I Got A Deal!

Did you? Really?

A low price is not the same as low cost.

Outdoor power equipment (OPE) prices can range a great deal for the same type of equipment. At the bottom are the random brands from offshore. The well known industry leaders are at the other end of the spectrum. There is a reason they are well known. Most have been around a long time. That doesn’t happen if you build low quality products. When you need their support they are easy to find. The other guys? Well, is your phone fully charged? How are your skills at locating missing persons? Do you like a good mystery? Are you fluent in other languages? Do you have a prayer circle? These will all be of great service in your quest for help. Don’t forget to enlist friends and family for assistance with this odyssey.
Low price, high cost. If the equipment you purchase is not built well enough to adequately perform the task, then you have lost your purchase price completely. If breaks after little use with no parts or service available then it is also a 100% loss. If you have to buy two pieces of equipment so you will have one available as a source of parts then that deal already doesn’t look as great. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of tools and are handy with them. It can’t be that hard to repair can it?
What about your time? You have work to complete but before you can start on that you have to figure out how to get your equipment functional. The box store where it was purchased doesn’t want to hear from you. If you want to see them about buying the same piece of equipment over and over then they are more than happy to help. Easy payment terms on the store credit card too. Don’t worry about the fine print with the 30% interest. You are going to pay that off at month end. For sure! Count on it!
But you say you just need information about where to get parts or service. After some time spent getting blank stares, discussions amongst all available employees, multiple calls around the store and a truly impressive number of calls over the store PA system to find the one person who may know something, you hit pay dirt. An 800 phone number! Problem solved. Or is it?
Several options now present themselves. That number no longer works. Or you get a call center in a distant country where it is very hard to understand the person you are talking to. They are nice enough, but have no technical understanding of your product. They are kind enough to give you the address of the service center that is hundreds of miles away. Now all that is required is for you to package your equipment so you can arrange to have a truck come to your home to pick it up. How's the time saving going? Do you have a strong back? The truck will be there Wednesday between 8 am & 5 pm. Stay close.
Well that was plenty frustrating, but this is just the start. Your truck shipment arrived at the warranty location. They are pretty busy. This equipment breaks a lot. They have hordes of equipment to repair seeing as how they are the only repair location for many hundreds of miles and millions of people. Don’t worry, you are number 3692 in the line up. It won’t be more than a couple of months.
Now the good news. They have looked at your equipment. Did you not read your owner’s manual? Did the store not show you how to operate your equipment? The failure was from improper set up and the way you were operating the equipment. The company says they won’t cover the repair costs or the round trip shipping. This was such a bargain. You must still be ahead of the game at this point right? Right?
Rather than go through the hassles and long wait of shipping your equipment off to some distant location there is another faster, easier alternative. “That's it. I will just get another one. It was cheap enough.” Well, not quite so cheap anymore. Now there is another trip to the store...more time and money. They also had a deal on gazingas pins. You had lots but that was a great price too so you picked up another 12 month supply. Better get a storage container for those too, the other container is full. The savings will easily cover all that. There is also the question of what to do with the old equipment. “I’ll just take it to the dump”. Good thing you have some spare time, and a truck, or friends with trucks. But wait, there’s more. You now have hazardous materials to dispose of before they let you drop it off at the landfill. More time is required since all fluids have to be drained before disposal. Waste fuel and oil is classified as hazardous waste...great. Most likely there will be charges to dispose of it at the landfill too. Keep thinking of all those savings. Don’t forget all the time saving with this option.
How is your stress level going? Not good??? Nobody has time to waste. There are jobs you are trying to accomplish but this machine is demanding all your attention regardless of which option you choose. Your TO DO list is endless but all those jobs are going to have to wait their turn now. But the savings!
A quality machine will always be at a higher price. It has to. Better design, materials, workmanship plus an extensive supply chain to support the product with parts & service. In the long run though, a quality machine will be a better value. Your initial investment is spread over decades of dependable service from a machine that outperforms the disposable options. Consider the time savings a bonus.

Price vs cost.