Price vs. Value: Getting The Best Value For Your Money

“You get what you pay for,” is an expression I am sure all of us have heard. It can serve as an admonishment to bargain hunters that inexpensive goods are often of lesser quality than higher priced goods.

One would hope things that cost more are pricey for good reason. The reason being they are of superior quality. But is this always the case? When we pay more for a certain type of product are we guaranteed it will be of higher quality than a competitor’s lower priced product?

I believe, as consumers, we should focus on value rather than price. We should be out to get the best value for our money.

Sometimes, things cost more because the materials used in making them are of higher quality. Sometimes the labor utilized by one company is more adept at manufacturing a specific product than the labor utilized by a competitor. Skilled labor costs more than unskilled labor.

If you utilize better quality materials, a better production process and more qualified labor, you are bound to make a superior product. This superior product is bound to cost more and likely be worth the higher price.

Marketers are a savvy bunch, however. They know people often equate high price with high quality. In my estimation, certain companies spend lots of money selling the notion that their products are for people aspiring to the upper echelons of society. They sell products that are expensive on purpose, irrespective of the quality of those products. The higher prices are part of their marketing plan. In fact, the higher price often reflects a big advertising budget.

My mantra is, “forget price and buy value.” I look at my budget for an item and then acquire the best product I can while not spending more than what has been budgeted. Getting the best value often means researching the product I am looking to acquire. Saving a bit of money to buy inferior goods makes no sense. In the long run, I know I will suffer for it.

On the other hand, spending money needlessly by buying the perception of value over the reality of value is a prescription for wasting money. For that reason, I won’t just make a purchase because something has a designer or brand name on it.

Buy the best value you can. Just know price often does not accurately represent value.

Image: scottchan /

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Like today’s column? Check back frequently.