Cost Vs. Quality R. 1 [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Cost Vs. Quality R. 1

05-01-2006, 10:41 PM
In lieu of the thread that I created about Stereo Shops...I was inclined to start a new thread posing this question:

What is more important to the majority of consumers? Cost or Quality?

In my opinion people are ALWAYS looking to save money, but unlike most of us who visit this forum...we are not going to let quality slide to save 50 cents. I then can we make this a trend in home theater and audio?

When someone buys a car....or any other larger purchase ...typically they know what they are looking for, the price they want to pay, and they have some clue usually on the overall quality. While they may not necessarily know the details between select models, they usually know that a Lexus or Mercedes is a higher quality than a Ford. (don't send me hate letters if you love Ford please.) Is this the same when it comes to audio/video though?

People are out buying HDTV's and other expensive items, but like someone else can buy these things at Costco, Walmart, and the list goes on. People in general see a great deal and they jump at the chance...regardless of the cost. Down the line they realize the mistake....well, most do, but some are satisfied with 'average'. I wish that I had the solution, but how do we train or retrain people to not just accept average quality. Because of this ...the manufacturers out there are not in demand to make higher quality products because they know that they can sell a junk TV for a high price and make more money out of it rather than be forced to make a quality TV because the demand will not settle for a junky TV.

The internet has done 2 things to both help and hurt this process. It has helped because free information is out there for consumers to access, but it has hurt because...well, FREE imformation also includes unreliable information and now we are at a point where it's hard to tell if the content on the internet is fueled by knowledgable independant resources or marketing agents out to make a buck however they can.

I'd be interested to hear others thoughts on the matter.

05-02-2006, 04:02 AM
I don't feel cost and quality are mutually exclusive. I don't define quality as durability, long-lasting, or highest performance necessarily (though it does consist of those traits quite often). To me, quality has always been the degree of success with which an object accomplishes its design goal and expectations.

So a $20 widget that exceeds consumer expectations is of "higher quality" than a $200 widget that outperforms, and outlasts the $20 widget by some margin, but still fails to meet expectations of a $200 widget. There has to be some form of value added in objects of higher quality. If that $200 widget were suddenly $40, it might very well be considered of higher quality, as the subjective expectations change.

Quality has a very intangible, subjective trait to it as well as the tangible, measurable traits.
Naturally, cost and value enter into the the quality mix.

If your thread is inquiring about cost vs absolute performance, I suspect some answers might be different.

I always try to get the most performance for my money. Quite often I find myself increasing my budget for things, that extra $100 here or there can be quite seductive.
But the cost aspect never leaves my mind on any purchase decision, especially non-essential items. I have so many competing hobbies and interests and only so much money, so I'm always trying to get the most satisfaction out of my purchasing decisions. I usually arrive at a budget with some idea of performance expectation in mind, then seek to maximize the traits I like at any price point. I could spend a lot more money than I do on my audio toys, but then I'd have less travel money, less money for my ATV, snowmobile, boat etc...even the best, most expensive gear I've heard just doesn't give me enough additional satisfaction to justify diverting resources from some of my other hobbies.
My next dollar usually goes to the hobby/item that will give me the most reward per dollar. Usually.

I suspect most people behave similarly?

05-02-2006, 01:25 PM
Good point...this is exactly the type of insights I was hoping others could bring to the table to enhance the thread with various viewpoints.

05-02-2006, 01:32 PM
I agree with Kex but add my own too

I look for what i want, then i work until i can buy it. I usually pay too much, but i rather spend 100$ more and get no problems then to be greedy. I pick Quality over anything..

05-02-2006, 01:47 PM
Some people are willing to accept average because they don't feel as strongly about music or HT. But they still want some kind of music & TV. To them price may be all that matters. Others don't care about the quality as much as being able to say that they have a name brand system to their friends & neighbors. Most of the people here want as good a system as they can afford. Quality first but price counts too. We can't buy what we can't pay off. Well, I guess we can, but that leads to problems. Like Kex, I don't mind spending 20% more if I get 20% better sound. But I don't want to spend 100% more to get 5% better sound. I may be willing to go 20/10 or 50/20 if it doesn't break the bank.

05-02-2006, 08:12 PM
I look at cost and quality and wait for sale and display model, factory 2nd.Took me almost 2 years for my main system and it paid off.Example Yamaha receiver last year model,floor display 50% off.All my speakers were bought at 50% +off the reg price.I usally phone my usual audio store and will give me a deal on floor model or tell me when they will receive factory truck load sale.I usually shop at year end and boxing day .My last purchase was a centre channel to match my main and by luck the store was removing the line from their store reg $700CND for $249 and gave me a deal on 2 more centre channel reg $499 for $129(these are still in box for now).I do sent him lots of business also and bring him a Xmas gift .

05-03-2006, 05:56 AM
Thats what i do,find what i want and wait for a deal.