Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > Chatter > General Discussion


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-07-2009, 08:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
will always be an Alyson Hanniganite
 
Bill O'Rights's Avatar
 
Location: In the dust of the archives
Is quality a thing of the past?

There was once a time, and not so very long ago, that when certain companies put their name or their logo on a product, that you could be assured of it's quality. Sadly, I believe those days are gone. I recently took my son to buy his first rod and reel. We picked up a couple of Zebco 33s. My first one lasted me for almost 20 years. The ones that we just bought will get us through two or three years...tops. Dockers, that uniform of corporate America, used to be synonymous with quality. I had a Dockers belt that had lasted me for years. I replaced it's replacement just a couple of months ago. My wife bought me a pair of Dockers brand slippers two Christmases ago. I wore them twice before I had to reinforce the stitching on top. Even thier signature pants are a mere shadow of thier former selves. So, Dockers now = crap. I have even found that Zippo lighters aren't made to same exacting standards that we smokers have come to respect. Even Craftsman isn't immune. I bought a new socket set, to keep in my Explorer. The sockets are ok, but the ratchet is nowhere near as good as the one that I bought 20 some years ago. It's still good. But it's not as good.

Thing is...I don't mind paying more for quality. If I am purchasing an item that I will be using on a daily, or at least a routine basis, I will pay extra for an item that is built to last. I was taught, and I've come to experience, that you get what you pay for. Is that no longer the case? Has the Walmart mentality of more for less finally ruined us? Is the only way for companies, that used to produce quality goods, to compete is to lower their standards to that of their competitors, and keep the price at a comparible level.

Am I alone here? Would you be willing to pay a higher pricetag for a quality product? Or, is cheap the thing? Are there any manufacturers, that you used to respect, that just aren't measuring up to their reputations or your expectations. Or, do you just not even have any expectations.
__________________
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

"Hedonism with rules isn't hedonism at all, it's the Republican party." - JumpinJesus

It is indisputable that true beauty lies within...but a nice rack sure doesn't hurt.
Bill O'Rights is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: My head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights View Post
... Has the Wal-mart mentality of more for less finally ruined us? Is the only way for companies, that used to produce quality goods, to compete is to lower their standards to that of their competitors, and keep the price at a comparable level. ...
Yes. In order to produce more, we need to reduce production costs one way or another. From the workforce to the material used to create the goods and/or services.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights View Post
... Am I alone here? Would you be willing to pay a higher price tag for a quality product? ...
Yes I would, but I would not, for example go to extremes. Case in point the hybrid vehicles, WTF is up with those prices?? The money you spend on the car itself will amount to the same as the money you save on gas.

I have expectations and standards, not as high as yours though.
Xerxys is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: San Francisco
Oh, yeah. I will always pay more for quality. If you don't you'll end up paying more in replacements or repairs. It's still out there, but you might have to dig deeper than fill-in-the-chain-store.
__________________
"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." --Abraham Lincoln
n0nsensical is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
change is hard.
 
thespian86's Avatar
 
Location: the green room.
The Quality of Man has dropped catastrophically. There was a day when a man wore a suit to the store, drank with class, and determined the world around him through respect. Nothing matters or counts anymore it seems because there is a total lack of accountability for everything and an almost complete detachment; especially in my generation.

People feel opinion is superior to fact now it seems as well. Quality doesn't rule so much as the mob if you know what I mean. No one is accountable for anything anymore. It's crazy.
__________________
EX: Whats new?
ME: I officially love coffee more then you now.
EX: uh...
ME: So, not much.
thespian86 is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: My head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thespian86 View Post
People feel opinion is superior to fact ...
Quick question, weren't all cultures, practices, modes/means/ways of life crafted from beliefs? Weren't beliefs merely opinions? Haven't facts dissensitized us from old prejudices?

If so, hasn't this caused people to think they know more hence have superior knowledge regarding an issue and in essence brought about the dissension that their opinion is superior to any facts out there ... in a round about way ?!?!
Xerxys is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
Young Crumudgeon
 
Martian's Avatar
 
Location: Canada
I am willing to pay a premium for quality. I am not willing to pay a premium for a brand name.

The trick is figuring out which is which.
__________________
I wake up in the morning more tired than before I slept
I get through cryin' and I'm sadder than before I wept
I get through thinkin' now, and the thoughts have left my head
I get through speakin' and I can't remember, not a word that I said

- Ben Harper, Show Me A Little Shame
Martian is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
Confused Adult
 
Shauk's Avatar
 
Location: Spokane, WA
Your product only has to be slightly better than that of the competition to be considered the "better" choice.

