How much does quality cost?
October 27, 2013 2:45 PM Subscribe
Since moving cross-country several months ago, I've been gradually furnishing a small studio apartment. I decided that, for once, I'm not going to buy Ikea everything, and maybe try paying a little more for higher-quality quality items. Almost every one of my purchases has backfired. How much more should I be prepared to spend before I see reliable improvement in quality over Ikea and other lowest common denominator options?
- I buy a well-reviewed dresser from Overstock that costs rather more than a comparable one from Ikea. The dresser comes with terrible instructions and dozens of tiny screws, bolts, and fasteners, and almost no pre-drilled holes. The blisters on my hands take weeks to heal.
- I buy a wool carpet from Overstock. The carpet never stops shedding. Everything in my studio is covered in small bits of hair.
- I buy a designer floor lamp that costs several hundred dollars. The counterweight on the horizontal arm isn't heavy enough to outweigh the shade. The knob that adjusts the joint is too smooth to tighten properly. The brass finish comes off on my hands. The lamp is too bulky to return.
- I buy a hand-made table on Etsy. The table arrives after weeks of delays. The table has extremely primitive, shoddy construction. One leg is about 10 degrees off from straight. Another leg split while I was attaching it with the provided screw. The finish on the table top is already chipping.
- I buy a not-inexpensive watch from Uniform Wares. After about two months of wear, the "quality leather" band starts peeling apart and needs to be replaced. It is not covered by the warranty.