As long as you are not smack dab in the middle of aggressive debt reduction (and perhaps eve if you are), paying extra for quality is rarely a bad idea. Sure, as with anything there are exceptions to the rule, but rather than focus on those exceptions, let’s focus on the rule itself.
Quality is well worth the price
My father, bless his heart, has always been a man who valued price over quality. I’m not sure how I landed on the opposite side of the spectrum, but I’m glad that I did. Maybe it’s because I watched as “great deal” after “great deal” turned into more work, more headaches, and ultimately the need for yet another “great deal” to replace the last.
That just plain doesn’t make sense to me. I see things differently.
Regardless of how it came about, I prefer this approach:
Research the dickens out of things in order to find the best solution, shop around for the best price, go in for the kill, and exit the transaction feeling confident that I received a high quality item for a great price.
For me, price is just one of many factors that shapes my buying decisions. Although I always try to land the best price possible, I’m prepared to pay a little more for quality items that function better and last longer.
What’s your buying style?
We can really boil things down to two main buying styles:
Price-first: When a buyer is concerned almost exclusively with price; if it’s the cheapest, then it’s the best deal.
Quality-first: When a buyer is concerned more with the quality of the purchase than with the price.
You may not think it frugal to value quality more highly than price, but remember: cheap is not necessarily frugal. Price is only one factor to consider when determining the true value of goods and services.
I purchase almost exclusively from a “quality-first” point-of-view, and cannot think of a single case of regret from following this strategy. For those who believe that buying cheap is the more frugal option, read on.
How quality saves time and money
Remember, time is money, and purchasing from a “quality-first” first perspective can save you both in many different ways; here are just a few.
- Increased efficiency and decreased frustration due to superior performance.
- Items need to be replaced less often.
- Less bother with things like purchase returns due to poor manufacturing.
- Less time and money spent on repairs.
- Higher quality items come with better warranties, so you spend less time/energy worrying.
One of the main reasons my dad is a “cheap-first” buyer is because he fails to factor the cost of his time. He would rather spend 50 hours repeatedly repairing a broken down lawnmower than pay an extra $200 for a new one. That just doesn’t make sense to me.
Maintain balance and plan your purchases
Ultimately, price and quality considerations make purchasing a bit of a balancing act for consumers. Despite the truths outlined above, you cannot simply assume that just because an item costs more, that it is of higher quality. Likewise, there are limits on how much you should pay for quality.
So remember… Next time you have a purchase to make, don’t be overly concerned about price. Do your homework, define your needs, trust your research, stick to the plan, and leave with a quality item at a fair price.