Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Do you pay more for things with features you don’t use or need? Are you someone who “gets the best deal” even though the things that were included in the “deal” are never used?
I have, many times.
In fact, many sales people are trained to give us a sales pitch, from “Would you like to large size that for fifty cents more?” to “For an extra five thousand you can have all these features on your car…” Buy One Get Ones are becoming common. Adding more for nothing or a little bit of money is something that I hear or see every single day.
A recent blog article (sorry, I cannot find the reference!) asked “Would I pay more for less?” It made me think about the idea of right-sizing features and items.
When I dropped my old cell phone in the garage and the display cracked, I knew I needed a replacement. When I went to the store, the salesperson tried to sell me all these upgraded features: internet, MP3, touch screen, etc. What I wanted was a phone that made calls. Period. Because of the specials running that day, I did end up paying more for the reduced feature set I wanted. But I got what I wanted.
When my 11 year old Neon began to exhibit signs of a flaky electrical system, I knew I needed to replace it with something reliable. The car I ended up with is everything I want. But when we went to the dealer, they tried to get us to upgrade “packages”. One man actually had the audacity to try and sell me a remote starting kit and heated seats. (Bear in mind that I am from a place in the U.S. where they plug in engines to keep them from freezing overnight and right now I live in a place where the temperature rarely gets below freezing.) It might have been nice to get a G.P.S, but honestly, I didn’t want any of the other stuff that came with the $5000 package upgrade. So I skipped it.
The Big Bag of Potatoes
This one applies to my favorite warehouse store. I love this store for many products, including cereals, meats and some veggies. But I also don’t buy many things here because they are too much. For example, a 10 pound bag of potatoes costs less than a 5 pound bag at the grocery store. Yet I don’t buy them there. I have no root cellar or basement to keep potatoes dark, and the 10 pound bag inevitably produces 5 pounds of waste.
My mother was very excited to see the 2 pound container of coleslaw, and insisted on us buying it. Sure, it was only $4.00, but we ended up throwing out most of it.
In a lot of cases, the bulk items are just not worth it, and I prefer to pay higher prices and not waste anything.
Today I went to treat myself to a new color of nail polish. I knew the shade I wanted, and found it quickly. And then I saw the “buy one get 50% off” above the display.
I hate to admit it, but I fell into the trap for a little while, looking around for shades I might want. And then I caught myself. I really didn’t want two bottles. I wanted one. So yes, I paid more on a cost per bottle basis, but I didn’t end up getting something I didn’t really want.
You might be asking how any of this simplified my life. By not paying for things I don’t need, I save myself money. I also don’t have to learn new features, saving myself time. By not buying more food than we can use, I save myself the waste and hassle of keeping up with extra food, plus I can keep less on hand.
By right-sizing the features and things I need, I sometimes pay more. Have you ever paid more for less? Let us know below.
Photo by sergeant killjoy