Poor Quality and Low Price
“The bitter taste of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” Benjamin Franklin
Really? Was Ben Franklin actually first to say that? Doesn’t matter. It’s true.
As stewards of “Daddy’s money” (e.g. God owns it all) it’s important for us to think about how we spend and what we spend for. We’re all drawn to quality . . . none of us want to regret buying bad stuff. But how do we know a bargain from a ‘bust’?
4 questions to help you make good purchase decisions. Here goes . . .
- How does the ‘brand’ translate into high or low quality? – The ad guys have done a masterful job implanting brands into our noggins and connecting them with perceived quality. If I’m about to buy Advil, I’m really buying ibuprofen. The ‘store brand’ sitting beside the pretty Advil bottle is exactly the same in its content as the brand name. The connection of higher price with higher quality is in our heads.
- How long and how heavily will I depend on this product? – We want high quality in important things we’re going to use for a long time. Think about how long you’ll own something . . . how often you’ll use it . . . how often it’ll need to be replaced and with what difficulty. We make better decisions about quality (and price) when we put the product/service in perspective.
- When you think about high and low quality, be sure you consider the “whole product.” – Quality includes more than the physical product or the description of the service. The ‘product’ includes the service you get when it fails. The answered phone when you call with a question or a problem. The return privilege and how smoothly that gets handled. The warranty support a year from now. All this stuff is part of the ‘product’ and affects the price.
- How’s your identity connected to ‘high quality’? – When you purchase something, there’s a connection between your identity and what you purchased. If you’re a bargain hunter . . . your friends and family see you as the guy who ‘always finds a deal.’ You’ll be tempted to buy things to fulfill that vision even when no one’s looking. If you’re a ‘top dollar,’ quality guy, then shopping around may be sort of ‘beneath you.’ Amazon’s your friend because it offers the most convenient way to buy along with a competitive price. But it’s easy to get spoiled. When a decision that’s more expensive and complicated comes along, you won’t want to do your homework and shop around. You might sometimes overpay for the best just because it’s easy.
Years ago, someone cursed me with this statement . . .
“Every spending decision is a spiritual decision.”
Why? Because it’s all God’s money. We’re just stewards of it.
In our world of excess and convenience, I confess . . . I don’t much spend time on lower-priced things. But as the price gets higher, I’m reminded of the importance of looking at things through the lens of a ‘steward’ instead of an owner, and to carefully consider what I’m spending for ‘high quality’ vs. real value.
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I sure didn’t need THAT message on a Monday morning Reggi! 🙁
Thanks for putting some reality back in life. I have never once considered a purchasing decision a spiritual decision, so I guess I better get hot.
Regi – great post as always. This is not a spiritual reply, but as a brand guy and someone that benefited from medical innovations, I feel compelled to reply. Don’t forget that if you only buy the generic, store-brands, there will likely cease to be innovation. Part of what you pay for with a “brand” is the R&D that was required to bring it from concept to market. This is especially true of medicines. dave