Yes, you read the title correctly – Cheap doesn’t always mean bad quality, and expensive doesn’t guarantee good quality.
Since my most requested and most visited content is about budget shopping I thought this post was very much needed.
Affordability is subjective. What is affordable for you, may not be affordable for me. What is affordable for me, may not be affordable for someone else. So affordability is different from person to person.
Let’s talk about the expensive stuff first.
- A higher price tag doesn’t always guarantee good quality. I saw a bed selling for 116000/- (one lakh sixteen thousand rupees) on a large format home and decor store website that has most of its stuff coming from China. material – particle board. Particle board is one of the cheapest furniture building materials available and I find that its an absolute crime to pay that kind of money and take home a bunch of sawdust held together with synthetic glue. Instead, you can get a jungle wood bed for 1/4th the price at a local furniture shop and that piece will be far more durable and safe than the branded one. Fun Fact: The above-mentioned made-in-Cheen bed is currently available on their website for 60% off.
- I have seen “designer” things made from resin or plastic, that are mass-produced, imported, and sold for premium prices. I have no issues with imported or premium prices, I want good, sustainable material products and I am happy to pay a premium if I love the product. Why would I pay so much and take home plastic?
- Branded or expensive, doesn’t guarantee quality. Each product needs to be looked at individually. Sometimes things could be expensive because the overheads for the business are high and that increases the cost of the product.
When cheap doesn’t mean poor quality
- India is a big exporter of home decor and export surplus and export rejects find their way into the local market. Almost every large city will have it. All you need to do is find it. So the quality of products is as good as they are in showrooms, but prices will be a fraction of it. The challenge will be to understand if it is a surplus or rejects. Rejects usually have some QC issues, missing buttons, or small imperfections. So whenever you buy them, take your time and thoroughly examine the pieces and know exactly what you are buying.
- Thrifted or pre-loved. When you take the time to find things that are previously owned, you can get some fantastic stuff for cheap. When I was just out of college, newly setting up my home, I was always hunting for stuff online on groups where individuals sell used items and I have scored some pieces that I use to date. I got pair of Danish designer chairs for 1000/-. I found a gorgeous brand-new hand-knotted chenille rug for 500/-. How?