In September 2016, I bought a $600 pair of loafers.
Not because I’m into fashion – I’m not. I wear t-shirts and basketball shorts most days. If I can get away with it, I wear no shirt at all.
I didn’t buy the loafers because I want to show off with brand names on my clothing. I’ve never really been into that, and know I’m personally more valuable than any material item I can buy. [It’s not lost on me, however, that the brand I did by will draw attention. Also not lost on me is how many people judge others based on a thing I don’t care about.]
I bought the $600 loafers, because buying a cheaper pair would’ve cost me $60,000. Yes, sixty thousand dollars. The $600 loafers were a smart, money-saving investment.
I bought a pair of loafers for $179 in December 2014. I wore them maybe 3-4 times per month; 20-30 times total. By the end of summer 2016, the loafers were unwearable. They were beat, to borrow a term I’d use to described some dogged-out basketball sneakers.
Taking the beat loafers back to the original store of purchase, the salesperson informed us that the shoes were “going through their natural lifecycle.” This was news to me. Given how seldom I wore them, I safely projected having to replace a similar pair every year for the next 30+ years. That’s a total cost of over $60,000, factoring for inflation and my time in having to go get the shoes.
Thus, a $600 pair, which wont need to be replaced, probably ever.
Zig Ziglar has some very informative audio tapes and books teaching the art of sales. If you’re serious about learning sales, you’ll go buy them and review the material no less than ten times (yes, 10x). If you’re not serious, you’ll watch a YouTube video and claim you “know about Zig Ziglar.”
In one part of his sales series, Zig shares a plethora of ways to handle price objections. One of them is price vs. cost.
To paraphrase Zig, he and his wife went shopping for a bicycle for their young son. Seeing two bicycle options, Zig and wife decided on the cheaper bike, with saving money being their top consideration. This is how many of us shop for goods. Hell, this is how I shopped when I bought that first pair of loafers. They were the cheapest pair which were also nice enough to meet my standards.
As Zig’s story continues, they had to replace the bicycle tires two months later. The handlebars needed tightening 60 days after that. Then the bike’s seat wore out. Soon after, the chain had rusted out.
Then, Zig and wife went to the bicycle store and bought the same higher-priced bike they had passed on the first time around.
Often as consumers, we make decisions based on the price of a product or service, never factoring in the overall cost of our decision. When it comes to things that require long-term use, or will have a long-term effect on us, we’d be better off investing more once, than going cheap multiple times.
Keep the following points in mind the next time you’re shopping on price alone.
- Cheap sh*t actually costs the most. When you buy cheap food, you’ll spend more on doctor visits. Cheap cars cost more at the mechanic. Cheap dates cost you in overall volume (as opposed to a few, high-quality dates).I watched a TED talk of a woman who cured herself of a terminal disease via an organic, plant-based diet. I was well aware of organic produce at the time, but had always hesitated to buy organic, due to the prices. A favorite phrase I often heard 3-5 years ago was Whole Foods, half a paycheck.The TED speaker justified the cost to the audience with a simple analogy. You can spend extra money on organic food now, or spend the same money later on hospital visits.That talk played a huge role in my becoming vegetarian and revamping my eating habits.
My woman shared this quote with me recently: I’m not rich enough to buy cheap stuff.
- The highest-priced items cost what they cost for a reason. We all know you get what you pay for. Why do we conveniently forget this when it’s time to invest in ourselves – with food, home furnishings – hell, even vacations?Spending more money now will actually save you money in the long run. The higher-priced stuff is (usually) of much higher quality. There was more time and attention invested into creating it. You likely won’t need to buy another one a year later. And when you do want to get rid of it, the value is retained – you can sell it for close to what you paid for it!Poor and broke-minded people only consider price, forgoing cost. Cost always catches up in the long run, however.
- The real problem: People’s emotional hang-ups about money. Logically, all of this makes sense to you. You agree 100% with everything your reading. And when you finish reading this, you’ll go buy the cheapest thing you can find – again.Did you use that (usually) in the second paragraph of #2 as a convenient excuse for why you shouldn’t spend more on quality?Well, it might be high-priced and not even good! They might be scamming me! I’d rather save money and not waste money on overpriced stuff!
Does that sound like you? You have emotional issues about money, which you need to get a handle on.
Money is nothing more than strips of colored paper that is literally printed daily by the U.S. government. Yet, many people have emotional ties to money. We feel a deep sense of loss when considering a big purchase. We immediately think of ways to spend money as soon as we experience an unexpected windfall (notice the conflict!).
I thought just like this for much of my life. T. Harv Eker helped a lot.
If you find yourself bargain hunting for your clothes, high-use goods, business supplies, or the food you put in your one and only body, address your emotions surrounding money ASAP.
Here’s a secret: it has nothing to do with the amount of money you have. Remember, money is paper, and there is plenty of it go around. Develop your mindset of abundance. If money ever did run out, the government would dutifully create more. No worries.
You are a high value entity. You know your worth, right? I know you do – especially when it’s time for you to receive money, time, attention, etc. Rarely do I hear people use this know my worth term when it comes to spending money, though.
When you are cheap with yourself, people will be cheap with you. This is bad news, since we’re all in the sales business. Don’t be short-sighted with your finances, prioritizing prices and getting fleeced on cost.