Guest Post by Tim Haas | President of Mid Minnesota Marketing.
I just have to share this!
Over the years I have done do-it-yourself plumbing repairs and I have had professional plumbers take care of plumbing issues that were beyond my skill set. At first I thought plumbers were always trying to sell me comparable plumbing fixtures to those found in stores, at a premium price. Time has proven to me that I could not have been more wrong.
That is right, I was wrong. Go ahead and tell my wife if you know her, but be prepared to catch her as she falls over. Not that she couldn't believe I could be wrong, but hearing that I admitted it would be a shock!
Experience counts, and knowing people I trust.
My nephew is a professional plumber, I had him replace a tub & shower surround along with the faucet and drain. We had "the discussion" on pricing and quality of product. The discussion brought out the fact that manufacturers do have separate lines of products for stores vs. plumbing supply houses. For example,
- The faucet from a plumbing supply house will more likely have metal insides vs. the plastic insides of the lower cost version. The tricky part of this is that the faucet itself looks the same from the outside.
- The tub and surround are made from slightly different materials and thickness of materials, even though both products look the same.
My next example is in purchasing a new toilet fixture from AEM Mechanical Services, Inc. I did a lot of research into the features that various toilet models offer and read a ton of reviews, then I called Marty. I asked him about the various things I learned about and then I asked "the question". Is there a difference in quality between the big box discount stores and the fixture he wanted to sell me?
He replied, "Big difference if you want something that will work and last.". He then reaffirmed what my nephew had told me, manufacturers make similar models to offer in discount stores that look the same as higher quality models offered by plumbing supply houses. The features may even be the same, but the quality of parts can be lower allowing for the lower prices found in the discount stores.
I then compared the price difference and decided the better quality and greater reliability outweighed the higher price I was paying with Marty. The decision was made easier by the fact that I trust Marty. In the past I have talked to him about upgrading this or that with my furnace and he outright told me that it wasn't necessary and I would be waiting my money. Other, less reputable, companies would have gladly installed the upgrades and taken my money.
The Moral of the Story
Paying a higher price for greater quality is a better value than paying a lower price for a product that is more likely to fail and need replacement sooner. It is important to understand that you get what you pay for.