In a perfect world, the relationship between cost and quality would be perfectly proportional, and we would always “get what we pay for.”
Unfortunately, in today’s budget-conscious society, the reality is warranties, sales, and so many other factors to consider that making the perfect purchase is practically impossible.
For home-owners, costs are compounded, and sometimes we have no idea what is the right thing to do for our property. Take vacuums, for instance. You know you need one (at least one) whether you have carpet or hardwood.
So how do you make a purchase decision that is informed, economical, and not just a product… but an investment?
- Know your budget, don’t buy above it: Think about what you need before you buy. You need a vacuum to clean, but you’ll likely wind up buying more than one. If that $700 Dyson ball is in your budget, great! Until you realize that you still need a portable for the trickier jobs… and brush-less for your hardwoods and/or tiled areas. Let’s say you have 80% carpeted areas in your home, and only tile in the kitchen and bathroom. A $700 Dyson is probably great, because it will go the extra mile and make the job easy for you. Yet, you can still wait for a sale once you’ve chosen the model, and make sure you get a good long warranty. http://www.dysoncanada.ca/en-CA/vacuums.aspx
- Buy what you know you will use: Something like a Black & Decker Dust-buster, for example, makes cleaning easy both indoors and out. If you’re someone who works long hours and fits in time for tidying up, and/or if you have no outdoor plug for cleaning your car, and/or minimal carpet in house, a Dust-buster is a fantastic investment. The smallest option can go for only about $20 tax incl., while the larger more elaborate busters can run up to $40 or $50. Again, buy based on how much you know you will need it/use it. Make an investment! http://www.blackanddecker.com/allproducts/dustbuster.aspx
- Do your research… yes I said your research: Online reviews can be helpful, but remember, someone else’ problems aren’t necessarily your problems. Complaints like “it doesn’t charge” indicate something like a defect, which any reputable brand must address directly. Something like a warranty of at least a year should ease your mind of any defect concerns. That being said, doing your research means not wasting too much time on things like online reviews, and knowing product specifications so that you may buy for your needs.
What Are Your Needs?
Know your needs (and your family’s… and your home’s). If you or someone else in your home suffers from allergies, the words “vacuum” and “quality” take on a whole new meaning.
If you live in a highly-carpeted home it will likely inflame allergies, and thus a high-quality vacuum with a higher wattage is your best bet (refer to our Dyson discussion, above).
If you have pets, the importance of keeping your carpet cleaned is even higher. But hardwood is not to be discounted either.
Pet fur will show up terribly on hardwood floors; best to invest in something that is brush-less (or an off switch for the brush) and won’t scratch, but has enough wattage to use every couple of days.