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Eamon Burke
11-01-2011, 09:44 PM
I'm taking a Financial Planning course at school, and in one of the sections, they talk about buying decisions.

It says you should research and ask for advice if a product is expensive, complex, or there are lots of vendors selling different things. It says not to do this if the item is "simple and rarely purchased". Can't help but see a giant, kitchen-knife-sized hole in that logic. Most people consider them to be simple(because they are) and seldom-purchased(because they are), and most retailers only sell 1 or 2 of maybe half a dozen brands--Dexter/Russel, Chicago Cutlery, Wusthof, Henckels, Shun, Farberware, Forschner.

It's thinking like this that has made us a society of people where the successful(even non-wealthy) can have the resources to purchase portions of multi-national corporations and don't eat healthful meals, or have shoes that last longer than a year. I mean, the simple, rarely purchased things...those are the items I focus on researching! They are the things that fill your life. I will never spend a day off enjoying my Bank Statement, or my Rental Agreement, but my I never have trouble seeing things in the dark(now that I have my 4sevens), my knives make cooking enjoyable/better/less wasteful, and my phone is helpful on an hourly basis.

How does everyone else feel about this? Do you focus on analyzing your purchase of the simple, everyday things, or do you go with whatever and focus on more large-scale, abstractions, like insurance and investments?



P.S. It also said that one of the things that does NOT affect purchasing decisions is "Hobbies". Perhaps they need an account here... :lol2:

heirkb
11-01-2011, 10:54 PM
...Do you focus on analyzing your purchase of the simple, everyday things, or do you go with whatever and focus on more large-scale, abstractions, like insurance and investments?...

Yes. It can annoy people who don't care as much as I do (like my girlfriend), but I pay the extra attention anyways. I haven't been around that many years, but I'm already tired of wasting money on crap that doesn't even do the thing you bought it to do.

Delbert Ealy
11-01-2011, 11:21 PM
I grew up in a neighborhood that was primarily retirees, and for many years my best friends were people that were old enough to be grandparents or more commonly great-grandparents. I would listen to them talk about their lives(I used to be a quiet kid-now I am a noisy adult) and I know that their attitudes had a part in shaping my thinking. Many of these folks came from a time that was not a disposable culture, which is what the culture of the time I grew up in. I for the most part have always shopped carefully, and i expect my purchases to last. I have work boots that are almost 5 years old-yeah they are getting close to being replaced, which will be hard, because they feel like foot-gloves now. A couple of weeks ago I cleaned my closet and found some things that were worn out or just didn't fit anymore(mediums just don't cut it anymore :) ) some of this stuff I have had for many years. I am not a fasionista, I wear what is comfortable and what I think looks good on me.
I don't focus on the regular bills to be paid such as insurance or mortgage, they are just that-bills to be paid, once they are I forget about them until the next month. I do spend some time before I will make major purchases, and even some minor ones.
Lately I have seen a trend of appreciation of the care and detail that goes into a product crafted by hand, of an object that is designed to last a lifetime or more. This is good for me since that is what I do, maybe the world isn't going down the drain after all. :)

Del

tk59
11-01-2011, 11:35 PM
I tend to research everything but I focus most on what I have to sacrifice the most for and what I use the most, as opposed to the frequency of purchase.

sachem allison
11-01-2011, 11:42 PM
I grew up in a neighborhood that was primarily retirees, and for many years my best friends were people that were old enough to be grandparents or more commonly great-grandparents. I would listen to them talk about their lives(I used to be a quiet kid-now I am a noisy adult) and I know that their attitudes had a part in shaping my thinking. Many of these folks came from a time that was not a disposable culture, which is what the culture of the time I grew up in. I for the most part have always shopped carefully, and i expect my purchases to last. I have work boots that are almost 5 years old-yeah they are getting close to being replaced, which will be hard, because they feel like foot-gloves now. A couple of weeks ago I cleaned my closet and found some things that were worn out or just didn't fit anymore(mediums just don't cut it anymore :) ) some of this stuff I have had for many years. I am not a fasionista, I wear what is comfortable and what I think looks good on me.
I don't focus on the regular bills to be paid such as insurance or mortgage, they are just that-bills to be paid, once they are I forget about them until the next month. I do spend some time before I will make major purchases, and even some minor ones.
Lately I have seen a trend of appreciation of the care and detail that goes into a product crafted by hand, of an object that is designed to last a lifetime or more. This is good for me since that is what I do, maybe the world isn't going down the drain after all. :)

Del
+1 sounds like me

welshstar
11-02-2011, 12:01 AM
One interesting concept that applies to a lot of people, myself included is that the research for a purchase becomes a hobby in itself.

Ive always bought good quality functional things but now im a little bit more financially secure I will search out the sweet spot of any topic, i enjoy the learning curve, yes ill make a few mistakes and will probably end up buying and reselling a few things but i think its important that when you do reach the sweet spot you have experienced some of the options, this leads to very informed decisions and a certain satisfaction with any topic that whatever fad or latest thing is around you dont need to worry about it. For example you could log onto a forum like this and go straight from your basic Cusinart knife set for $99 and get recommendations for the best knives and those knives would be wasted. The best example is wine, you dont need to be a genius to taste that a Harlan Estate is significantly better than a Woodbridge, but you have no scale of how great the Harlan is unless you have experienced the 10-20-50-100-200 -$500 Harlan escalation. Now ive only ever had a couple of $200 bottles in my life but i am nowvery comfortable knowing that a great 30-50 bottle is vastly superior to a $10 bottle but not that far from a $200 bottle.

