You Get What You Pay For

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I am sure you have heard the old saying, “You get what you pay for”. I know I have heard it numerous times before. I feel like it has become the excuse for when we know we purchased something we shouldn’t have or if we have buyer’s remorse. One thing I wanted to do is actually look in and see if this old saying is really true. Do you really “get what you pay for”?

Pricing Indicates Quality

We all might have it in our minds that a higher price indicates a higher quality product. While this might seem correct, many times it is not. When you see a higher priced item when doing comparisons, there are a few things to look out for.

  • Who is selling the item? Is it at a store like Walmart and Target or is it at a smaller retailer?
  • What brand is the item? Bigger brands tend to cost more. They have more overhead in their business and they market more, so they have to justify that cost with higher prices.
  • What are the features? If two items have the same features, but one costs more, then it could be because of the brand name.

There are many occasions when the higher priced item is just because it is a name brand, but has no bearing on the quality. People pay for them because they see their marketing everywhere. That is really how consumerism works. Consumers respond well to advertising and that is why it is such big business.

Generics Are Bad

I have been extremely surprised on how people view generics. It doesn’t matter if it is a generic food item, a generic drug, or a generic replacement part. People don’t like generics. They say that they do, but people will usually push for the brand name item before they jump on the generic.
Generics are not bad and many times they are exactly the same as the brand name they compare to. Many manufacturers actually handle both the brand name item and the generic. They just put them in different packages. That means you are getting the exact same product, but paying more for the brand name.
Now, I will say that there are some generics that are truly poor quality. It depends on who makes them, but you can usually tell when comparing a generic compared to a brand name item. You have to use your knowledge to discern between the two. If it feels like a cheap knock-off and looks like one too, then you probably shouldn’t buy it.

Picking The Cheaper Item

How many times have you picked up the cheaper item because it was just cheaper? You wanted to save money and so you picked the cheaper alternative. I don’t find anything inherently wrong with this methodology, but I will say that it can backfire. There are been quite a few times where I was comparing two items side by side. One was a brand name item and the other was from a company I didn’t know. After sitting there, I decided to go with the cheaper item just for the sheer fact that it was cheaper. Well, I found out that I got exactly what I paid for. I got home and tried out the product and it broke immediately. So, in my haste to save a few dollars, I wound up with a broken product and then had to return it for the other. I lost money because of trying to save money.

Do Your Research

My point I wanted to get across in this article is that there is never a cut and dry time when you get what you pay for. There are many items that are just as good or better than their higher priced counterparts. Then there are times when the lower priced item is priced that way because it is far inferior to the higher priced item. You can never really know if you are going to get what you pay for unless you research. That’s right. You just have to research.
I am an avid purchase researcher. I always make sure to take my time with my purchase and research reviews before I swipe the card. Some might say that I am a little obsessed with researching (I know my wife can attest), but I think it is time well spent. I would rather just make one purchase and move on. I don’t need to waste my time having to go back to the store and getting the other product. It is just a waste of money, which I am against.
If you really want to save money, then make sure you do proper research before you make a purchase. Will the cheaper item handle the same things as the higher priced item? Are they just more expensive because they are a big brand name? There are many things to think about before you pull out our wallet. Saving money doesn’t always mean that you buy the cheaper product, but you don’t always get what you pay for. That is where research comes in.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


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