by products that fail to meet our expectations, our team wanted to know just how common this feeling is among others.”

From its creation, Panther Vision has sought to reimagine the use of LED products. After a lifetime of inventing with more than 25 patents to date, founder Mike Waters has focused his energy on lighting innovation. The POWERCAP is at the core of Waters’ creativity, providing reliable hands-free lighting by embedding LED lights in the front of caps and beanies. Building on the original model, the 2.0 puts out four times as much light, offers three different light settings, and runs on AAA batteries that slide neatly into the hat’s lining, offering a design that seamlessly combines comfort, style, and function.

“From these survey results, we’re able to launch a better product that not only draws on the practical innovations that have made our products successful, but are also at the core of Panther Vision’s design strategy,” said Mike Waters. “At the end of the day, we want to ensure our products never let anyone down, no matter what they’re doing or where they’re doing it.” Because Panther Vision believes it will benefit from an outdoor consumer base that is more
knowledgeable and thoughtful in its purchasing, the company also consulted with Dr. Lars Perner, an Assistant Professor of Clinical Marketing at the University of Southern California, to better understand ways consumers can save themselves from these regrettable purchases.

Perner shared these five tips for outdoor enthusiasts to consider before purchasing a piece of new gear:

  • Perception Is Not Reality – Product makers lure you in with catchy marketing or “sweet deals”, so you have to focus on buying items you know you have a use for as opposed to just taking advantage of a perceived “deal.”
  • Deliberate Decision Making – Don’t get sucked into the hype or your impulse to buy!
    Sometimes “sleeping” on a decision, especially if it’s an expensive one; will help you avoid
    purchases that you will regret later.
  • In It For The Long Run – If you determine you “have to have it,” buyers should take a second to consider not just the initial cost of the item, but also the cost of maintenance and operations over time. In the case of lighting, some types need much more maintenance and additional costs to keep them running such as batteries.
  • Spouse Approved Spending – Listen, if you can’t easily explain to your spouse why you need the item and the costs associated with it, then maybe you should reconsider. A good rule of thumb before you throw it on your credit card and get hit with high interest rates is if you cannot pay cash, it may be better to wait until you can do so.
  • Healing The Camping Blues – As the seasons begin to change it’s hard not to start daydreaming about getting outdoors. Going online to browse around and get your “outdoor gear fix” is exactly when outdoor enthusiasts are most vulnerable. Take a breath, take inventory of what you already own, and make sure you are buying items you actually need, when you need them. “If outdoor enthusiasts keep these simple tips in mind, we’re confident it will save them from unwanted purchase regrets as well as lead them to understanding Panther Vision’s commitment to quality, functional design, and our obsession with creating innovative lighting solutions,” said Chas Waters. “We
    want to ensure that anyone who buys the POWERCAP 2.0, or any of our other products, never feels even a hint of PUI symptoms.”

About Panther Vision

Panther Vision is an Illinois-based company that designs, manufactures and distributes advanced engineered LED lighting solutions. Our more than 25 patented designs offer consumers unparalleled performance and provide them with uncommon solutions to common everyday problems. Panther Vision products are sold all over the world, but can be found in the U.S. at Lowes, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gander Outdoors, Fred Meyer, AutoZone, LL Bean, Bass Pro, Cabelas, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Amazon and Big 5 Sporting Goods stores.


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