I’m back home how after a work related trip to Calgary. Nothing beats the comfort of home and as they say, home-cooked food is always the best. Back to the Rules of Life . I don’t intend to spill all the contents of the rules in this blog. I promise I will only blog about four rules in the entire book which I consider to be interesting if not meaningful. Again, I don’t profess to be a guidance counselor. I am just a blogger for god sakes ! Here’s one .
RULE 42 : SHOP FOR QUALITY, NOT PRICE
“I have to admit my wife taught me this one, for which I am eternally in her debt. To me it seemed a natural thing to shop for price. Perhaps this is what chaps do. I would work out for what I wanted and go and buy the cheapest items I could and feel really pleased with myself for saving money. And then I was always dissatisfied with what I had. Stuff broke and didn’t work or wore out quickly or looked shoddy after a very short time. I was living in a mess- and a cheap one at that. What I needed to learn was the art of quality shopping.
– accept only the very best – second best is not for you, ever
– if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it or wait and save until you can
– if you have to have it, buy the very best you can afford
There, that’s pretty easy isn’t it? Well, for me it wasn’t as easy as that. It took me a while to get to grips with this one. It isn’t that I don’t – or didn’t then – admire quality or appreciate excellence; it was that I was impulsive. I thought I needed something, I wanted it right then and there. And if I couldn’t afford the best, I would settle for the cheapest. In fact, in a very English sort of way, I thought that “getting a bargain” was what it is all about. We don’t like to talk about money and we don’t like to brag about how much something cost, too tacky by far – better to buy tacky in the first place. I think not.
Going for quality doesn’t mean we’re stuck up or a load of toffs or living beyond our means – if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Going for quality means you appreciate the finer things, can see the sense in buying well-made, well-produced things as they will :
– last longer
– be stronger
– not break so easily
And this means that they will not need to be replaced so often, which means you may actually be saving money. They will also make you look and feel better.
Now that I’ve latched on to this Rule I really enjoy that anticipation before I buy something. I make sure that it is the quality I am going for and not just the price. I shop around for a bargain though – it’s just now I look for quality items but I’m prepared to find them at the lowest price.”
Do you agree with the author ? First of all, I think there’s such a thing as value for the price. Since most of us don’t have the capability to buy the best , top quality product all the time, we must make a fair assessment of how much we can spend for a product and its expected value to us. We must look at the anticipated life of the product and say yes , I am willing to spend and change this thing if it breaks in two years or say no, I’m buying something else, even if it is three times more expensive as long as it lasts for 10 years. I can buy a 25 dollar DVD player in my kid’s room and frankly, I don’t care if it breaks in 2 years. If it lasts for 5 years, it a bonus. Just like the author, my wife is also a proponent of quality. The sad fact however is she’s deciding while I’m paying! When we wanted to change our garage door, she selected the thermal model which I thought was pretty pricey. In the end, I realized it was a quite a smart buy.
I definitely agree with the author that the name of the game is finding the lowest price for a quality product. However, in the field of consumer electronics , I could disagree that famous names always last longer. I have a rarely heard Emerson VCR player that is still in my cabinet after all my SONY VCR’s had found their graveyard at the recycling depot. The unit never needed any external rewinder; heck, my kids used to rewind and forward tapes like crazy using the tape unit’s remote. It’s still around albeit used seldom in view of the DVD fad. Never known as a top of the line brand but a true workhorse indeed.
I also believe that there are things we can’t compromise with quality, stuff that we can’t afford to break down because they will make our lives miserable like the home appliances – washing machine, dyer, fridge and stove. There are appliance name brands that are rock solid – industrial strength names that are time tested. I will only go for those, never new entry names and I don’t care what the consumer review report says about them. When I go out on a steelhead or salmon fishing in the shallow streams, I go out with the very best rod and reel combination my money can buy. I see guys hooking a 15 lb salmon only to lose it because the cheap reel breaks (and literally disintegrates) when the salmon runs and jumps like crazy when hooked. Since fishing is my passion , the worst thing that could happen to me would be to pack up and go home in the middle of the trip because my damn reel broke. That’s like interrupted sex for me. LOL..
My slight twist to this rule is , if I demand performance, I’d definitely go for quality.
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