I think this applies equally though to any reasonable purchase be it mundane like insurance or luxury items likes cars, watches, audio systems, knives etc. you can pick any of these luxury and say that what ive ended up with is way more than what is necessary to the laymen but generally way less than a fanatic of that particular genre.

Alan

Eamon Burke
11-02-2011, 01:26 AM
Wow Del me too. I grew up in a tourist/retiree town...same story.

People dont like to day it, but young folks today are so similar to the depression generation because we ARE the depression generation. And yes, good quality craftsmanship it's going to make a comeback...can't get less demand for it than about 10 years ago.

Salty dog
11-02-2011, 06:58 AM
I think the key word is "simple". An example might be staples. If I buy them once a year and it's not a costly product, it will end up costing me more researching the product than I'll receive in benefit. I generally follow that rule as well.

Citizen Snips
11-02-2011, 10:18 AM
although i do research every knife ive ever gotten (except my first two sets of wusthof grand prix for school and shuns because i didn't know any better) for quite some time before i pull the trigger, i do feel as though the end result is that of a hobby. MY knives are not just tools, but a way to stay focused in a very tedious line of work. i love working with my hands and i think that because i love my knives and sharpening, it can keep me focused on what tasks i am doing instead of becoming a mindless drone like so many people become in so many lines of work. they are more to me than tools, they are a passion. i am really glad i found a group of people that share my passion and which i can continue to learn from and provide some of my own insights along with great conversations on a daily basis.

some people that i have worked with have owned nicer knives but still dont see them the way i do. this is not a bad thing, but its just not how i view the work i do or life in general. you dont have to have the nicest things, you just need something that you have a connection with. the way i take care of my knives is how i deal with everything. i like to take my time and find the right item/product/event/etc and really enjoy it. there is no reason to go to a really expensive restaurant if you are just going to eat, you need to experience. this goes for everything in life

mr drinky
11-02-2011, 10:59 AM
For me there are a couple things going on. I think the internet has lowered the transaction cost of research, so it is now easier to look into simpler more frequent purchases. With that said, the market is now flooded with so much crap, that I am having to research things I never would have or should have. So if you don't do your research, you might end up buying that product more times and waste money. I research anything that I expect to last me a lifetime.

Recently I bought really good screwdrivers. I got sick and tired of having substandard screwdrivers, and they should last a lifetime -- but often don't. So I decided to purchase some really good ones and researched it. Now I have nice sets of Witte and Wiha screwdrivers and I never have to think about it again. But 30 years ago it also would have been easy to buy a good screwdriver without research.

k.

k.

Larrin
11-02-2011, 12:40 PM
I think it's as much a function of personality as anything. A function of how quickly you're driven to make a decision as well as the desire for information.

Lucretia
11-02-2011, 02:49 PM
Depends on how you define "simplicity". I think you have to consider how an object will be used when you catagorize it as simple. Yesterday I needed to hack some plactic nursery ties off a tree in the yard. The "knife" selected for the application was a cultivator tine--it was right there, was only needed once, and didn't require a walk back into the house. A simple tool and a simple, fast selection (a sharp rock was also under consideration, but there wasn't one handy.) My cell phone is a far more complex device than a kitchen knife, but all I care about is that it's cheap and I can use it for emergency calls. The level of "research" involved going to Amazon and looking at the reviews to make sure it isn't a piece of garbage.

Since I've "retired" and started cooking a lot more, it's become time to upgrade the old wedding present knives and get some serious tools. This might mean spending some money (I've never been sorry when I spend a little more to get a good tool) so I want to understand what features I need and the purpose of different options. When you start looking at different types of alloys in some of these knives, you're no longer looking at a "simple" tool--there's an awful lot of science behind the creation/selection of the different materials. So much that I've dusted off my old engineering materials text to use as a reference. And materials selection/treatment doesn't even begin to take aesthetics and functionality into account. Something that works well and is a work of art besides makes you feel good every time you use it. Hardly a simple tool.

Eamon Burke
11-02-2011, 03:55 PM
Given the examples listed, I would(and do) feel this way:
If I ever have a staple crumple/break on me, or fall apart when I am loading them, or rust--this pisses me off. It's the difference of a few dollars to never have a staple problem. A new car vs a new car that never has problems is TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars.

And cell phones...I told the guy at the store(thankfully he was a huge phone nerd and has been great to me) that I need a phone that will always have a signal and is loud enough to hear in the kitchen when my wife is doing naptime on the other end of the line. I am annoyed that there isn't a phone that is made that has no moving parts, is strong enough to survive being dropped out of a car on the highway, battery that lasts a long time, has a great antenna, big buttons, and a loud, clear speaker. No videochat, tiny size, or apps needed. Just a loud, durable, effective phone that kicks ass at being a phone.

Lucretia
11-03-2011, 02:02 PM
I am annoyed that there isn't a phone that is made that has no moving parts, is strong enough to survive being dropped out of a car on the highway, battery that lasts a long time, has a great antenna, big buttons, and a loud, clear speaker. No videochat, tiny size, or apps needed. Just a loud, durable, effective phone that kicks ass at being a phone.

Here you go: http://www.amazon.com/The-Original-Toy-Company-First/dp/B003EJMJSA/ref=sr_1_2?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1320340397&sr=1-2