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Quality vs Quantity over Time? Which Do You Choose

A lot of personal finance bloggers always carve out a special exception for purchasing quality or premium items. For example, you’ll read something along the lines of “I bought an apple laptop because it is a quality product and it will last me forever.” When it comes to certain items I just don’t get that line of thought.

Quality vs Quantity over Time – Laptops

I am not a fan of apple products, but I am going to put my distaste aside for a moment and just pretend it is a better product.  Even if it is a better product, the guts of it are the guts (processor, ram etc), and if I can find a comparable windows based product for half the price (that is no exaggeration) then why wouldn’t I want 2 mid-range machines (or maybe even 3) over the lifetime of one superior apple laptop? Meaning I can buy a mid-range machine today then in 3 or so years buy another mid range and so even if the apple laptop lasts 8 years, I have 2 new products vs just one (assuming) superior product.

In addition the technology changes.  An apple laptop which may still be in existence despite being built and bought in 2006 wouldn’t have futures of your common laptop today (for example HDMI output).

Quality vs Quantity over Time – BBQs

I remember when I was researching BBQs a few years ago, everyone told me to go with a Weber because “they are the best” and last the longest.  I was all in until I went to the store to see that if the most basic and smallest model was double (if not more).  Again, my thought process turned to the fact that even if I had to buy 2 BBQs in the same time that it took one Weber to break I would have two new products instead of just one!


I could be looking at this all wrong, but sometimes my gut says go with quantity over time rather than just buying a quality product…or maybe I am just trying to justify the fact that I feel guilty making unnecessary purchases.



  1. I always go for quality! Quality products last longer and you get better service. I would rather have less shirts, but better quality. It does not mean high prices though. I resisted buying Apple products for a very long time because I felt they were too expensive. My wife bought an iPad (refurbished) and I am impressed with it. I am referring to the operating system. BTW, I bought a high quality BBQ (not a Weber) and it is still going 14 years later. I bought it on sale!

  2. I have to disagree with you. Quality products typically give you a better experience and will last long enough to pay for the cheaper product and save you some on top of it. Each experience is unique, but overall this has been my experience.

  3. I bought a low end Weber, the Spirit.

    Canadian Tire was no longer going to carry the brand so they had a 50% off sale. One store was sold out and the other I couldn’t tell via online if they had any or not. (Information Not Available the message said).

    So off to Home Depot I went! Flyer in hand I spoke to the floor person who went and got the manager. Asked if the Canadian Tire stores had the product in stock I told them what I knew, and, that Home Depot was near my house and the 2nd Cdn Tire store was a trek so I hadn’t gone in to check.

    I bought the BBQ on the spot as I was in the market as we were moving to a new house and I was leaving behind our built in BBQ.

    LOVE the Weber. LOVE that I got it at 50% off.

    But I agree on the Apple. PCs are dropping in price and are suffering in the sales nation wide (world wide?). And why would I want to put in the time for the learning curve of a new O/S? I’ve been using PCs since the late 80s – DOS days. Not even 40 but sometimes I feel too old to bother with the new fangled tech.

  4. This is exactly why I don’t have any Apple products, except for a 3rd generation iPod Mini that I got for $50 on Craigslist years ago. I have no idea if it works.

    The interesting thing about the Apple example is that many people upgrade to the new mobile product every year, even when they have a fine working product. I suppose if they can sell the old device, but I’m betting than many don’t get around to it.

    I have to say that I’ve bought a cheap grill and it lasted about 3 years. I have bought two Webers. One is 10+ years old and still working great (I moved, so I gave it to a friend) and the other I have is 6+ years old and still working great. I grill a lot too. I didn’t find that Weber’s are twice as much as other grills, but I also got my two on clearance and Craigslist (new in box), so I paid about 60% of what they probably are elsewhere.

  5. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people confuse name brand products for quality. All it takes is a little research and you will find quality in a reasonable price range. I purchased the Ipad 2 the day it was released. I didn’t do my research, and that will never happen again. There were several options I could have chosen that had many more capabilities, costed significantly less, and would have come with less hair pulling. Honestly, I’m surprised my Ipad hasn’t flown out the window yet.
    Thanks for the great article!


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