Does More Money Mean Better Quality?

Reading Time: 4 minutes    

Quality depends on what you are buying and how you plan to use it. When I sit at my desk I usually have my elbows pointed with my weight on my chair’s armrest. Can you picture it? Well, this was the best way I could communicate it after 10 minutes of brainstorming.

 

Anyway, I have gone through 3 shirts because the elbow part tore due to my poor sitting habit. All three were from the same merchant and cost under $20.

 

On the other hand, I have had other shirts for years which have endured the same torture which retails for about $80, but I know I spent less than $30 on them based on where I made the purchases. So in this example, yes I paid more (but still less in a way), and definitely received a better quality and longer-lasting product.

 

 

Big Difference in Quality May or May Not Mean a Big Difference in Price

 

Per Google, quality is “the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something”. The key is standard and what standard is acceptable to us. When we buy something that is our expectation of the product of service?

 

If I buy a shirt for $10.00, so I expect it to last me for a year? If I buy one for $25.00, so I expect it to last me for at least a couple of years or more?

 

It also depends on how much we use the shirt and in the conditions, it is up against. If it’s for sports on a regular basis, then it will be held to a higher standard and maybe it’s worth spending more.

 

If it’s for work, also to be worn on a regular basis as part of your rotating wardrobe, then yes quality matters as well.

 

If it is for dress occasions which happen rarely, then maybe I don’t need to buy the top of the line shirt from Nordstrom. In any case, there are some products across the board which may or may not be worth spending more to get seemingly better quality.

 

Here is a chart I put together of some other products and whether or not I believe the quality you’d get would be better, worse or the same.

 

Product or Service Non-Name-Brand Cost Name Brand Cost Quality Difference Worth Paying More? Comments
Over the counter medication $7.00 $10 None No I buy non-name brand medication all the time and they work because I feel better at the same rate  – yes my own human study on myself 🙂
Furniture $1,200 $2,200 Bigtime Yes Purchased a leather (so-called leather) couch set from a shady furniture store less than five years ago and already it is deteriorating big time. Reputable furniture stores offer warranties/free repairs and replacements
Coffee $1.00 per cup (sometimes any size) $2.00 per 12 oz cup None No I don’t know about you but I don’t have any problem with McDonald’s coffee especially when it’s $1.00 any size, WINNING!
Electronics – TV ~$1,000 ~$1,500 Not much No In this case, I really didn’t practice what I preach. Although I bought my TV on black Friday and got $200 off, I bought a name brand (Sony), but my friend has a less popular brand and the picture on his is also crisp with clear sound too.
Men’s Cologne $30 for 4oz $90 for 4oz No No One of my favorite cologne since high school is Curve for Men. My wife loves it too. And it doesn’t fade away like an hour after you apply it. So I wouldn’t recommend spending more than double on different cologne.

 

From trial and error, I was able to learn which items to buy the brand name to ensure better quality and longer lasting.

 

Find Out What Better Quality Really Means

We can even ask the merchant why they are charging what’s seemingly more for their product versus a similar one seen at a different store.

 

For example, while on a trip a friend of mine wanted to purchase a ring with a stone on it. The merchant asked for a certain price and my friend said it is less than half elsewhere. The merchant said the stone is plastic, not real. He demonstrated by burning the stone and it didn’t do anything. He burned a ring that had a “plastic” stone and sure enough, the color changed and became darker. Plus we could feel the difference in texture. Furthermore, this merchant had a nicer store with more customers, better customer service and an overall better purchasing experience, which alone can be an important factor for many consumers.

 

Get Quality At Discount…Stores

But even if we buy brand names, it depends where we buy them from too. For example you can buy the following things from the Dollar Store and they will usually be cheaper there: gum, school supplies, basic tools, Tupperware, kitchen utensils, detergent (brand name ones), picture frames, sunscreen, cleaning supplies, and party supplies (way cheaper than Party City or a specialized party store).

 

Adding to that, there are stores such as Marshalls and T.J. Maxx where you can buy quality branded items for less than retail. When these branded companies have high inventories, the end result is the excess distributed to these stores with prices that are significantly less.

 

We’ve bought clothes, toys, and household items from here. Many of the items we bought would have been close to double at a regular department store in a mall. And to find these great deals, it’s worth it to visit the actual store rather than search online.

 

 

Join The Discussion:

  1. Are there certain products or services you don’t mind paying more for because you know there is a difference in quality?
  2. What are some of the factors you use to assess quality in a product or service?
  3. Have you bought a lower quality product in the past whose performance and durability surpassed your expectations?

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

I use Personal Capital because (1) it’s free, (2) it tracks all of my accounts and overall net worth, (3) my account balances automatically update, (4) it shows how my investments are diversified and allocated in various sectors, and (5) can use built-in tools like “Investment Checkup” to get….wait for it…free personalized advice!

 

Check out my simple, yet detailed Personal Capital Review here.