Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Price and Quality

By Suzanne O'Connor

The old adage, “You get what you pay for” still rings true. Yet, knowing that, most of us are blinded by lower prices.

A lower price doesn’t usually equate quality. Yet, it can, if you know what you’re doing.

In order to get more than what you pay for you have to be an educated shopper. That takes effort and basically most of us would rather not work that hard.

Stores like Target and Wal-Mart work hard at pushing their low prices. Yet, Wal-Mart, tells product manufacturers what they want to sell the product for. Then the manufacturers figure out how to make the product for less, usually by scrimping on quality to meet that price point. They’re just making a cheaper product cheap.

Back in 2003 I bought 4 new, different vacuums that all broke within a month of use because they were made with inferior plastic parts.  They were well priced at $100-$130 or so each. Then my mother in law bought us a 1950’s Kirby Vacuum. Quality built with no plastic parts, it was heavy and hard to push around. But it sucked up everything and never, ever broke in 15 years of use. My carpet loved this vacuum and I loved that it did the job without breaking.

Brand new Kirby Vacuums run into the thousands. But she paid $25 for a very used one. We eventually picking up a newer one that had all the bells and whistles at an Estate sale a few months back and we sold the 1950’s one for $25 to another savvy shopper. Something that lasts 70 years has quality craftsmanship.

On the other hand, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better quality.

Since pricing is part of marketing, companies will purposely price high an item to create an image of luxury. A local leather expert I know created an exact copy of a Bottega Venetta leather handbag. He used the same, Italian tanned, quality leather, same manufacturing techniques and craftsmanship. His version was $500-$950 in different sizes.  The designer versions were way up at 8,000, priced that high to create a coveted, luxury impression.

So what’s a shopper to do? 

Learn as much as you can about products. When shopping, ask the sales help questions. What’s it made of? Where was it made? Look up reviews on Google. The norm is that if it’s a cheaply priced product at a regular retail store, you’ll only get to use it for a short time and then have to replace it. It’s a cheap product.

But if it’s a lower price at a real discount outlet, learn why it’s there. Chances are it’s a real deal, quality for less. That’s a bargain!

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