General Question

delirium's avatar

You get what you pay for?

Asked by delirium (13691points) June 29th, 2008

Seeing as there’s a desperate need for questions right now, i’m asking the ones that I keep stored for emergencies like this.

I’ve noticed that there are some incidences where buying cheap is not a good idea. I’ve found this to be particularly true with a few particular items:
Toaster: Taking my boyfriend’s (bad) advice to buy the cheapest toaster the store had was one of the more regrettable decisions that I have made in a long time. The toaster was $6. It was purchased at target. The toaster cord was ONE FOOT LONG. I measured. It was absolutely absurd. When you plugged it in to the wall the toaster was pulled up off the ground. It was also a completely metal toaster with no insulation. Once you turned it on you needed oven mits to touch it. It toasted the top half of things perfectly and charcoaled the bottom half. Lastly the little dial that is supposed to change time was perfectly symmetrical and could spin infinitely backwards and forwards. That toaster has now gone to toaster hell.
Pillows: I have a thing about buying bedding. I buy the best things possible for my bed because if you’re spending half your life somewhere you should probably be comfortable. Nathan, on the other hand, is an absolute spendthrift. If there’s an aisle of pillows and some are five dollars and it goes up to fifty… he buys the cheapest ones. I mean, you can’t make a pillow badly, right? Wrong. His pillows all go pancake flat within a few weeks. Its the strangest thing ever. I have NEVER had a pillow do this. Its like all the cotton (feather is pricier) in them compresses. You can’t do a thing about it. Fluffing it just breaks the cotton apart and makes it flatter and chunky.

Have you ever had this happen? Do you have any personal stories about it? Warnings to other people?

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14 Answers

trudacia's avatar

You have to shop around and go online to see consumer reviews. We are lucky to live in a time where information is at our fingertips. Research girl! I’ve been in the same place as you many times and learned some valuable$$ lessons.

trudacia's avatar

and what’s up with the lack of questions? Everyone hung over?

stevenb's avatar

I have a saying, please pardon if you don’t like it. “The inconvenience of poor quality will far outlast the thrill of a bargain.” Also, in my business there are three choices involving work. “You can have it fast, cheap, or good, and you can only have two of them so choose wisely.”

delirium's avatar

Those are both Excellent sayings. I love them.

Upward's avatar

Tried and true products that can still demand a premium price are almost always worth it. I usually aim for the highest quality I can find and do without if I can’t aford them.

stevenb's avatar

I have used them with my business for years. They get the point across to people without being rude or crass.

marinelife's avatar

Some things definitely are worth more. I have found that cheaply made clothing is not a bargain, because it doesn’t fit as well and usually does not wear well.

For food products, less processed foods are cheaper and yet usually better.

One rule I have i shoes and purses. I don’t buy plastic. Leather’s werability is vital for these things that get heavy wear.

Of course, the flip side of this and an interesting separate question is what things can you buy that are not top brand names and get quality that is equal to the big brands, because that is also sometimes true.

susanc's avatar

So interesting that food that’s less handled is better and cheaper too, while other things need more work to make them superior.

I have to speak up for plastic purses. Or at least mine, which I got at Target about six years ago: strong woven nylon, black, with four compartments and plenty of zippers. It’s not glam, but it’s tidy and roomy and lightweight and goes with all my clothes (which are black…). I wish I could get a porcelain blue one and a violet-red one and one in a beautiful creamy primrose and a complicated green one ..... But alas.

iwamoto's avatar

i always pay more for high end products, of course, i know the difference between quality and bullshit (did anyone say Monster Cables?) and of course i buy it at a specialist, or at least a stand alone store, they usually have more eye for customer service etc.

a good example i keep thinking about when i read this thread is about a friend of mine, who went through 5 different low range mp3 players who all died or broke, in the end he could have just spent less on an ipod and be done with it… but every time i bring up that choise he just replies with “no, i don’t want to spend a lot of money on it”...

wildflower's avatar

Gucci family motto: “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”.
And yes, I think there often is a higher focus on quality in the higher priced brands – I suppose once they start to have an image to uphold, they have to care about the quality and repeat business.

jamzzy's avatar

i listen to my zune a lot and ive noticed headphones are not like they used to be…haha seriously. i end up buying 15 every year of those little earbuds. but everytime i buy the 10 dollar ones going “these look like they’ll last.” NO. 1 month later the other side doesnt work….although i do admit to buying a pair of 30 dollar headphones and they did last for about acouple of months…. i guess this might be an example on how ‘you get what you pay for’ kicks in.

Knotmyday's avatar

Cheap crap sucks. I always buy “the good stuff,” when it’s on sale. My house is deliciously uncluttered.

emilyrose's avatar

yes it can often be worth it to spend more. my dad always goes for the cheapest of whatever it is (recent example is pillows actually!) but he pretends to know its a good brand or whatever when really i know he wants the cheapest ones. dont even get me started about other idiotic purchases!

charybdys's avatar

I definitely spend more for quality products, and good design. But not useless brand names. My favorite earbuds: Sennheiser CX-300, great sound, good isolation and more comfortable than I imagined. Pen: Pilot G-2, extra fine. Kitchen knives: Wustof(just 1 or 2). I spent a few weeks looking for a perfect mattress, and almost spent 3X the final price before I found the one I did get. For anything that needs durability, or that I’ll interact with on a daily basis, I make sure its a good, durable, and ergonomic product that fits my head/hand/body/lifestyle.

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