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10 things worth paying more for

For some of the things we buy, price should take a back seat to quality. Here's why.

By Stacy Johnson May 25, 2012 5:02PM

This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyYou get what you pay for.

While that expression certainly seems logical, in modern life it doesn't always -- or even often -- work out that way. For instance, you can pay for brand-name aspirin but get a generic that does the same job for half the price. You can visit an expensive restaurant and have a terrible meal.


But there are situations in life when being penny-wise can be pound-foolish. In the video below, Stacy Johnson shares his top five things worth paying a premium for. Check it out, then read on for more.

Here's the list of 10 things worth paying more for:


Tools. Whether you're in the kitchen or the garage, inferior tools aren't going to get the job done. You'll either spend longer to finish a project or not get good results. A high-quality knife slices fruit evenly. A low-quality knife turns strawberries into mush.


But you don't have to pay retail prices to get good tools. Find a brand name you trust and look for it on sale or at overstock stores. I just bought a Le Creuset Dutch oven at Tuesday Morning for 35% less than the retail price. 


Image: Car on stack of money (© Dynamic Graphics/Jupiterimages)Cars. Stacy owns a used Mercedes. I own an unsafe and barely running clunker. Stacy bought a high-quality used car. I bought the cheapest vehicle I could find.


Look for a car highly rated for safety and reliability, with low maintenance costs. Sites such as and MSN Autos have tons of information about every make and model. Then find one used. On average, the value of cars depreciate 45% in five years, according to ABC News. Let someone else pick up that tab -- and buy their car for less.


Professionals. Whether it's a doctor or a mechanic, it's worth paying for experience. When you're hiring a professional, start with referrals from friends, and create a short list of possibilities. Then ask for estimates. Also see: "The right way to pick a doctor."


Life experiences. When I'm older, I hope to look back and remember all the fun I had, not all the nice shoes I owned. So I'm willing to pay more sometimes to eat at an excellent restaurant or visit a unique place.


Where you live. Where you live matters. I bounced all over New Orleans for years because I rented based on price and not location. Now I've found my ideal neighborhood. I still got a deal on my rent, but I do pay more than I did to live in less-desirable neighborhoods.


Quality service. Paying more sometimes gets you better service. I switched from a higher-priced cellphone company with great customer service to save $30 a month, and the new customer service was a nightmare. Read online reviews. Once you've found a highly rated company, go to its website and look for special deals.

Electronics. While off-brand electronics may work fine at first, they often won't last as long or come with as good a warranty as many brand-name electronics. Fortunately, electronics retailers love having sales and the Internet is full of bargains.

Pet care. Giving your pet the right food and medicine can greatly extend its life. But you can still find deals on high quality pet supplies. 


Appliances. Energy Star-certified appliances typically cost more up front, but they'll save you on utility bills for many years. And there are several ways to get a great deal on high-efficiency appliances, like buying floor models or shopping during the big sale seasons. 


Home improvements. Done right, home improvements can increase the value of your house. Done wrong, you'll end up paying more to repair shoddy work. It pays to hire the right contractor and buy good materials. But you can still save some money. For example, revamping what you already have, doing small jobs yourself and visiting building supply auctions can save you hundreds. 


What about you? Are there things you're willing to pay extra for, or do you always try to find the lowest price on everything you buy? 

More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:


Jun 1, 2012 3:25PM
We hired my boyfriend's nephew to help us with a new roof.  He has done them before and we had no experience.  We ended up getting a break on labor and learning a new skill. 
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