Scenario: You make a phone that has all the standard features, you know that your competition is buying materials for their screens for 20 cents a unit, and you know that the best on the market is 30 cents a unit, it's in your company's best interest, and for the sake of coming out at a competitive price point to find the screen that is produced at 21-29 cents a unit that is more reliable than the 20 cent screens. This is where all that market research probably comes in handy
Shauk is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 10:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
part of the problem
 
squeeeb's Avatar
 
Location: hic et ubique
quality is an interesting topic. zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance talks about it, it's what drove pirsig insane. it seems nowadays, people want quantity, not quality, hence the popularity of shitty fast food places that give you a garbage can full of food for $5.00, but none if it is really worth eating.
__________________
onward to mayhem!
squeeeb is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 10:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
Fireball
 
Randerolf's Avatar
 
Location: ~
Is is the quality of things or the quality of people? Barriers have been falling and most anything is being "democratized."

Now, there is no Negro league. There is no Made in America. There is no Ma Bell. You might get your news from an Australian conglomerate or from one of the thousands of newspapers that you can access from around the world. People are all together, buying and working.

That brat that keeps kicking your seat in 44L on the flight to ATL? Some might say that airline quality was better back in their day. I say that I or that kid wouldn't even been on a plane before deregulation. People with money? White men?

Quality can still be had. There are just more options and more buyers. Maybe people make purchases with the lowest bidder fast-food style.

Maybe isn't not better, it's just more selection.
[/rambling ]
Randerolf is offline  
Old 06-07-2009, 10:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
More Than You Expect
 
Manic_Skafe's Avatar
 
Location: Queens
I'm with n0nsensical, quality is still out there, it's just that people no longer have a discerning enough eye to spot it. I can't buy so easily that it's related to the quality of man but there's definitely something to be said for the fact that brand new cars go for so much these days when they're little more than fiberglass and bits of metal.

But there are a considerable number of upshots to living in this use once and discard society - as I type this I'm wearing a $300 pair of designer sneakers that I got for $35 at Buffalo Exchange and $65 jeans that I picked up for $10 at Gap because I only shop there between seasons. I've found that even if you can't be sure of the quality, you can almost always shop at a discount.

From dumpster diving freegans, couch surfers, bargain blogs and Facebook furniture giveaways - it's not all going to hell in an overpriced sweatshop labored handbasket.
__________________
"Porn is a zoo of exotic animals that becomes boring upon ownership." -Nersesian
Manic_Skafe is offline  
Old 06-08-2009, 03:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
roachboy's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: essex ma
people still make things with great care and attention, but seemingly not at the scale that enables much of it to work it's way into the Big Commodity Spectacle.
for example, in music--if you only focus on commercial material, you'd probably think that things had gone to hell in a handbasket (with the occasional exception that keeps you interested enough to be able to complain about things having gone tohell in a handbasket)---but there's an extraordinary amount of really interesting, carefully assembled work out there that you probably don't know about unless you've either been hipped to or or actively sought it out. most of it operates on smaller scales, scenes and networks of scenes. same is true of the other types of creative work that i know about. it's an interesting time.

personally i think people are passive and like to like what they're told they like to like. that what they're told they like to like changes gives the impression of variety. mostly, though, people are told they like liking endless variants on what they've already been told they like to like. maybe folk really do prefer the same all the time. i prefer to think it's a Giant Aberration. i'm pollyanna like that.
__________________
a gramophone its corrugated trumpet silver handle
spinning dog. such faithfulness it hear

it make you sick.

-kamau brathwaite

Last edited by roachboy; 06-08-2009 at 04:04 AM..
roachboy is offline  
Old 06-08-2009, 06:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
will always be an Alyson Hanniganite
 
Bill O'Rights's Avatar
 
Location: In the dust of the archives
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian View Post
I am willing to pay a premium for quality. I am not willing to pay a premium for a brand name.

The trick is figuring out which is which.
That, I think, is what I'm really getting at. At one time, I could be reasonably assured that any product bearing a certain "brand name" was going to be quality. Therefore, I could gravitate toward that brand when shopping for a given item. I wasn't buying the label, per se, but I was buying what that label stood for.

