I just wanted to comment on a new trend that I've noticed in many ACE
hardware stores - the appearance of tool bins - usually near the front
door- filled with random items that appear to be "on sale". Set up to
resemble a clearance sale, these displays are full of cheap tools which
are marked at one price but "marked down" to $1.99 or something on the
sign...KNOW THIS: these aren't good tools on sale, they are very crappy
tools (made in China) and are invariably prone to breakage. They haven't
been marked down, either - they never were intended top be sold at their
indicated prices. I know you're thinking, "so what? It's only two bucks."
And you're right - sometimes a cheap set of wire brushes is just what you
need for a quick project. But if you've ever had a drill bit break off in
a nice piece of wood, or worse, a bungee cord snap off at a bad time,
you'll understand why these things can cost a lot more than the two
dollars you paid. I just don't like the subtle deception that's used in
the marketing of these items...you get what you pay for.
Your last line says it all: "you get what you pay for". There is another
saying: "Buyer beware"
Sometimes it is clearance, sometimes not. Sometimes it is cheap junk.
Sometimes it is good stuff, to be cleared, but not marked down at all.
A professional auto mechanic needs top quality tools. Other people need
similar, good but not top quality. Some people only need cheap junk.
Back when Estwing framing hammers were CDN$30, I was buying cheap hammers
by the case for $2.00 each. I purchased the cheap ones because the guys on
the moving trucks were going to lose them or steal them almost as fast as
they were issued.
A catalogue I receive once offered a tool that was described as ugly,
possibly rust-spotted, a do everything tool for the person who thinks an axe
is a hammer and a screwdriver a prybar. It was designed for opening crates.
They advertised it as being suitable for the person who misuses good tools
and leaves everything out in the rain. That happens to be a particularly
honest vendor, who generally deals in top line tools.
There is a place for top line, and a place for junk. I have tools at all
levels of quality, depending on how often I use it, and what kind of abuse
it will get, etc.
It is fine to have your eyes open for a good deal, but you also need to have
your eyes open for quality and whether it is a good deal. Each of use
needs to be an educated observant consumer
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