I am trying to define "people who buy things only after everyone else already have".
Maybe "The laters"?

It should be up to 3 words.

Update: Example of use

I don't like to be a beta tester, I'm kind of {{missing_word}}

  • 3
    Can you give an example of how you would like to use the word you are seeking?
    – Hellion
    Jan 22, 2017 at 6:05
  • 1
    I give you an example. Jan 22, 2017 at 6:55
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    I would call beta testers "early adopters" rather than "early birds".
    – herisson
    Jan 22, 2017 at 6:57
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    @Drew The early bird gets the worm, but the second (late) mouse gets the cheese.
    – Johannes_B
    Jan 22, 2017 at 12:29
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    I don't like to be a beta tester. I'm kind of wait-and-see.
    – Drew
    Jan 22, 2017 at 15:44

3 Answers 3


In the specific context of technology, the standard term is late adopters. Here is a definition from the Macmillan Dictionary:

someone who is slow to start using or buying a new product, technology, or idea.

The phrase has made its way to the New York Times.

Edit based on comments from @1006a: The term late adopters comes from analogy with early adopters. The latter phrase was first introduced by Everett Rogers in his theory regarding the diffusion of innovations. Rogers identified five classes of individuals: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. The last three are sometimes combined into a single category, followers.

Technically, then, follower would capture the sense you want of being part of the majority: as you said in a comment to a different answer, it would be

Someone who behave[s] like most of us.

But if you wanted to emphasize the lateness of your adoption, laggard would fit better. However, the specialized meaning of these terms is unlikely to be known to most audiences, while late adopter would be fairly straightforwardly understood. The New York Times headline would not read as transparently if "late adopters" were replaced by "followers" or "laggards", for example.

  • I also see the terms early majority/late majority/laggards (these three are part of the original scheme that introduced "early adopters" (who themselves follow innovators)) and followers in this context.
    – 1006a
    Jan 22, 2017 at 8:39
  • True, but those terms are rarely used outside of highly specialized sales/marketing discussions. I've never heard late majority used in casual conversation to describe tech customers, outside of a sales analysis.
    – verbose
    Jan 22, 2017 at 8:41
  • I think followers is a pretty straightforward, everyday term, and majority (without qualification) seems to be more what the OP is getting at (in a comment, the OP mentions "Someone who behaves like most of us").
    – 1006a
    Jan 22, 2017 at 8:48
  • True, followers is straightforward. Are you inviting me to edit my answer, or would you prefer to write your own?
    – verbose
    Jan 22, 2017 at 8:53
  • Please feel free to include any part of my comments that seem useful. Your answer just brought those other, related terms to mind.
    – 1006a
    Jan 22, 2017 at 9:09

The OP seems to mean the people who buy Gadget X after all the post-release bugs have been found and fixed and the price has gone down. If the OP wants to keep the avian metaphor, call them the wise owls.

Calling them wise owls is appropriate on two levels: (1) owls are mostly nocturnal, contrasting with the early birds; and (2) owls are birds of prey. The wise owls prey on the impatience of the early birds who have to discover the bugs and pay a higher price.

As for the term wise owl, Wikipedia states that:

The modern West generally associates owls with wisdom. This link goes back at least as far as Ancient Greece, where Athens, noted for art and scholarship, and Athena, Athens' patron goddess and the goddess of wisdom, had the owl as a symbol.

  • Read my mind... Just a question: A third level grade kid will know this phase? Jan 22, 2017 at 7:58
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    Since this has been created for this question, it is unlikely for someone to guess its meaning without it being explained. Jan 22, 2017 at 10:35
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    -1 A "wise owl" is just a wise person. Nothing to do with early- versus late-adopters. Jan 22, 2017 at 12:36

I don't like to be a beta tester, I'm kind of a late majority type.

Marketing industry has terminology for the various types of consumers. There is no opposite to an early adopter- it is just one of five broad sweep categories.

Marketers have broken consumers down into different groups and created this snazzy curve called the Innovation Adoption Curve, [...]

Adopter Category #1: Innovators — [...]

Adopter Category #2: Early Adopters — [...]

Adopter Category #3: Early Majority — Early Majority consumers collect more information about the product and will weigh the pros and cons before they make a decision. They listen to their opinion leaders and will rely on their groups’ opinions instead of forming them for themselves. They’re an important group nonetheless and should not be ignored! Early Majority group members are positioned between the earlier and later adopters and are deliberate in their data collection process.

Adopter Category #4: Late Majority — Alright, now we’re to the skeptics. Late Majority consumers adopt a new product mainly because their friends have all adopted them and they feel the need to conform. This group is typically older and has below average income and social status. They listen to word-of-mouth communication over mass media, since they trust their friends more.

Adopter Category #5: Laggards — Laggards do not rely on group norms and values, just like Innovators. [...] - https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/blog/innovation-adoption-curve/

Also see Wikipedia

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    Laggard would fit the example sentence fine. Doubt anyone outside the industry would know what "late majority type" means though. Jan 22, 2017 at 11:24
  • @MartinSmith In ordinary English "laggard" has negative connotations. Jan 22, 2017 at 12:37
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    @DavidRicherby In the context of adopting technology early or late I think it's pretty clear what it would mean. Whether it was positive or negative in that context depends on ones POV. Similar to declaring oneself a Luddite. Jan 22, 2017 at 12:40
  • @MartinSmith I strongly disagree. If you call somebody a Luddite, it is insulting; "laggard" falls in the same category. In ordinary English, a laggard is "a person who makes slow progress and falls behind others." In any context where the person's intellect is being considered, that's a fancy way of saying that they're stupid. Jan 22, 2017 at 13:26
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    @DavidRicherby - the context in the example sentence is not calling someone else anything. It is calling yourself something. Many people happily call themselves luddites. Just google the phrase "I'm a luddite" for examples. Jan 22, 2017 at 13:29

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