As you know, things like clothes and cars come in different categories of quality. With close, you can go anywhere from something costing just under $10 to something costing as much as a couple hundred thousand dollars. Cars can go anywhere from $2500 up to $1 million.

Creative Commons License Darien Law via Compfight

There are some people who believe that you pay for quality and that the more something costs the better quality is. That’s both true and false at the same time, and we’re going to explore that in this article.

Let’s take a look at clothes. It’s easy to say there is no doubt that a $20 pullover shirt is better quality than a shirt that cost $3.99. It’s probably true as well.

You would probably watch both shirts the same way, but a less expensive shirt will probably shrink quicker and have its colors fade quicker. At $3.99 you could probably buy five shirts that would last as long as one $20 shirt, which might make it more economical. But if you’re not in the mood to be bothered in that way that you would go with the shirt that’s a better quality.

So what happens when you take a $40 dress shirt and compare it with a $500 dress shirt? On the surface you might believe that the $500 dress shirt would be more durable because it’s obviously of better quality.

In this case it’s not true. Whereas you can take a $40 dress shirt and put it in a home washing machine, a $500 dress shirt needs to go to the cleaners. It will last a long time because dry cleaning shirts is a less intrusive method of cleaning.

However, if you take your $40 dress shirt to the dry cleaners it will last just as long. The only difference between the two shirts is the materials they’re made of, with the $500 shirt probably feeling a bit more comfortable. However, most people would probably never notice the difference.

Citroën CX Cabriolet Orphée 1983
Thomas Bersy via Compfight

Now let’s take a look at cars. Once again, you might believe that a car that cost $50,000 is of better quality than a car that cost $5000. Without equivocation you’re probably on the right track here. However, as with shirts there are some differences.

A $50,000 car is going to have a lot more luxury features inside the car, as well as a much better engine. The ride will be smoother, and acceleration much easier. As a matter of fact, everything inside and outside the car will be made of better quality materials, which means the car should last longer.

However, it turns out that’s not necessarily true. It turns out that cars with smaller engines are normally more energy-efficient. You get better gas mileage with a smaller car because it runs at a more consistent rate. Most people who buy smaller and less expensive cars don’t use them for long trips, but if they do they’ll get better gas mileage overall. If they don’t it means less stress on the engines.

Another thing to look at is potential damage to both cars. The more expensive the car, the more it costs in repairs to fix. Because of materials, it’s easier to make the exterior of a less expensive car look like new than it is for an expensive car. You might think that it’s harder to damage an expensive car but that turns out not to be true.

One other thing to look at is that there are fewer things that can go wrong under the hood of an inexpensive car than an expensive car. Once again this means that the cost of repairs will be higher on a more expensive car. Truthfully, as long as both vehicles maintain the proper time periods for things like oil changes and engine checks both cars will probably run for the same length of time. Quality gives you more comfort, but it’s not necessarily more economical in the long run.

These concepts are important to think about because so many people get caught up in thinking they need to buy the most expensive thing on the market to get the best quality without realizing that there needs might mean that they can afford less, and yet leave them with a better quality of life. No matter what you can afford, if you take care of it and use some common sense you can have quality at any price.

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