Why paying more doesn't always mean better quality

Sarah Coles
Young woman looking at price tag on red vintage dress
Young woman looking at price tag on red vintage dress

Usually, you get what you pay for. If you cut corners and buy something from the budget end of the spectrum, you are sacrificing quality in pursuit of a lower price. If you pay a little bit more on some sort of 'investment' piece, you end up with something of better quality, which in many cases will last longer, and turn out to be better value for money. However, it doesn't always work like this.
The major pitfall in this kind of thinking is the assumption we start to make - that expensive items are always better. Marketing teams are well aware that they can sell us the idea of quality and exclusivity, and we will believe the product is better, and will spend more on it.

And we don't need marketing to push us into this trap. We have so wholeheartedly bought into the idea that more expensive items are higher quality, that in some markets all a company needs to do is price itself at the higher end, and we will assume it's high quality. This particularly applies in those areas where our purchases are infrequent enough that we don't have any real understanding of the market - such as posh lingerie or jewellery.

Here are ten common purchases where spending more won't necessarily buy you something better.

The best way to save yourself from the assumptions that lead us into overspending is to do your research. In every case where we're about to spend more, we need to check whether this item is really worth it. There's a whole industry devoted to product testing and awards, which offer a useful place to start your search.

In many cases they will challenge your long-held beliefs - especially when you see how many awards Aldi, Lidl and Poundland are winning, and the rave reviews for some of their cut-price products.

But what do you think? Do you work on the basis that you get what you pay for? And has this worked for you?

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