Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Culture of Cheap

Did you know it's expensive to be cheap?

How many times have you bought an item for cheap only to be disappointed? You probably had to replace that item shortly after purchase, or worse, throw it away. In North America, we have become a group of discount shoppers buying items that are cheap and poorly made - disposable items, not made to last a long time.

Discount shopping stores like Walmart stock items that do not reflect quality or durability. On average, North Americans buy a new piece of clothing every 5 days. I'll bet the last time you went to an outlet mall you spent a ton of money and thought you saved, but a recent study has proven that we spend 80% more on shopping trips to outlet malls than the regular shopping mall. Storage companies are the largest growing sector as people need a place to keep all their stuff - it might be a wise investment to buy some stock in "Public Storage".

Looking for quality instead of quantity can actually save money. Discount stores have contributed to our spending habits and it's a movement that needs to slow down. Consumers need to become more interested in true value rather than the price. Generally, if something is more important to you, you will most likely research it before buying- like a car or house. Perhaps we should apply this way of thinking to everything we buy.

A fascinating book by Ellen Ruppel Shell Cheap: The high cost of discount culture

Let's look at some value items.



Alicia @ boylerpf said...

You know you have my attention when it comes to the quality of vintage items as opposed to the throw away available in the stores today. It is so expensive nowadays to buy the couture lines of quality, but so much more stylish AND unique to go vintage!

Lemondrop Marie said...

I so agree! I shop vintage more and more often and am amazed at the quality and longevity of handbags, coats, skirts. Shirts often wear out the fastest because they were washed so often in comparison, but you cannot beat vintage quality in fabric and tailoring. I actually have a suede coat from Canada that I am planning on posting on my blog this week because I finally was able to wear it! Fab post!

Keith said...

I think so many people are looking for the cheapest price. You most of the time get what you pay for. There's a reason it's so cheap. It's because it's usually not that good a quality.

Make Do Style said...

Oh I agree - I'm a big fan of less is more and have a slow fashion campaign to change people's habits but I've lost focus of this on my blog due to my MA disertation! I will get back on the case.

Jessica Cangiano said...

Excellent point indeed. I feel that so often one really does get what you pay for when it comes to clothing.

I think that in days gone by (aka, the 40s and 50s, for example) even "cheaper" clothes were generally better made than their modern counterparts are. The bulk of society back then didn't have extra large walk-in closets that were bursting at the seams, they had a few sets of "everyday clothes", maybe some summer/beach wear, a winter coat or two, and a couple of fancier items for special occasions, so I think manufacturers - at nearly all price points - understood that a garment had to last a person for more than a month.

Thank you very much for your Thanksgiving wishes, honey, I hope yours was a fantastic one!

♥ Jessica

The Man Who Knew Too Much said...

Vintage rocks!!

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

Hi Veronica:

What a wonderful blog you have here!

I agree with you completely. I particularly like the mini documentary "The Story of Stuff".


I do not think that people put any thought into their purchases anymore. They just buy, buy, buy. I recently read something quite poignant that epitomizes this very thing...
People are buying with money they don't have, things they don't really want, to show off to people they don't really like.

Sorry, I think I rambled.


PS Thanks for dropping by my blog ;)

Anthea said...

I guess I never thought about it like that but it's totally true especially when we buy things from stores like Forever 21. You can wear the pieces a few times and then when you wash them they fall apart!