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Cost Per Use

Is going cheap always right?  


Does more expensive always mean more reliable? 


I'm so confused.

It'll be ok.  


I can go down to Wal-Mart right now and buy a brand spankin' new shirt for $10 if I want to – and I have on occasion.  Here are some of the problems I can foresee with this purchase (based loosely on real life):

1. I won't care if I spill on it – and I spill on everything. 

Had I bought, say, a $30 shirt, I would immediately run to the laundry room (or restroom when I'm not at home) and Tide Pen the heck out of any stain that dare show its face. 

The cheaper the thing, the less you have invested in it (financially and emotionally) and the more disposable it is.

2. When, after one wash, I find that my new shirt has shrunk to the size of my 4 year-old niece or that one of the sleeves has done gone missin', my one and only thought will be: "What did you expect?  It was a $10 shirt." 

Low expectations are never a good foundation for a purchase.

3. Cost Per Use.  Cheaper isn’t always cheaper, see:

                                                Shirt #1                Shirt #2

Cost                                            $10                        $30

Number of times shirt is worn

before being rendered

unwearable on days other than

Halloween (hobo costume),

laundry day or

Paintball Extravaganza 2011.           20                          60    

Cost Per Use                                $.50                       $.50  

The longer you can use your purchase, the better the use of your dollars.



Particularly in a society that boasts such a large quantity of cheap consumer goods, is it realistic to expect people to avoid these products altogether?  Well, that depends on your priorities.  

Some people prefer change and variety.  In the above t-shirt example you could buy three of the cheaper shirts for the same price and cost per use as one of the more expensive shirt.  From a financial perspective both choices are equally appealing.

And then, there is the question of the assumed premise: Does more expensive always mean better quality, more usage, and lower cpu?  


The cost per use of a $100 shirt that you wear one time and then come to your senses and realize that no one can pull of orange, horizontal stripes is $100 per use.   


Buy cheap or buy expensive, just be aware of this little figure.  

It goes without saying that the more you like something, the more you'll use it (but I went ahead said it anyways).  

Article publié pour la première fois le 15/11/2010

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