You Get What You Pay For - sometimes, and sometimes not

I get tired of hearing, "You get what you pay for." It's such a worn out sales technique - trying to convince you that a higher priced item is worth it. I don't buy it, and neither should you.

It's such a over used phrase that it screams out "scam" whenever I hear it. Okay, it doesn't necessarily mean you're facing a scam, but it certainly get's my attention and puts me on the defensive. It alerts me to someone trying to fleece me.

Let's look at what's behind that slogan so we can be better prepared to respond the next time someone tries to convince us that a higher price means a better product or a product with greater value.

If it were true that you get what you pay for, then higher priced items would always be better, and we know that simply isn't true. Aren't there high priced items on the market that aren't any better than others? Sure there are.

An Example

Take a luxury watch for example. Does the $2,000 Rolex tell time better than the basic $20 Timex? In some cases it will, perhaps a second or two better over a month or so, but is that worth the additional $1,800 asking price? I don't think so.

We can get a better quality Timex for just a bit more money, and it'll probably keep time just as well as any Rolex can - at least to the extent that we need it to. Sometimes good enough is best.

So, spending 100 times as much for a watch doesn't get you a better time piece, at least not for the general purposes of telling time. And, isn't that what people do with watches, they simply refer to them so they know the time of day? It's nice to know that the meeting starts at 2pm, but is it essential that we know when 2pm occurs, within a second or two?


So, what do you get when you pay that extra $1,800? It seems to me that you get a more attractive watch that makes you feel better, and you get the prestige of owning a Rolex. So, much of what we're buying is a better feeling about ourselves.

What are We Buying?

Okay, so you get what you pay for when you buy yourself a better feeling, but just how long does that good feeling last? I suspect it lasts just until you get the credit card statement that has the exorbitant price of the watch on it. Then, that good feeling goes away.

For me, I feel just fine not spending gobs of money on things that are supposed to give me a good feeling about myself. I clearly feel much better knowing that I'm a good steward of my financial resources. And, I'm happy that someone else has the prestige strapped onto their wrist.

So, the next time you hear, "You get what you pay for," just remember that it's usually a sales person trying to convince you to part with more money, and it's not always for a product or service that will give you added value. If there isn't added value, then it's probably not worth the additional cost.

Also, remember that you don't need to help the sales person either. You can and should feel just fine about yourself, especially if you don't make an unnecessary expenditure. Anytime someone is trying to sell you a "good feeling," you get what you pay for...buyer's remorse.

Done with You Get What You Pay For, take me back to Avoid Money Making Scams

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.