I’m a big believer in paying for good quality, and investing in the things I need to improve my life, but I also don’t believe in just throwing money away for the sake of having a brand or being able to brag about how much I spent on something.
I care that it works, provides me with what I need, and actually adds value to my life in some way, so in a sense, the price tag is pretty irrelevant, but it’s important to note that just because something is the most expensive item on the shelf, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best in terms of quality.
Here are a few of my tips for deciding when something is worth the extra, or if I’m simply paying for a name, and it’s time to be a little more thrifty.
- Do I have experience with it: one thing that will always make a buying decision easier for me is if I’ve already used it and know how it works, how valuable it is, etc. For example, many people would think I’m crazy for the amount of money I’m willing to spend on Apple products, but for me they are all I’d ever use now, and are worth every penny. They make my life easier, so I see the value, but if someone had never used one before, then they may not understand the massive difference in price between a MacBook and a Windows computer. If I don’t have any experience with it, then I’ll do some research before making a decision.
- Check what others are saying: to follow on from my last point, if I’ve never used something before, and the price tag is a good bit higher than the alternatives on the market, then one of the things I recommend doing is looking up reviews on the product you’re thinking of buying. If you simply enter the name of the product into Google, followed by the word review, you’ll find lots of different posts and articles covering this product, or you can go one step further with testingteam.net to get in-depth, non biased reviews from people who have actually tested them independently. When looking at reviews online, it’s important not to let it impact your decision too much. Everyone will have their opinion, and some people only post as a way to moan about something, so what you’re really looking for is detailed posts about performance, functionality, etc.
Determine its lifespan: this is especially relevant to higher end technology products, such as TVs, computers, and household appliances. Although it’s not expected that these will last forever, we usually expect to get at least a few good years out of them without having to replace them – especially if they’re quite expensive. Although many will argue (myself included for some items) that paying more upfront for something that lasts longer and doesn’t need to be replaced often is more cost effective in the long-term, the price itself is really not indicative of how long something will last. Make sure you check reviews for any breakdown patterns with a certain product, and also make sure you’re covered with a good warranty and guarantee, and possibly look around for contents insurance should it be needed.