I moved into a new house recently with some friends and it came time to do the obligatory shop for all those household items that evidently our previous housemates had been supplying for us. So we hoped in the car and raced down to the supermarket with a list of items like broom, mob, sponges, brush and shovel, bin etc. looking back now it was mostly cleaning supplies that we were going for but anyway that’s beside the point. At the supermarket I was astonished to find just how cheap all of these items were, it just doesn’t seem possible that anybody can be making any money on the sale of goods for prices as low as they were.
But of course it’s never long before you realize what it is that makes them all so cheap. When you try to sweep up a particularly firm bit of food stuck on the floor and the broom handle comes off, or when the sponges don’t hold water, or when you knock the bin over and it gets a huge split up the side so the next time you try and take it out you get bin juice all over the house. But it’s amazing how instead of just going and buying quality stuff you keep persevering with the crummy stuff.
The weird thing is that we always go back, and its not just supermarkets. If you live in any kind of city you will be familiar with those chains of shops selling things super cheap that always have the words ‘bargain’ and ‘crazy’ in the title, that are always operated by an old stern-looking Chinese woman who follows you around the store to make sure you’re not ripping her off, that sell everything from party supplies through to witches costumes with lawn ornaments, novelty piggy banks, a 2000 pack of straws and everything else inbetween. These places have become an enormous part of our culture, it’s ironic that our search for meaning in our modern lives has converted in a search for ‘value’ in our products. But we’re not getting value from these products because they are inferiors or never last anywhere near as long as the slightly higher priced items they are imitating. And if you pay a reasonable price for a product then there is also far less chance that someone is getting exploited in the manufacture of it.
So I’ve decided to rise above this relentless search for the cheapest possible version of everything, that maybe it’s worth forking out that tiny little bit extra in return for some quality goods, in fact I’ve decided to take it even further, I’m going to kit out my house with a huge range of industrial supplies. Forget about that flimsy plastic house broom, I’m getting a re-enforced steel one with iron bristles, one that can sweep up nails and bricks, I’ll get a ten-foot-high fan the can blow cool air on me from three rooms away, and a titanium toaster with room enough to do both sides of a whole loaf at once. No more shall I wallow in the depressing world of cheap plastic, disappointing design and unfriendly manufacturing. I’ll be in a pure world of decent stuff, things that are made to last, the way they used to be before companies came up with the idea, which is actually genius in an evil way, that instead of one person buying their product once a life time they can triple their profits by making a cheaper version and getting someone to buy it two or three or more times. It’s a shady underhand tactic but they’ve totally got away with it.
Not the folks at gotstock.com.au thought, they’re super honest.