Adventures in Shopping: Let’s Talk About Quality

I hate reading reviews on products from people who literally just got the thing and opened it, haven’t even put it together yet but still give it a five star rating simply because Fed Ex didn’t mangle the box in the delivery process (!). I’ve seen these types of reviews more than once and I always think, “why the heck are you wasting both of our time with this nonsense?”.

I don’t write reviews myself unless it’s something I’ve put to use long enough to actually test it and give a fair assessment. I actually don’t write many reviews at all to be honest but I plan to here, starting with the AeroGarden I set up yesterday. It will take me months to give a fair review of a product like that, though (which is why I’ll do it in a series of upcoming posts).

You can’t trust reviews these days because a lot are paid for and many (too many) are written by people who have no business leaving a review yet if ever, and then there’s the generational issue of settling for mediocre quality without realizing it.

What I mean by that is, I remember as a little girl, some of the appliances and tools and things my parents had and I know for a fact the quality was insanely better than the equivalent today. A hair dryer or screw driver or vacuum cleaner made in the 1960s was still built to last, but not for much longer. Between then and now those same products started being made with such lightweight, cheap materials that they often feel like the toy versions I had as a kid! I am not kidding.

So it can be frustrating for us because we know that products today are made shoddily, often with built in obsolescence, and you can’t work on them yourself anymore so everything is throw away. Yet younger people are impressed by what we would call mediocre quality because they simply don’t know better. And what about service or standing behind your product?

Does anyone remember being able to take your 501 jeans back to Miller’s Outpost for an exchange if the seam ripped or a button fell off, even years after owning them?

Or how you could do the same with your Craftsman tools if they broke?

Or how about taking your vacuum to the Kirby or Hoover shop to have it serviced? Who services their vacuum these days?? (Well we do because we use and love our old Hoovers here but still).

I still remember those things and it’s hard. Even though I love it, I feel so let down by capitalism sometimes. 😄

It took me forever to find solid wood side tables for my bedroom because I was sick of particle board furniture. I almost went with antique pieces until I found these adorable little tables made by Kelly Clarkson. We have small bedrooms so these were exactly the size I needed and we’ve had them long enough I can honestly say they are worth the price I paid (they were on sale at the time if I remember though). It wasn’t hard to decide on these because there just weren’t many solid wood side tables to choose from, which is sad!

When the kids were young, we bargain hunted a lot and I still do but now that it’s just us I’m shifting how I shop to focus on finding top quality first and then narrow the bargains down from there. Just going for whatever is cheapest isn’t always the best anyways.

Saving money is complicated when you count in all the factors but it’s pretty easy to see you’re not saving and may even be losing money by “bargain shopping” these days, especially if you’re having to constantly replace everything when it breaks.

5 thoughts on “Adventures in Shopping: Let’s Talk About Quality

  1. I’ve gotten so many offers from Amazon sellers for gift cards for five star reviews. I always report those sellers to Amazon. Nothing ever happens.
    I also remember working at Lowe’s and exchanging Kobalt tools no questions asked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do they still do that at Lowe’s I wonder? If so, that’s great. My hubby said Craftsman supposedly will still take your tools back but with Sears gone I wonder how that works. I guess Google is my friend here hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

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