Let's use my Dockers brand slippers for an example. They have the Dockers logo proudly emblazoned upon them. That should have given me a reasonable expectation, based upon their reputation, and my experience with the brand, that they would have provided me with years of service...not two days. Worse yet is the fact that altough the quality has diminished, the price has not. I can still expect to pay a higher price for anything that bears the Dockers name, but I will not be getting as high a quality product as I once had.

Not everything that I buy has to be "top of the line". I purchase an item based upon how I will use the product. If I plan on using the item frequently, then I will pay a premium price for better quality. If it's going to be infrequently, or seldom, used then I will go for the lesser quality and cost. For example; I can expect to use wrenches and screwdrivers on a fairly regular basis. I will pay for a quality set. However, If I need...say...a pipewrench...I will not be using that very often. Probably once or twice after the initial use that precipitated the purchase in the first place. I do not need a high end pipewrench. I will purchase said pipewrench based primarily on cost. But, even then, if the wrench just slips, and barely performs at all, then the benefit of buying based upon price is negligible. It's a strange balancing act.

Look, anyone that has ever been fishing knows that Zebco is not "top of the line". There is better out there. But, their basic quality was always there. Zebco is a very trusted name in their industry. The Zebco 33 reel has been around since the 50's, and has long been thier flagship model. Why, on earth, would Zebco sacrifice the quality of that model? A model that tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people have known, used, respected and come to trust.
__________________
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

"Hedonism with rules isn't hedonism at all, it's the Republican party." - JumpinJesus

It is indisputable that true beauty lies within...but a nice rack sure doesn't hurt.

Last edited by Bill O'Rights; 06-08-2009 at 06:17 AM..
Bill O'Rights is offline  
Old 06-08-2009, 06:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
warrior bodhisattva
 
Baraka_Guru's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: East-central Canada
You always get what you pay for.

The problem is that you don't always know what you're getting.

Products have a number of costs associated with them:
  • Raw materials
  • Labour
  • Overhead
  • Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Profit
  • Etc.
As time goes on, even within a single product or brand, these costs shift. There are a number of factors that influence the cost: finding low labour cost is getting increasingly difficult; raw material cost fluctuates; distribution costs fluctuate, especially depending on where your labour and markets are; marketing costs rise with increased competition, profit expectations remain high, etc.

So for example, when Dockers goes through this, they need to make some decisions. They crank up marketing because of new entrants going after their market, their cheap (for their standard) labour pool begins to dry up (again because of new entrants), leather costs rise, retail support costs rise, so what do you do? You can't just jack up the price indefinitely, or you'll alienate your customer. So you go with cheaper materials and cheaper (and lower standard) labour.

Either Dockers would need to get more expensive ($160 a pair of shoes vs. $120) or they can suppress this $120 price by finding a viable reduction in overall quality (i.e. cost). Keep your brand recognition and value high, and people might just overlook having to buy new shoes over a shorter period of time. Because, hey, the alternatives might not be any better. And they're certainly more expensive if they are.
__________________
Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 06-08-2009 at 06:43 AM..
Baraka_Guru is offline  
Old 06-08-2009, 06:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
change is hard.
 
thespian86's Avatar
 
Location: the green room.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxys View Post
Quick question, weren't all cultures, practices, modes/means/ways of life crafted from beliefs? Weren't beliefs merely opinions?
Yes, belief is another word for opinion...

But we have wonderful things like science now. And proof.
__________________
EX: Whats new?
ME: I officially love coffee more then you now.
EX: uh...
ME: So, not much.
thespian86 is offline  
Old 06-08-2009, 06:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
roachboy's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: essex ma
this stuff probably follows from changes in the way production is understood--before, it was far more central than it is now---now the main emphasis is on maximizing quarterly returns for shareholders. labor is a variable cost. efficiencies are measured in terms of cost-reduction. compromises in the quality of outputs would only register through demand collapse. so maybe, in a general way, this follows from the wholesale subordination of labor to capital.
__________________
a gramophone its corrugated trumpet silver handle
spinning dog. such faithfulness it hear

it make you sick.

-kamau brathwaite
roachboy is offline  
Old 06-08-2009, 09:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
Upright
 
All companies are pushing for cost cutting measures, but some see that value of a better product in getting more customers. I agree with what others have said - there is still quality out there, you just need to find it in a sea of cheap knockoffs.

I probably spent 50 hours researching and looking at reviews/display models of different TVs before I bought my big flatscreen HDTV. I love it, especially when I see all the crappy sets lined up at Walmart. I could have had the same quality from Sony instead of Samsung, but wasn't willing to pay twice the price. It's a trade off in products vs. brand name cost. I don't usually buy from Sony, Apple, etc.

Some companies are still mostly reputable. HTC for phones, Dell (mostly) for laptops when compared to Toshiba/HP/Compaq, Toyota and Honda vs Ford/Kia/Chrysler. You just need to take the time to research to find the best options.
Latenter is offline  
Old 06-09-2009, 09:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
Baffled
 
alicat's Avatar
 
Location: West Michigan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights View Post
That, I think, is what I'm really getting at. At one time, I could be reasonably assured that any product bearing a certain "brand name" was going to be quality. Therefore, I could gravitate toward that brand when shopping for a given item. I wasn't buying the label, per se, but I was buying what that label stood for.

There are other post's I want to respond too in this thread, but I'm tired so this by BOR is the closest to what I have to say. In 1990 Hubby and I bought a 27" Sony Trinitron (crt) for about $700. Hubby was loyal to Sony, because his Dad was, for all electronic component's for years, despite receiver's, disk player's, vcr's all dying early death's. I didn't fault him because most of those were in the late 90's or early 2000's and our Trinitron was still running strong and trusty.

Fast forward to 2007 when our beloved 17 yr. old Trinitron started to have trouble (a line about 6" from the top made everyone look like a Conehead). We bit the bullet and bought the modern day equivilent, a Sony Trinitron Wega (34") which cost us $650, nearly as much as we'd paid for our original 27" 17 yrs. before.

Now to my point, we enjoyed our new Trinitron for all of 8 mths. before the fucker started going psychedelic on us (purplish screen with pixelated bits flashing here and there). Our original Trinitron lasted for 17 damn years before we had any problem so we felt confident in choosing the same brand as a replacement, yeah right!!!. Our warrenty didn't cover labor, just parts. The only service center we had near us was an hour drive away. It would've cost nearly $200 in S&H to send it to them, so we borrowed my Dad's truck and drove it to them (after killing our back's manhandling the thing into the original box, that we still had).

They kept the TV for 2 damn weeks before they even responded to our calls or email's. In the end, we had to insist that they pack the TV back into the box as we had delivered it to them. We paid $200+ for the non-warrenty repairs and we ended up with a 1 1/2" scratch on the screen.

The not quite but kinda funny aspect is that their 70-80 yr.old receptionist said that Sony's; Wega's and other's, are at their top of the list for repairs and "they just don't make them like they used to". Dur!!!

We ended up within 8 mths. paying over $900 for a stupid 34" CRT TV when we could have put that money toward's a "flat screen" "plasma" or "insert another TV here". Thankfully the thing hasn't acted up since then and believe it or not, the old Trinitron in the basement no longer does the conehead thing and still has a pretty decent picture!
__________________
'Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun, The frumious Bandersnatch!'--Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll

"You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late."--Ralph Waldo Emerson
alicat is offline  
Old 06-10-2009, 10:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Wrexify's Avatar
 
Location: Kramerica
I generally DO pay a premium for quality. Most of my major purchases are in electronics, and I still trust certain brand names for quality in that area.

That's not to say that I don't spend weeks doing research before any purchase. Though I now trust the quality of several brands through experience (ASUS, eVGA, and OCZ to name a few), I didn't immediately feel that way based on the opinions of others. I did months of research before my first purchases from any of those companies and, after buying several high-quality products, I'll always return to them even if it means paying a little extra.

I don't assume that any brand is top-notch before I've had a chance to experience their products myself. Not surprisingly, I usually find myself disappointed with the "premium" brands of the past. Though I must say Bill, I've been wearing this pair of Dockers pants for a good year now and they're still going strong! Maybe these are left over from their glory days
__________________
"Nitwit! Oddment! Blubber! Tweak!"
Wrexify is offline  
Old 06-10-2009, 10:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
Willravel's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights View Post
Would you be willing to pay a higher pricetag for a quality product?
Yes. I generally pay a bit more on food, clothing, electronics and personal care products that are higher in quality instead of bargain basement and cheap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights View Post
Are there any manufacturers that you used to respect that just aren't measuring up to their reputations or your expectations[?]
Hershey's changed their recipe to cut costs (now it tastes cheap and unrewarding) so I won't be buying my s'mores chocolate from them anymore. Western Digital sold me two shoddy hard drives in a row, so I'll probably give Seagate a try when I need another hard drive.
Willravel is offline  
 

Tags
past, quality, thing

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:26 AM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360