We spend a lot of money purchasing products that assist us in our day to day lives. And why not? Products are so accessible these days, why create a collection of items when I can instead buy cheap and use once, and not care if it breaks because I can always buy another later.
In current times where everything you own can be replaceable at the drop of a hat, it begs the question of what is the benefit of buying it for life instead of just buying it for now?
Fortunately, the benefits outweigh the initial cost which can definitely feel like a lot. It’s difficult to part with our hard earned money to buy things we might actually need.
Other times, we end up making repeat purchases of similar items that add up way past the purchase point of a single quality item. Items that are a dime a dozen with a low price point to match are an easy trap to fall into that can cost you a large lump sum in the long run.
Don’t wait for situations to pop up where you think you might need a specific item. Prepare in advance and anticipate your long-term needs by investing now and saving consistently in the years to come.
Cut down on the surprise emergency situations that arise by investing in durable products early that are known for heavy usage.
Repeat Buys Cost Both Time & Money
Think about the process you go through every time you purchase something. There’s the price of the item itself and the time it takes you to make the decision and actually purchase it. Now imagine repeating this several times.
While it may be that buying the same or similar item multiple times will eventually add up to the price of the more ‘quality, expensive item’, this isn’t always the case.
Time to Add Up All the Factors
Take into account the factors that add to the price (energy, time, & money) of buying an item.
On foot: Taking travel into account, that could be potential gas used or public transportation ticket used, and distance traveled going both ways. There’s also the time spent navigating the store and waiting at checkout.
Online: Potential shipping charges and wait times for delivery. Plus the added factor of never knowing if you’ll have to go through the process of a return. We all know what kind of customer service headache that can be.
Bottom line, time is always spent – and time costs energy and money, so why not spend it wisely?
Peace of Mind Can Be Bought
It’s not just about buying products for the long term just for the sake of not having to replace it. It’s about finding items that contribute to a more efficient, comfortable life.
Knowing you’re covered when a problem arises or a situation occurs can bring relief. You can rely on the old faithful to work as well as the day you bought it to get the job done without breaking down.
Frankly put, It is better for the environment to not create excessive waste. This is no exception.
Quite a bit of natural resources is expended when creating products. These resources are often finite things like water. Then when we’re done with them when they break or outlive their lifespans, we throw them out, creating more waste.
In short, the less we needlessly spend on repeat purchases, the fewer resources are used, and the fewer things end up in landfills polluting the environment.
Because quality items are meant to last a lifetime, they’ll always have a purpose and therefore a resale value. Knowing this can help the blow to the wallet from buying it in the first place.
This way you’ll always have the option to recoup some of your investment should you need to sell it.
An example of a lifetime product is a Vitamix or a Kitchenaid. These will always have value and are a common hand-me-down through the generations. In fact, many of these items that we buy for life are items that can be handed down to the next generation, further increasing its lifespan.
What You Want, Why You Need It, & Where You Should Get It
The simplest way to figure out where you could start investing in quality items is by looking at your own needs and habits.
A great place to start is where there are current or potential gaps in the future. Time to ask ourselves some more questions to figure out what those gaps in order to fill them.
Ask Yourself What You Need
Are you frequently replacing a particular item? Is anything wearing down or on the verge of breaking? Consider replacing it for the last time.
Is there any moment when using a product that you’ve thought to yourself how frustrating it was to use? Or maybe the product wasn’t as effective at solving that particular problem? Consider upgrading to a buy it for life product.
How to Find Items Worth Buying
First and foremost, research. Research the best quality item within its niche, whether its an appliance, a tool, or what have you. Start narrowing down the item by how it best fits your needs by researching items to see what exists and what’s available (or accessible).
Once you’ve found your selections for potential purchase, where do you go from there? Time to check to see if the item lives up to the hype and comes from a reputable seller.
Make Sure You Know Where You’re Buying It From
Be sure to thoroughly vet a product and its manufacturer for these things:
Reputation – Is this company well known for its product? Is this a company that’s been in existence for a sizable amount of time to have built a reputation for quality products?
Reviews – Are the reviews from reputable sources and are verified (bought by real paying customers) purchases?
Business specialty – Does the company specialize in this product? Companies specializing in a particular product will often take more care to create a more durable, quality product.
Materials – What is the quality of the materials the product is made with? Where is it sourced?
Return policy – What is the return policy and its process for returns? Is there an extra charge?
Warranty – Always check what kind of warranty the product may or may not have. Account for lifetime guarantees, limited warranty conditions, and any fine print.
Customer Service – Many companies will have a customer service reputation, finding out what kind of service you can expect will help you down the line should you need to contact them for assistance.
Note: For second-hand merchants such as Craigslist, Kijiji, Letgo, Offerup, and yard sales, things can get a little bit more tricky as a lot of information about the product isn’t as readily accessible for you to confirm the quality of the product. Be careful, be mindful, and take care to purchase wisely.
Proper Care Can Last Forever
One of the most important reasons why a lot of these items last so long is because of proper care and maintenance keeping them fresh and in proper working order.
Don’t worry, though! That doesn’t mean you have to spend an inordinate amount of time caring for your things. Most items require either minimal maintenance, spot checks, or need to be thoroughly cleaned on a cycle potentially spanning a month to a year. This information can be found in most manuals, if not from a quick Google search.
Don’t neglect the working state of your products, and they won’t let you down when it’s time to get up and working.
Everyday Items You Can Buy For Life
Jump start your buy it for life journey with a couple of ideas on items worth considering as an investment. Below you’ll find our list of product basics to start off with that are commonly used in our households or by our own person.
If that’s not enough, check out this insanely extensive list of 106 items to buy for forever.
Closing Words of Advice
Don’t ever feel pressured to suddenly start replacing everything you own or adding in new additions for the long haul. We don’t need to absolutely buy everything we own for life, especially not right at this moment. In fact, I advise against it.
Buying multiple quality items upfront can seem like a good idea, but not always cost-effective in our day to day lives where we have many expenses to account for.
Spend less, not more. This applies to both time and money.
Shop smart to buy items that will make your life easier.
Gradually lessen the burden by switching things out as you absolutely need them.
Buying for life is a long-term investment for a reason. It’s not an investment anymore if you’re left with a financial burden. Most importantly, always do what is best for your individual everyday needs, first and foremost.