Quality matters: 63% admit buying cheaper version of products wound up being big mistake

NEW YORK — The average American is willing to pay more than twice as much than the sticker price says for products that last a lifetime. A new poll of 2,000 U.S. adults found, on average, people would pay 108 percent more than the listed cost of any item they’re shopping for, as long as it lasts at least 20 years.

Three in five respondents claim they’re more inclined to spend money on quality items than something that’s cheaper both in price and quality. Items that last the longest were reportedly the most “valuable” to 69 percent of respondents.

Sixty-one percent even believe some of the oldest things they own are ageless — seemingly always in style. Commissioned by Slickdeals and conducted by OnePoll, the study finds the average person has held onto their oldest owned items for 15 years, but some go rarely used.

The top oldest items owned and used daily include phones (25%), cars (13%), and watches (8%). Meanwhile, rarely used but held-on-to items include shoes (15%) and coats (9%).

According to two in three Americans, some things are always worth paying more for, provided they last longer than average — including cars (34%), kitchen appliances (34%), cookware (30%), TVs (28%), and phones (26%).

Over six in 10 (63%) have been burned by buying the cheap version of a product before.

“A cheap upfront cost does not always mean you won’t end up paying for it later,” says Louie Patterson, personal finance manager for Slickdeals, in a statement. “The concept of buy it for life can be a valuable one. Investing in a higher quality item can ultimately save you on replacement costs, as well as the time and energy spent researching and shopping for a new item.

quality purchase

Can you really put a price on some things?

Seven in 10 (71%) make sure their oldest items stick around, giving them any maintenance they need to keep them in working order.

Half of respondents (49%) also own an item they are sentimental about and hope to one day pass it down to future generations. Over half (57%) base the value of their longest-lasting items based on sentimentality, rather than money.

However, if forced to sell the long-lasting items that mean the most to them, the average respondent would list it for no less than $1,243.

Results also reveal a third of Americans (31%) have purchased items with lifetime warranties. Twice as many (62%), however, knew their items would stand the test of time the instant they were bought.

More than three-quarters (77%) bought lifetime warranty products over alternatives strictly because of the warranty they came with. Thirty-two percent of lifetime warranty holders have never had to use them.

“Overlooking quality by simply focusing on price is a mistake consumers sometimes make when looking for the best deal,” Patterson adds. “Our community of millions of real shoppers is a great resource to ensure you’re getting the best products at the best prices.”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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