What is good value?
The cheapest product or service is not always the best value
The cost of purchase may be low, but the cost of ownership may be high.
Look at the hidden costs. Here are some examples.
You've bought a very cheap ink-jet printer, or even better it came 'free' with the purchase of a desktop PC, included in the package.
Then you discover that not only the printer runs out of cartridges extremely quickly, but also that the price of each cartridge is prohibitive, almost higher than the printer's itself.
You would have done a better deal if you had acquired a good quality printer, more expensive upfront, but much cheaper to use over a period of time.
Computer Extra Guarantee
You have bought a PC from one of those companies that sell at low prices but offer no after-sale support. In fact, they give you an almost pointless warranty because, in the event of a problem, you have to ship the computer at your expense to the company's manufacturing site, which may be on the other side of the country. You may as well pay for any repair and have it done locally.
But the company (I think that by now we all know which company it is, even without naming names) that sells such cheap computers also pursues an aggressive policy of selling you (or trying to) their extra guarantee scheme, which costs about half as much as the computer's price.
If you add the price of a real warranty to that of the PC, you see that this company doesn't sell you any more cheaply than other, reputable PC manufacturers which do not hide their costs.
You have bought a piece of equipment (a computer again, for example) which did not cost much but only lasts you a couple of years before all sorts of things start going wrong, from the monitor (even the monitor, which should normally last a very long time) to the hard disk that crashes, and many other hardware problems occurring over time, until you finally decide it's time for a new one.
Had you purchased a better product at a higher price, it would have lasted you a much longer time, so in the end you would have saved money.
Let's look at a service, this time.
Lawyers are expensive, everybody knows that. But you need to hire one, so to save money you go to a lawyer who doesn't charge very much.
This solicitor is young and inexperienced, he's never dealt with a case like yours and does not really know what should be done, just follows his instincts.
After a few years, the case has not been solved and you then need to hire a better lawyer with experience in the field required by your case, charging you more but at last handling the case in the appropriate manner.
By trying to save money with the inexperienced lawyer, you have actually lost money because the unnecessary prolongation of the case has made you waste time and prevented you from earning money during that period.
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