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Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday: What Happened to Quality?

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I've always been fascinated by Black Friday. Like Boxing Day in Canada and other Commonwealth countries, Black Friday is focussed completely on consumption. We as consumers are told the deals we see on these days will never be seen again, so BUY BUY BUY.

In addition to the concerns of over-consumption, these types of events beg the question: When did price become more important than quality? I understand that the economy is difficult, and that our buying power is not what it once was. But when I see someone buying a pair of shoes because they were “cheap” it makes me wonder how long those shoes will last, and how much they’d save in the long term buy simply buying quality in the first place. Kitchen and bathroom remodels aren’t exempt from this either. I have clients chosing materials for their kitchen or bathroom project based primarily on price, I can’t help but feeling they’re delaying disappointment.

In my experience, the most common example of quality falling prey to price can be found with granite countertops. There are only 2 or 3 fabricators I will work with. I know they are a bit more expensive than others. I also know the quality of the stone they use and the professionalism of their installations more than justify the price. Yet time and time again I’ve had clients chose to source their own countertops because they’ve found someone who is “significantly less expensive”. And time and time again these same clients end up with inferior stone, inferior installation, or both.

It’s like the guy in the old Fram commercial said … (the last part, not the part about the engines)

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