When do you go CHEAP? When do you plunk down your money and go a bit more EXPENSIVE?
For years, like lots of men (and women), I’ve used disposable razors for shaving. They’re cheap, easy and tossable.
What did they all have in common? A barely adequate shave. Some blades better than another. Schick. Gillette. Bic. The usual suspects.
Just recently, I stood in front of the vast, colorful array of razors at my local Vons grocery store. Racks of razors, a multitude of colors & prices. Choices, choices. Go cheap? Or go a bit more expensive for a change? It’s a shopper’s tap-your-foot dilemma.
For the first time in ages – going back decades – I chose the expensive razor …a Gillette Fusion ProGlide.
The Fusion razor handle unit isn’t so terribly expensive, just $13.99. A tad cheaper if you shop around.
But it’s the replacement cartridges that really cost. On average, you’ll pay about $36.99 for 12 cartridges at Target…or just over $3 per cartridge. That’s certainly not cheap (by disposable standards).
After one shave, though, I was completely convinced I’d made the proper purchase. Why? The Fusion gave me the very best shave I’d ever experienced from a disposable. The gliding pivot ball head, the 5 blades flowing across my beard, a deft, flexible movement along the chin and neck left my skin smooth and soft. It was a far more superior shave – that lasted far longer – than any other disposable I’d ever experienced.
Besides the fantastic shave, I soon noticed the blade cartridges lasted longer too. You’ll only use about 2 cartridges a month, not 4 (one a week) from the cheaper brands. So that $37 spent lasts me 6 months. In the end, not such an expensive purchase really. The Fusion, backed by an excellent shave, has started to look like a rather decent deal, a good value overall.
Now this is where the analogy comes in. (You knew there was a reason for the razor metaphor – right?)
Too often, in many aspects of life, we decide to go cheap. For so many, spending as little as possible is the sole goal. But, in the end, it turns out we are actually throwing money away. Why? No value. Sometimes, when everything is calculated, the more (not most) expensive product or service turns out actually to be the better purchase. How? The product might last longer, requiring fewer replacements or less repairs. Or the service provided actually saves money.
It might be a better product design that attracts and engages customers – which flows to a healthier bottom line. Or new (but costly) advertising that creates critical brand awareness for your group…increasing sales. Eventually, the marketing charges were paid back through new customers and business. Smart.
An example is the more experienced (and pricier) tax preparer who finds you obscure, neglected deductions that lead to a larger refund. The extra $100-$200 spent on someone good might have netted you $1000s more in federal money back. Money well spent.
It’s the professional contractor who used better paint and materials, plus excellent workers, in their building bid. Or the roofer who provided superior tiles for the roof, meaning less costly repairs down the road, and security during a storm. Sure, you could have used your cousin who owns a hammer, saved some money. But the quality pro, in the long run, was the better value. Contracting, plumbing, electrical – don’t go cheap.
In my profession, I’ve seen too many terrible websites created by scores of churches, ministries, humanitarian and non-profit groups over the years. Hard to navigate, outdated, flooded with useless information with so many poorly-linked, boring pages. Far too much text, so few vibrant pictures or compelling stories. Why? Group after group lacked imagination…plus they decided to go cheap, maybe using a nephew or volunteer.
In the end, the organizations drove interested (but frustrated) viewers AWAY from their work and mission rather than drawing potential visitors (= donors) IN. The answer? A talented web designer was required, someone who knows by experience how to truly create an inviting, easy-to-navigate quality site, not a sloppy effort thrown together by a well-meaning volunteer working from a “Websites for Dummies” book. That talented web designer should be paid for their excellent services; they are worthy of their hire. It’s scriptural, look it up.
My gorgeous loves-to-travel wife, Rebecca, is a savvy web shopper always on the prowl for a great vacation hotel at a reasonable price. But she won’t flinch a bit from our paying a somewhat higher price if a more expensive lodging has creature comforts, good reviews, great service, wonderful charm or character, sits at an excellent location, offers great food and a nice view. She’s willing to pay the extra…to get extra.
Time and again, cheap rarely works, and often costs.
Am I saying to buy the very most expensive product or service? No. Just saying that there are certain times when paying extra gets you extra.
The old adage still rings true: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
Like the Fusion ProGlide.