Putting A Price On Your Life: Why Cheaper Isn’t Better

Putting A Price On Your Life: Why Cheaper Isn’t Better


By: Bob Delmore


When I was young and used to work on my own cars, I once went down to the local flea market and bought a set of cheap Made-in-Taiwan wrenches.   While they looked like wrenches, they would not actually do any of things that one expected of wrenches, like holding together during the wrenching process.  Broken wrenches and bloody torn knuckles were par for the course. I had bought the wrong thing.

Even though I did not know it, I had two problems. One was a lack of appreciation for the importance of quality. The other was a lack of understanding of the economics of quality. I only knew two things when I bought those wrenches: that I needed wrenches, and that those were the cheapest ones that I could find.

At some point in my life, I came to realize that the cheapest way out was usually more expensive in the long run than paying for high quality up front. I thought that I was saving money buy being frugal and buying as cheaply as I could.  But I have never saved any money that I am aware of by doing that. Cheap things are more cheaply manufactured than more expensive ones, and without as much quality control. They break more frequently, and thus must be replaced more often, at a higher cost than would have been expended had a higher quality and more expensive item been bought in the first place.

In addition to costing more money over the long run, the cheaper products frequently will not do what I need for them to do when I need them to do it. This is bad enough when dealing with a set of flea market wrenches or a coffee maker or a vacuum cleaner.  It can be fatal when the need is for a piece of emergency life-saving equipment, such as a handgun.

So let me ask you:  How much is your life worth?

The first requirement in a defensive firearm is that it goes “BANG” every single time that it should. The higher quality firearms (and thus more expensive) are more likely to do this than their less expensive counterparts.  Higher quality firearms malfunction and break less often, and in many examples, require less maintenance, and are less ammunition-sensitive.  And they will wind up being less expensive over the course of time.

As someone (whom I cannot recall) once said, “it is bad to pay too much for a thing, but it is often even worse to not pay enough”.

If there are two .380 semi-automatics for sale, and one retails for $225.00, and the other retails for $470.00 +, it is a pretty safe bet that the more expensive one is the better gun.

I hope that you think that your life is worth spending the extra money for the reliability needed in such a critical piece of emergency equipment.