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Cheap Is Expensive

Torn shoe

After finishing college, I purchased my first suit to enter the working world. It came from a store that sold suits by the truckload and due to the mass production, the quality of their suits wasn’t the best.  Despite the less than stellar quality, I purchased the suit anyway because it was affordable.

Torn shoeAs my career progressed, that suit just did not last. When it came time to replace it, I didn’t want another inexpensive ensemble, so I bought my first designer suit.  Sure, it was a lower end designer, but it was well constructed. It was olive green and after alterations it fit like a glove. One of the reasons that I still remember that suit is because it outlasted all the lesser quality apparel that I had bought by several years. In fact, it lasted so long that when I eventually donated it, people could not believe what great condition it was in after my wearing it for 10 years!

I recommended that designer to a friend who bought a few shirts from them. A few years later he told me he was mad that I suggested that designer to him. The shirts were still going strong and he was tired of wearing them! His predicament was that he couldn’t bring himself to throw them out or donate them, as they were still in good shape and had plenty of life left in them.

I initially considered that olive green suit it to be too expensive and not worth the price tag.  However, it taught me the value of quality.  In the long run that suit cost less than the cheaper suits I’d end up having to replace more often. With that perspective, the lesser quality suits end up being more expensive.

The same lesson in placing a value on quality applies to other aspects of my life and business. Now, when I buy new equipment, shop around for insurance, buy a new car or even hire talent, I look for the best quality that I can afford because I’ve learned that in the long run it almost always ends up being a better value.

Cheaper isn’t always better.

“Buy the best and you’ll only cry once.” – Miles Redd

Have a great weekend.