I was shopping near the school supplies at a local discount store when I overheard a conversation between a mother and her son.
Son: “Can I get this backpack, Mom?”
Son: “But I really like it. It’s only $12.”
Mom: “No. If it’s only $12, that’s cheap. We’re going to the Mall of America in a few weeks and we’ll get one there.”
Now, being a mom myself, I recognize that moms say a lot of things just to get their kids to stop pestering them when they’re in a store. Maybe she just didn’t want to deal with any backpack purchases that day and that’s why she said what she said.
But the lesson she taught her son that day made me sad. She basically taught him that if the price is low, then the item is “cheap.” She never really even looked at the backpack to determine if was truly “cheap.” Instead, she left him with the message that you have to spend a lot of money to get something of value.
Such broad generalizations are dangerous. Yes, some items that are low in price are of poor quality. But I’ve also purchased some great things for only a few bucks. On the flip side, I’ve seen (and purchased) plenty of expensive things that ended up being poor quality and a waste of money.
Each item you buy needs to be judged for its own value. Price does factor into that decision, but you also need to consider construction, finish, warranties, and more.
Price shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when you’re looking for quality.