An argument for buying expensive stuff


CamDisclaimer: I bought an iPhone yesterday, so this post may have a bit of special pleading built in to it.

So…the first thing I thought when I bought my new toy was: OMG, it’s SO pretty! Then the next thought was: OMG, I just spent a LOT of money!

How many times have you gone into a cell phone store, gotten a plan (or extended it) and walked out with a free phone? And how many of those free phones have you lost, broken, or dropped in the toilet? Okay, the last one probably not too many of you have done. But suffice it to say, I’m sure you’ve lost or destroyed your fair share of phones. Do you think you would have been as nonchalant about your phone if you had to pay $399 + tax for it? I know I sure as hell won’t be.

So my follow-up question is this: does the fact that I paid the equivalent of a plane ticket for my phone correspond to its quality? In other words, is my phone worth it?

Yep, it sure is. I’m an avowed Machead. And the reason I am is simple: quality. Oh, and ease-of-use, and innovation, and…but let’s just stick to the quality motif.

What I’m getting at is this: You value the things you pay for. And generally, the things you pay for are worth valuing.

That’s not to say that because something costs a lot it’s really high quality. Far from it. I can think of a lot of things that cost $$ but are crap. (Most American and British cars come to mind). But it does mean that you will usually pay more for high-quality things. And that you should expect them to last. And that because you want and expect them to last, you’ll treat them better.

Got it?

  • Lots of money for something = quality is generally FALSE
  • Quality = lots of money is generally TRUE

And, actually, you’ll end up spending less in the long run. Those phones DO cost—you pay for them in your yearly contracts. I won’t buy another iPhone for years.

Here’s a great example of two things: 1) paying for what you think is a quality item that is decidedly NOT; 2) wasting your money on waste. And that thing is buying bottled water as opposed to buying a bottle and filling it with water. If you buy bottled water, about 99% of your purchase price goes to the bottle, the label, and the manufacture and distribution thereof. If you buy a bottle then fill it with the water of your choice (studies have shown that most bottled water is as healthy as tap water), you will see savings very quickly.

Here’s a quick calculation:

  • 1 bottle of water = $1.50
  • 2 bottles a day per week = $21.00
  • …per year = $1092.00

  • 1 27oz GORGEOUS stainless steel water bottle = $16.95
  • 2 refills a day per week = what, $3.80?
  • …per year = $214.55

That adds up to…a week in Mazatlan at least. The point is, waste in most any form is very likely wasting your pocketbook. One phone/bottle per year = good/financially smart.

You might be wondering how, exactly, I’m going to tie this wandering diatribe in to recruiting. Ready? You pay for quality employees, too. And when you pay for them, you appreciate them more and treat them better. And the less you spend, the easier it is to abuse the employees or throw them away. Of course, there’s also a correlation between spending less and getting less.

It is also possible to waste a lot of money on a clunker thinking at first that it’s a good investment. Then you wind up going throw lots of clunkers. So spend the money for the good ones, then keep them happy!


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