Sometimes Spending More is Wiser than Getting a Deal

Anyone who knows me knows that I am cheap, er, wisely frugal. I refuse to pay more than $5 a pound for chicken and generally will only pay $3. I have to make my husband take the kids out for ice cream because I just can’t make myself pay that much for a single cone when you could get a pint of the best stuff for the same price. Yet I saw an ad yesterday that made me even me stop and think there are times when a wise person will spend more not less.

The ad in question was for a waterproof iPad case. It showed someone, at least in theory, holding the encased iPad underwater to take a photo of a freckled red-headed Caucasian kid swimming in a pool. (We can discuss the use of racial stereotypes in advertising another day.) The ad was for

an extremely low price (about $10) waterproof case. It touted how wonderful it would be to take photos under water using your iPad or iPod. The vendor was selling the cases through an internet “deal” service.

Now stop and think about this whole scenario for a minute.

Do you have an iPad? Retina? 128 GB? Wi-Fi-enabled?

Or a similar Cadillac iPod?

Was it cheap? Is it easily replaceable? Do you consider it disposable?

Why on EARTH would anyone risk their high priced tech toy in a bargain basement case *underwater*?!

Can you spell disaster?

And imagine trying to get the money for a replacement device from a one-time bargain-sale internet shop. Those are the modern-day-equivalents of those mysterious thrift shops that disappear just after selling you the cursed DVD player that projects The Shining on the walls of every room of your house at night, every night, even when it’s unplugged and locked in a trunk in the garage.

Protect Yourself: Pay More When It’s Appropriate

There are times when you should pay more:

  • Buy airline tickets from a company that doesn’t have to economize on its airplane maintenance work.
  • Buy waterproof cases for expensive electronics from bricks-and-mortar stores and buy cases that offer some kind of warranty against damage to your device.
  • Pay a bit more to get a licensed trained mechanic to fix your brakes.

Think about what you would lose if your purchase doesn’t work before you economize.

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