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To spend a lot on something that lasts years instead of similar on lots of cheaper items that don't last?

(84 Posts)
babysaurus Thu 09-May-13 21:12:20

This is a light hearted AIBU, please be gentle!

A friends daughter, 9, hates brushing her hair as its thick and brushing hurts it. She also fights having it washed for the same reason. Her mum has bought detangling sprays and lots of different brushes, "the last one cost me £8", but none have helped enough. I have a Mason Pearson brush which she used (I took it over for her to try) and the difference was amazing. Unfortunately these brushes cost £35+. My friend said she would (not could) pay that much for a brush as its ridiculous, but has prob spent at least that already on cheaper brands.

This prompted a lighthearted discussion with her over buying one off expensive products that last forever (my last Mason Pearson was a 12th birthday present and it lasted till I was 36) and her preference of buying cheaper things but on a regular basis (she has pans that look like Le Creuset but aren't, for example) because paying huge amounts for things when you can get an equivalent for less is apparently the way to go. (Not a purely financial decision.)

So, if you were there too, would you be agreeing with me or my friend...?!

cory Fri 10-May-13 06:27:15

If she buys the £35 hairbrush she will have to watch it like a hawk for years to make sure her dd doesn't lose it, tread on it and break it, lend it to her best friend who loses it... It will take a lot longer for her dd to become independent in the matter of brushing her hair. If I had a 9yo I would be looking at equipment that I was happy for her to be in charge of.

MrsLouisTheroux2 Fri 10-May-13 06:59:16

I have a Mason Pearson brush from TKMaxx.
Mason Pearson are one of the many companies cashing in on an old reputation. I would never spend £60 on a brush. I don't care what it's made of.

MrsLouisTheroux2 Fri 10-May-13 07:01:23

£60?! £35 even! smile

LifeofPo Fri 10-May-13 07:07:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loofet Fri 10-May-13 07:07:27

Completely with you, yanbu. I don't understand the logic of buying something cheap and having to replace it every few weeks rather than just buying the more expensive and better quality item that lasts. Mind boggles.

I do it with shoes especially. I'd much rather buy a pair of Converse (for example) for £40 that will last for YEARS than a cheap version for a tenner that you end up having to replace a few weeks later. Electrical items as well, always better to invest in a better brand that you can rely on.

ScienceReallyRocks Fri 10-May-13 07:22:12

I understand the principle involved, buying better quality is usually better in the long run but if you are faced with shoes that are £17 or shoes that are £45 then if you don't have the £45 then the decision is already made.

I was made to feel very inferior last weekend because I had cheap shoes on (family member) because she always buys good quality shoes and went to great lengths to make me see my folly.
Well , you know what? I'd prefer to buy better shoes rather than buy cheap ones that need replacing, but if you don't have the money you don't have the choice.

chanie44 Fri 10-May-13 07:22:35

I focus on quality in the first instance. I think the quality of many products have gone downhill over the years and it is becoming more difficult to find items that last. I'm happy to give things a try.

Tailtwister Fri 10-May-13 07:30:19

I agree with you to some extent. More expensive items do last longer and I'll spend more on kitchen equipment for example. I would buy one expensive knife rather than have a block of 6 cheaper ones. It all depends on having the spare cash at the time though. If you can't afford the higher outlay you have to buy cheaper but more often.

tomatoplantproject Fri 10-May-13 07:44:34

For the last few years I have consciously started spending more on quality items rather than cheap. My work clothes I have now had for some time and they look good as new, I don't have to replace stuff that falls apart. I have been given tons of stuff for dd (6mo) so the few purchases I have made I have been able to buy the quality item (eg stokke high chair). I then buy in bulk the disposable stuff - Costco for washing powder, nappies, wipes, shampoo etc.

We are now in the lucky position that we don't need a lot of new stuff, but if we do we tend to wait for birthdays or Christmas - eg I buy dh a good knife each Christmas and we are building our range that way.

I'm not sure how we will approach stuff for dd as she gets older - cross that bridge when we get there.

I am sure we are fortunate to be in this position that we have the basics and don't need to worry too much about replacing them regularly.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 07:46:12

It totally depends though doesn't it. I have la crueset and other brands of pans, they all still break if you drop them.

I get la crueset at tk maxx BTW, ever more than £20 an item. I have no idea why anyone not seriously loaded pays full price.

StuntGirl Fri 10-May-13 07:48:18

So she has a nightmare with her daughters hair, finally found a product that makes a difference with it, yet isn't interested in buying it? Are you sure there's not some money issue hidden here because logically it doesn't make sense.

