Do Not Buy Twice

As a teenager in the 1990s, I had a part-time job selling computers. People would come in and buy the best computer they could afford but almost always get the cheapest mouse. The owner loved this.

Inevitably, the customer would come back in about a month and purchse a slightly better mouse. The process would repeat until they eventually ‘caved’ and bought a great mouse. Only by this point they’ve spent at least 1.5 times what they would have spent had they just bought it when they purchased their computer.

It might not seem like there’s a lot to learn from this, but I think there is. Often what seems like an expensive solution is a cheap solution (in the long run) and what seems like a cheap solution is very expensive (in the long run).

A few years back a friend of mine had recently spent a very large sum of money on a house. We went shopping one day looking for a lamp. He found one he loved but the price tag seemed too expensive. Instead, he opted for one that was slightly less expensive but he only considered OK. I visited the other day and noticed the lamp had been replaced.

What seems expensive is often cheap in the long run.