Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What's It Worth?

This economy has a chokehold on all of us! The news out of Washington while encouraging of late is still nothing to write home about. With all the doom and gloom blasting us in the face by multi media sources, the temptation to "cheap out" has never been greater. People are flocking to Walmart, not Neiman Marcus.

In my last post we talked about repainting the Living Room. Admittedly when it came time to buy the paint for the room, I had to cross that all too familiar threshold of "price versus quality." Wouldn't now be the perfect time to save a few bucks and cut a little corner on quality? Couldn't I cheat a little bit and buy the lesser quality paint that might cover up all that red? Not with the prospect of twenty-five ladies sitting in that room for an upcoming party! You always get what you pay for!

Sherwin Williams makes several grades of paint retailing for a range of $25 - $49.49 (Design Basics to Duration) per gallon. It is easy to convince yourself that a half price sale is all you need to get the job done. "Duration" is their top of the line paint which is advertised to be more washable than most brands. I chose "Super" grade paint at $40.99 per gallon because it is designed to cover with one coat - and I was trying to cover red! After eighteen years with the same red it was time for a change and I was hopeful that one coat would do it.

But that is precisely my point - eighteen years is a very long time between paint color facelifts! When our home was built back in '92 - '93 we hired a painter who took great care to prepare the walls and the wood so that we would maximize the longevity of the finish. Had we used cheaper paint and inferior labor, both that more closely fit our budget at the time, we could never have gotten eighteen years out of this paint job. By cutting corners and using lesser grades of material and labor how many times would we have had to paint walls and molding in those eighteen years to keep it looking fresh?

Walmart and Neimans both sell clothing. So do a lot of other fine department stores. The main differences between Walmart and Neimans are product style, product durability, and service. A busy executive that wears a suit everyday most probably would not buy his suit at Walmart. No, the styling, the materials, and the service offered when you gain a few extra pounds are better at Neimans. To be fair other fine department stores offer the same advantage. Nothing wrong with Walmart, but if you have ever had a Neimans suit - you probably still have it!

That tension burns within us. "Quality" has a price, but "price" often doesn't have quality. What's it worth to me - do I spend a little bit more now and save a lot later? Or by saving a few bucks now will I risk getting caught short on quality? It usually costs an awful lot to fix it later!

1 comment:

  1. "The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten"