You Get What You Pay For?

1 Apr, 2010  |  Written by  |  under Personal Finance Articles

We’ve all heard it said that, often times, “you get what you pay for”.  To some extent, I tend to fight against that notion most of the time.   This is really for a couple of reasons: the first being that I’m a cheapskate, but the second being that these days there seems to be no end to the “up-sale” pressure from both sellers and society.

So yes, while having a $500 coffee maker with fancy bells and whistles might meet with nods of approval by some folks I know, along with some super-exotic $50 a pound coffee, that all seems like a waste of money to me.  I believe my grandparents and their grandparents all knew how to make coffee that both tasted good and gave you a jolt, without spending a lot on it.  Not sayin’ I don’t enjoy an occasional foreign-language-named-coffee-beverage, but most days I just need a good “cup of joe” or two to get going in the morning.    In many ways it seems that we, as a society, have gotten a bit to prissy for our own good.

So recently, when I set out to buy a bicycle to ride for exercise, I started out thinking that I would buy a cheap bike and be done with it.  However (because I am tight with spending my money), before I made a purchase I did a lot of research.  It seems that most of those cheap bikes out there have tons of complaints about them, with so many reviews about them breaking during the first week, and people having to spend a lot to have them repaired — and worse, people getting injured, etc., etc., I ended up spending a lot more than I intended when buying a beginner road bike.  Turns out it is worth it to me to spend more, considering that I’ll be riding many miles from home, traveling on some country roads, traveling some busy roads, and generally putting my health on the line for hours every week on this bicycle.

Which leads me to wonder — in this era of low priced goods — what items have you found that are really worth spending it for?  Are there some items of such quality (not just impressive labels) that you feel they are definitely worth the extra money?  If so, please share those with us in the comments section below.

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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. AM  |  April 7th, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    I, too, have spent more than I had wanted to initially but been very happy with purchase.

    Other times I’ve spent for just the bare minimum and been happy with those, too. (I bought a $100 violin 2 years ago, upgraded the strings and been playing happily almost every day since)

    My decisions are usually based on reviews, both formal and informal of the products in question. Most people skip the research part and buy 100% on price, either “you get what you pay for” or “buy cheapest”. Research tells you which is the best strategy in a particular situation.

    Recently I’ve turned my attention to clothes and felt a little stymied. Most mass produced clothes are very poorly made. I’m lucky enough to start to pay more for clothes and there’s surprisingly little information on quality brands. I don’t mind paying more for more, but there’s no point in paying more for same quality with an upgraded label.

    AM - Gravatar
  2. SpendIt  |  April 7th, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    I agree, it does pay to research to see where spending more money actually gets better quality. Clothing is one area where more money can buy more lasting quality — though often more money on clothing just goes to more “impressive” labels (marketing).

    SpendIt - Gravatar

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