sorta OT: why don't stores get a clue?

am I the only person in the world who likes to buy a consumer good ONCE and expect it to last until I am sick of it? Today I'm specifically referring to bathroom fixtures. SWMBO thinks I'm a little anal retentive but I don't know that I really am. There are a few finishes that are acceptable for metal finishes in bathrooms:
1) stainless steel 2) chrome plated brass 3) heavy enamel/porcelain over steel.
Please note that in the above list I did NOT include flash-chromed mild steel or pot metal. That might be marginally acceptable for the valve covers on a never-driven-in-bad-weather trailer queen car, but it doesn't belong in a bathroom, where it's often hot, humid, steamy, and depending on application may be subject to flying piss droplets.
So why, then, are so many bathroom fixtures made from mild steel with cheap chrome plating (obviously not "show chrome" with heavy copper as a base, then a good layer of nickel under the shiny stuff.) This is starting to become a real peeve of mine as SWMBO always picks out stuff that she thinks is attractive and asks me what I think, and I'll say "it looks nice, but it won't last a year." Then I have to go home and get online and find the equivalent "real" product that the stuff in the stores is trying to imitate, and spend twice as much to have it delivered. Don't you think that if the stores sold the "good stuff" we might actually consider spending the extra money to not have to go through the hassle of constant web searches and then ordering online?
...or are people really this cheap?
yes, I was cleaning the bathroom yesterday and noticed that the not yet a year old shower caddy thing is already rusted and nasty. SWMBO took it on herself to buy it while shopping by herself and I did have to admit that it looked nice when new... but it ain't stainless.
The stainless shower curtain rod that she bought when we first moved in still looks great. Once a year or so I go over it with some wadding polish and it shines up like new. I was a little concerned about the wall fittings as they are chromed, but they must either be chromed brass or if pot metal, they did a good job in the chrome tank because they haven't started to peel yet. If only everything else were made like that...
I don't remember my grandparents having this problem. Why is everything so much more shoddily made, in general, than it used to be? Do I just need to find the secret rich people store where all the people that buy top quality stuff shop?
nate
(off to amazon.com and froo froo home decor web sites...)
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Nate Nagel wrote: ...

...
Yes, the bulk of people are that cheap (and ignorant).
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Its the cheep, cheep, cheep walmart thinking that so many people have adopted to the point that the word "value" is not even in their vocabulary.
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You are right. We have been looking for some quality bathroom fixtures for a remodel. American manufacturers seem to job out most items to China, or compete on the same quality level. We have found that the German/Swiss companies make real good stuff. Expensive but good. Companies such as Grohe, Hansa and Hansgrohe, the names may sound close but they are different companies. If you want it to last for life buy one of these brands.
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clipped

I call what you have described as the "Walmart Effect". I remember when Walmart had a big American flag hanging in the store, advertised American-made. Whatever happened to anti-monopoly actions? I still am willing to spend a little more at small local businesses just to keep good craftsmen and repairmen around. Still driving my '84 Buick :o)
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Norminn wrote:

## They're still more American than most any other company, being the largest employer in the country (except maybe the U.S. Army).

## Monopoly laws do not apply to Walmart. There has never been a penalty levied against monopolistic actions by a company where the company achieved that status by internal growth (as opposed to acquisitions or mergers). When a radio station or newspaper or a paint company tries to buy a competitor, the FTC gets involved, yet the government doesn't care how many new stores Walmart opens.
Non-regulated monopolies are almost always good for the consumer. Even the archetype monopoly, Standard Oil, lowered the price of kerosene from $3.00/gallon to FIVE CENTS per gallon. In three years. The whale oil people didn't like it, but Standard Oil brought lighting into every home. There are hurtful monopolies, though. Without exception they are the ones sanctioned by the government: Utilities, cable TV, etc.

## Good for you. Every study shows that Walmart improves local businesses. Obviously not the ones that try to compete directly with Walmart, but those that serve niche markets (i.e., high-quality merchandise, flooring, books, etc.) thrive on the traffic generated by Walmart.
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What happened? Simple. Sam Walton passed away and the kids took over the business. They decided that they could make more by buying cheap Asian stuff. Of course, the rest of the big box sheep followed them.
Bah. Humbug!
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Demand for low prices; "throw-away" mentality.