Personally I'd get her hair cut and avoid the issue, but there you go.

sarahtigh Fri 10-May-13 07:57:42

unfortunately buying cheap for a lot of things involves more money in the end, it has been fairly well documented for over 100 years that the poor pay more for most things in the end because they can't afford the initial outlay for the quality product,

around 1890- 1900 these was done in New York looking at men's boots the SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE WAGE MAN could spend 2 weeks wages on a pair which on average lasted 5-10 + years, ( it appears most things were better made then) working men spent just less than 1 weeks wages just but replaced more often so on average spent 40% more on boots, this still applies to most things

there was a thread about 2 months ago arguing similar about school shoes if you can't afford the initial 35 pounds for decent pair you end up buying 3 pairs at £15+ so again spending about 20% more on shoes

I generally agree with OP

Bananasinfadedpjs Fri 10-May-13 08:00:33

Depends what it is. I don't like to buy cheap crap, but there is a middle ground of reasonably priced mid-range items, that still work well, and last reasonably well. It is sometimes hard to know if you are paying for quality, or if you are just paying for a name.

I have two daughters, and I'll always look for good quality clothes and toys, because I hope they can be passed down to the younger one, for example.

We have quite high-end appliances - washing machine, dish washer, fridge, (though we found them all at a discount). But all our furniture is of the cheap and cheerful Ikea variety.

And even good quality things can get broken, ripped, get scratched, get lost...

znaika Fri 10-May-13 08:04:02

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TwoFourSixOhOne Fri 10-May-13 08:08:52

Terry Pratchett has it right on this subject:

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
― Terry Pratchett, Terry Pratchett's Men at Arms

StuckOnARollercoaster Fri 10-May-13 08:16:41

In principle I like to buy quality but with more and more things it's hard to identify the quality, because high prices is not always the guide, particularly on clothes and shoes.
When I was a kid I was decked out in Clarks and m&s, but as an adult I've been stung by those supposedly quality products turning out to be poor as the companies cost cut and trade on old reputations.
So now I am very wary and will do a combination basked on the product and what I may have hehard from family, friends and places like mumsnet.

Jux Fri 10-May-13 08:17:17

Of course it makes sense to buy expensive if you know it's going to last forever! The trouble is that that doesn't always happen, and you have to have the dosh to start with.

I'd get dd a M&P brush now she'd 13, but I wouldn't have done it before.

Incidentally, where can you get a decent comb? i have my grandmother's (she died 26 years ago) and the quality is extraordinary in comparison to the crap flabby plastic things you get from Boots these days.

We got one of similar quality for dd in Malta, in a chemist in a tiny little town, nothing special over there. It's disappeared and I can't stretch to going to Malta to get another!

lubeybooby Fri 10-May-13 08:20:16

It isn' difficult to brush girls hair without hurting. Just have some awareness of what you are doing, start at the bottom and work up, if there's a tangle hold the hair to stop it pulling while you sort it out.

My 16 yr old long haired DD agrees. Bad workman blames tools etc.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 08:20:57

Yes I agree rollercoaster. I've got boots,that are still going strong after 10yrs of heavy winter use and,they were nowhere near the priciest end of the market! I think they were £35.

Some brands that were high quality are now made in different countries with different materials...

I try not to buy things,that I don't think will last, but I would never buy the most expensive brands unless I was 100% convinced they really were the best.

Ariel21 Fri 10-May-13 08:24:01

YANBU. I've heard those brushes are amazing. I might get one (when I have money). I read that they transform thick frizzy hair without the need for spending squillions on products.

More generally, I would rather buy good quality stuff in sales or second hand, than new cheap stuff that is massively wasteful. Obviously this doesn't apply to hairbrushes ;)

superbagpuss Fri 10-May-13 08:27:16

I'm in the depends camp

I buy last years style sketchers shoes and trainers because I am heavy on my foot ware and they last, cheaper ones are just a waste of money

for work I have some expensive suits and skirts and cheap shirts and tops so I can replace them when needed keeping my look updated

for the kids some gimmick stuff comes cheap because they don't need it to last, but I spend out on books etc which do last

FacebookWanker Fri 10-May-13 08:31:37

TeWi I bought a pair of those boots. They barely lasted a winter. Luckily they gave me a full refund.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 10-May-13 08:37:03

the point is you can't say whether a £35 pair of boots will last or not based on the price, you need to look at how they are actually made/designed.

TerraNotSoFirma Fri 10-May-13 08:37:52

I do the same ariel, I have got most of my recent clothes from the John Lewis sale, a Viyella cardigan that was £109 reduced to £25 has been my best bargain and I can see it lasting years.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Fri 10-May-13 08:39:46

I tend to pay whatever I can afford at the time, or I'll wait and save to get the item/brand that I really want. I used to buy the cheap alternatives, but would never be fully happy with them. So lesson learned, I waited and saved.

It was my dh who changed how I bought things. He would always 'buy once and buy well'. I was all about buy cheap and replace, but then I was happy with that. I didn't have much spare cash and I could replace with something new and on trend.

As I've gotten older I'm not such a slave to fashion and buy classic more expensive items, rather than cheaper disposable things.

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