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Thread: Price and quality

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    pjohns's Avatar Senior Member
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    Price and quality

    Has anyone ever noticed how little correlation--if any at all--there is between price and quality (and add features, in those instances in which that applies)?

    As an example, the latest issue of Consumer Reports gives a slightly higher rating (92, vis-a-vis 90) to a single-dose dishwasher detergent that costs just 10 cents per load, versus one that costs 34 cents per load.

    And no, cost is not taken into account when giving these ratings. Just quality.

    By the way, this is not a one-off sort of thing. Just about every month, CR has something of the same sort.

    Of course, if the comparison is within the same brand, this principle is probably not applicable.

    Where competing brands are concerned, however, the old saw about "getting what you pay for" does not seem to be correct.

    Thoughts?

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    Tahuyaman's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
    Has anyone ever noticed how little correlation--if any at all--there is between price and quality (and add features, in those instances in which that applies)?

    As an example, the latest issue of Consumer Reports gives a slightly higher rating (92, vis-a-vis 90) to a single-dose dishwasher detergent that costs just 10 cents per load, versus one that costs 34 cents per load.

    And no, cost is not taken into account when giving these ratings. Just quality.

    By the way, this is not a one-off sort of thing. Just about every month, CR has something of the same sort.

    Of course, if the comparison is within the same brand, this principle is probably not applicable.

    Where competing brands are concerned, however, the old saw about "getting what you pay for" does not seem to be correct.

    Thoughts?
    The idea that "you get what you pay for" applies more to durable goods than it does to soaps and stuff like that.

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    carolina73's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
    Has anyone ever noticed how little correlation--if any at all--there is between price and quality (and add features, in those instances in which that applies)?

    As an example, the latest issue of Consumer Reports gives a slightly higher rating (92, vis-a-vis 90) to a single-dose dishwasher detergent that costs just 10 cents per load, versus one that costs 34 cents per load.

    And no, cost is not taken into account when giving these ratings. Just quality.

    By the way, this is not a one-off sort of thing. Just about every month, CR has something of the same sort.

    Of course, if the comparison is within the same brand, this principle is probably not applicable.

    Where competing brands are concerned, however, the old saw about "getting what you pay for" does not seem to be correct.

    Thoughts?
    There are lots of ways to measure value.

    In your example, one dishwasher cost more per load but there was no mention of how clean the load was or where the cost difference was.
    The same question may not be answerable accurately for 5 years when one of them fails.
    I hate when I read reviews on Amazon that say "arrived on time and looked pretty" instead of "I had this for 2 years and still running great". That is why amazon wants you to rate items quickly and sends you emails to do so.
    As a note: When I was doing a lot of work with Black & Decker they told me their number one liability item was dishwashers because people put them on and go out. Then they come home a find a flood and end up ripping up their kitchen.
    I will go to harbor freight to buy a tool that I doubt i will use again for a few years but i would not buy a drill or saw there anymore. Especially if it runs on a battery.
    Last edited by carolina73; 05-04-2020 at 11:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
    Has anyone ever noticed how little correlation--if any at all--there is between price and quality (and add features, in those instances in which that applies)?

    As an example, the latest issue of Consumer Reports gives a slightly higher rating (92, vis-a-vis 90) to a single-dose dishwasher detergent that costs just 10 cents per load, versus one that costs 34 cents per load.

    And no, cost is not taken into account when giving these ratings. Just quality.

    By the way, this is not a one-off sort of thing. Just about every month, CR has something of the same sort.

    Of course, if the comparison is within the same brand, this principle is probably not applicable.

    Where competing brands are concerned, however, the old saw about "getting what you pay for" does not seem to be correct.

    Thoughts?
    You have to decide for yourself if it matters.

    If I get better quality from A than form B then A it is. Going the cheap route is the right way sometimes. Hand soap doesn't seem to matter and bleach is bleach.
    Liberals are a clear and present danger to our freedom and our society and our morals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captdon View Post
    You have to decide for yourself if it matters.

    If I get better quality from A than form B then A it is. Going the cheap route is the right way sometimes. Hand soap doesn't seem to matter and bleach is bleach.
    I fully agree with you that it is a good idea to go with the better quality item.

    But this article in Consumer Reports indicated that the item that costs less than one-third what another, competing item sells for, is actually of superior quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina73 View Post
    There are lots of ways to measure value.

    In your example, one dishwasher cost more per load but there was no mention of how clean the load was or where the cost difference was.
    Actually, there was an allusion to it--although, I will admit, I did not specify this.

    The "overall score" takes into account these matters. But it does not take into account the relative cost of the two.

    (By the way, it describes the 10-cents-per-load dishwasher pacs as being the "Best Value & Performance.") [Bold added]

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    @pjohns cost at retail are dependent upon numerous factors other than manufacturing costs, advertising for example.

    I worked some remodeling in a milk processing plant. At the end of the line the gallon milk containers had various labels on them, one day Sealtest, one day Pet, one day Laura Lynn (a local chain's brand), all the same milk but the local chain's was a dollar or more less. Advertising and marketing raised the prices of the national brand.

    A higher price doesn't necessarily mean higher quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanger4 View Post
    @pjohns cost at retail are dependent upon numerous factors other than manufacturing costs, advertising for example.

    I worked some remodeling in a milk processing plant. At the end of the line the gallon milk containers had various labels on them, one day Sealtest, one day Pet, one day Laura Lynn (a local chain's brand), all the same milk but the local chain's was a dollar or more less. Advertising and marketing raised the prices of the national brand.

    A higher price doesn't necessarily mean higher quality.
    This is very true.

    In the example given, the lower-cost dishwashing detergent is a store brand. That means that it (1) has much less in the way of advertising costs; and (2) must fight the misconception that it is automatically of lower quality than the competing national brand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
    This is very true.

    In the example given, the lower-cost dishwashing detergent is a store brand. That means that it (1) has much less in the way of advertising costs; and (2) must fight the misconception that it is automatically of lower quality than the competing national brand.
    Usually you can read the ingredients label and compare, for example Gold Bond Medicated lotion is the same as Equate (walmart) and even produced by the same manufacturer, but costs a 1/3 to 1/2 less. Most appliances are made by 4 or 5 manufacturers, such as Whirlpool Corporation owns the Jenn-Air, Maytag, Amana, Roper, and KitchenAid brands. And surprise surprise GE appliances are owned by the Chinese-owned Haier company which also makes Hotpoint, Cafe, Profile, and Monogram appliances. Sometimes it's a small small world.

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    As I mentioned previously, this it often the case that the less expensive product is actually of superior quality.

    For instance, in last month's Consumer Reports, the Honda Odyssey is rated only at 61, whereas the Hyundai Veloster gets a score of 80--enormously better!

    Yet the (less-well engineered) Odyssey sells for between $30,690 and $47,320 (depending upon the accessories), whereas the (better engineered) Veloster sells for between $18,600 and $28,150. (Prices, I am sure, are MSRP.)

    And these scores are emphatically not a measurement of relative value; rather, they are merely a measurement of relative quality.

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