For most people getting more for less is perceived as saving one’s hard earned money. On the surface getting a “deal” can be a gratifying and sometimes rewarding experience.
I say sometimes simply because the apparent savings can disappear over time based on the total return on one’s investment.
Making purchases based strictly on price in an effort to receive good or best value include the following:
- Using coupons or bonus points
- Buying in bulk
- Grabbing freebies or lost leaders
- DIY (do it yourself) projects
- Buying used or old stock items
- Repair instead of replace
Couponing or extreme couponing can produce real savings for the individual that has disposable time to gather track and redeem.
Buying in bulk can lead to waste as far as perishable items go. Many times I find myself giving excess bulk purchases away to family or friends so they get used.
How much sense does it make to spend your time and gas to drive across the city to buy .95c gas when its .98c in front of you? Box stores will strategically drop prices on a handful of items as a draw (lost leader) with proven results that the average consumer will also make other regular purchases during their visit.
Homeowners or homeowners with friends that have construction or mechanical skills may do well with a DIY car or furnace repair providing the work is completed safely. Unless it becomes a hobby with some entertainment value, what is your disposable time really worth?
Purchasing a used off-lease vehicle can save a buyer a lot of money since most new car/truck sales will depreciate up to 20% as it leaves the lot. The personal value of being the first or only owner of that new vehicle brings in another aspect of what value can mean to some of us. The value of having less operating cost of a smaller vehicle or home compared to the personal value of driving or owning a larger home with the status that it can bring shows us that we are all different and what constitutes best value is highly subjective.
Making repairs on equipment such as a gas or electric furnace or central air conditioner that is due to be replaced can best be assessed by a trusted professional that has the knowledge and experience to do so. Hard to find or outdated parts are the primary reason why a homeowner should not waste money on a repair. The inconvenience of multiple breakdowns is usually the next problem with patched up repairs.
Replacing a standard or mid efficient gas furnace with a high efficient gas furnace will mostly pay for itself with savings in operating costs over 5 to 6 years. Furnaces in Winnipeg homes can be in heat mode up to 9 months of the year making the pay back far more attractive than our southern American neighbors.
It’s important not to get caught up in the value trap that insists that just because something is more expensive, it has to be better. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes more expensive is just…more expensive. If you decide that you want to value something based on its quality, you really need to keep that in mind. You need to compare various samples or degrees of quality in order to make your decision. You should have a pretty good idea of what quality is for a particular item or service.
If you can’t tell the difference between a mediocre bottle of wine and a premium bottle of wine, there is no sense in paying extra for something you can’t detect quality differences in. The level or service that is offered with a purchase is unfortunately the most often overlooked and less scrutinized transaction where a purchase is based on price alone. Installation or follow up service for warranty or maintenance procedures are not easy to compare or evaluate when you are taking a chance with the cheapest guy.
Dad always said ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
- Referrals are important.
- How does a big company handle negative reviews?
- Can a small company live up to its promises?
- Talk to your friends and neighbors.