Yes, if your home is of higher quality. You're not going to get much of a monetary return for high quality fixtures in an "average" home. -----
- gpsman
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On Sat, 29 Nov 2008 10:04:13 -0800 (PST), gpsman

The "return" is not having to replace them every couple years. I agree if you are flipping the house, something that looks good when you install it will work.
BTW Delta has already replaced my 10 year old bathroom faucets for free because if a finish problem. The product may have failed but the guarantee was OK
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

We have a PricePfister kitchen faucet about 5 y/o. Already replace the stem because the threads were peeling off. Now leaks around handle and stem. When I replace it, I will mail it to someone on the PP board, not some ceo.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'm not even worried about that; I plan to be here for at least another 5 yrs. (in no small part because of the current state of the housing market.)
We've been talking about a full remodel; I don't even want to think about what that would cost "to my standards." We're still in "repair what's there so it works right" mode right now.
nate
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That is why I'm still in my house. I don't want a bigger house, I want a different house. Problem is, I can't afford to build what I really want so I'm not going to settle for crap. I'm doing the best I can with upgrades when needed. Our appliances and furniture are top grade and we enjoy using them. I don't care about return if I ever sell, I want good stuff now.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Well, to me, a small house with quality plumbing, electrical, etc. that has been well maintained is worth more to me than a new McMansion with crap.
In my current place the newest appliance is the dishwasher; it was installed *after* we first looked at it. I loathe that bastard; I was hoping they'd just leave the old one and let me try to repair it. Worthless GE piece of crap, you can't even push the upper rack in smoothly.
You may remember about a year ago we had a bad electrical incident here that fried a couple MOVs in the power supplies of several appliances; the dishwasher was one of them. I was actually saying to the girlie the other day that I had a quandary; I really wanted to go out and just buy a new dishwasher that I approved of, but then I'd have to admit that I couldn't fix the old one. It's hell being a cheap bastard :)
nate
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gpsman wrote:

But he was looking for quality standard grade stuff that doesn't need to be replaced at the same rate you replace your socks not goofy $5,000 "mine is bigger than yours" McMansion style stuff.
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They don't carry those at the box stores...? -----
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Grohe is nice.
cm

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wrote:

Count your blessings. Some fixtures are now plastic. Recently I bought an inexpensive tub spout, not quality, but a name brand. I see a wider range of quality and prices than many years ago, making shopping more of a challenge. Hard to believe I found one for $1220-- a little rich for my measly $180K house.
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Phisherman wrote:

It's not even a matter of price. In 1991 I bought Grohe plumbing parts for our retirement home. I spent $429 then for the fill spouts for each of the tubs. Today they're probably $1000 each...enough to expect good quality. I didn't want to spend my retirement years as Mr. Fix-It. I wanted them to last. They rusted badly. The reason was that there was only thin chrome plated on and it was full of microscopic pin holes. I've since had the chrome removed and the pieces have been re plated with more than a few Angstroms of chrome. But, I'm still pissed at Grohe.
Today, if the manufacturer wants to he can coat the plated part with an electrophoretic coating, much like is done in some semiconductor processes where resist is applied to non-planar surfaces. The electrophoretic material is drawn into the pinholes and does a very good job of sealing and protecting the surface. But, why bother. The cheap approach will last until the buyer looses the sales slip.
We have allowed manufacturers to dump junk on us at exhorbitent prices. Quality is gone from the majority of manufacturers.
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clipped

I just bought our third paper shredder (over 10 yrs or so)......registered the purchase along with the message that if it doesn't last it will be my last purchase from Office Depot. This purchase (and the only reason for going back to OD) was a store credit for warranty from the previous one. They deserve some small credit for honoring the warranty a tad beyone the 1 yr date, and I had to do a song and dance to get a replacement receipt (I kept the original - just don't know where) and then wait about 3 months for the credit to arrive. Had I checked the OD website prior to purchasing the bad one, I would have seen the 10 customer reviews that said it was a piece of junk - and they still sell them.
Best Buy has been off my list for several years, after double charging me on a $700 purchase and then putting me through hell to get my money back from a bad-check company. Purchase was on a debit card.
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On 11/29/2008 8:26 AM Nate Nagel spake thus:

You forgot to mention flash-chromed *plastic*, my favorite material for high-quality fixtures.
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