Product quality

The shocking truth behind declining product quality: Is nothing made to last anymore?

Do you remember the stories our parents and grandparents told us about buying a product that was so good they had to pass it down to their aunts and uncles, who also continued to use it for a very long time until it was no longer usable? Well, it seems those days are long gone. In the last decade, the product quality that we buy, from technology to clothes and so on, has gotten relatively worse.

Phones have become more vulnerable to break, sweaters are more likely to tear, TVs burn out and die in a few years, and smart toasters explode all of a sudden. The list of low product quality is endless.

Screenshot 2022 11 30 194400

So, what exactly is going on with product quality?

There are a few reasons why the product quality that we buy has been declining. One reason is that we, as consumers, have become more focussed on buying the latest and greatest things, rather than buying things that will last.

This is due in part to the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) that is so prevalent in our society. We are constantly bombarded with messages about the newest and coolest products, and we don’t want to be left behind. This leads us to make impulse purchases of things that we don’t really need or that are not well-made.

Another reason for the decline in product quality is that companies are under pressure to keep their prices low. This is due to the globalisation of the economy, which has made it easier for companies to find cheap labour and materials.

In order to keep their prices competitive, companies have to cut corners on product quality. This means using cheaper materials, skimping on labour, and designing products that are not meant to last.

Finally, the rise of automation has also played a role in the decline of product quality. With more and more products being made by machines, there is less human oversight to ensure that they are being made correctly. This can lead to problems with quality control, as machines are not perfect and can make mistakes.

iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
The Pro Tech Toolkit is the one thing every DIYer, fixer, hacker, hobbyist, and professional needs to tackle any job. Every tool in the Pro Tech Toolkit has been re-engineered to be better. From the 64 Bit Driver Kit to the iFixit Opening Picks, every tool is specially designed and selected to maximize your repair capabilities. At the core of this kit is the iFixit 64 Bit Driver Kit, designed with extensive research into what fastener types are currently used in the consumer electronics industry and which legacy fasteners are still in demand by consumers. From the Apple Watch with its new tiny Tri-Point screws to vintage Nintendo game consoles with gamebit fasteners, the 64 bit kit covers them all with the highest quality CNC machined bits. Even the sturdy case was carefully engineered, having no hinges or latches to break, and features a sorting tray inside the magnetically attached lid.

So, what can we do about this?

There are a few things we can do as consumers to help improve the quality of the products we buy. First, we can be more mindful of our buying habits.

We should avoid making impulse purchases and instead, take the time to research the products we are thinking about buying. We should also read reviews and compare prices before we make a purchase.

Second, we can support companies that are committed to making high-quality products. There are a number of companies that are out there that are making products that are built to last.

We can find these companies by doing some research online or by asking our friends and family for recommendations.

Finally, we can speak out against companies that are making low-quality products. We can do this by writing reviews, contacting the companies directly, and boycotting their products.

By taking these steps, we can help to send a message to companies that we care about product quality and that we are not willing to pay for products that are not made to last.

We hope this article was helpful. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

In addition to the points mentioned in the article, here are a few other things that can be done to improve the quality of the products we buy:

G J 147 Pcs Black Case Watch Repair Tool Kit Watch Opener Watch Link Pin Tool Set
G & J 147 Pcs Black Case Watch Repair Tool Kit Watch Opener Watch Link Pin Tool Set
– EASY TO USE: Adjustable Case Opener, excellent for opening waterproof cases up to 34mm, Spring bar remover for strap adjustment/replacement, can be set in different positions for different size cases. – COMPLETE WATCH REPAIR TOOLS:147PCS watch repair kit includes anti-magnetic screwdriver for removing battery covers and anti magnetic stainless-steel tweezers for removing and inserting batteries. Completed watch repair tool, good helper to your watch. – LIGHTWEIGHT & DURABLE: Small, lightweight, easy to use and durable. If you like to have a portable tool kit that is small, clean, and functional, this kit will be ideal to open and work on your watch anyplace that you want. – EASY TO CARRY: Portable handy box set design, easy to carry. It can be used for repair clock, watch, wristwatch. etc. With a box of high-quality package for storage and convenience. US$17.99

Support local businesses

1. Deeper connection to the community: Local businesses operate within a close-knit community, where their reputation plays a vital role in their success. They rely on repeat customers and word-of-mouth recommendations, so it’s in their best interest to build trust through offering high-quality products and services. This creates a natural incentive to prioritise quality over maximising profits in the short term.

2. Direct feedback loop: Unlike large corporations with distant customer bases, local businesses have a direct and immediate feedback loop with their customers.

They can easily hear about customer experiences, both positive and negative, and adjust their offerings accordingly. This allows them to quickly identify and address quality issues, leading to continuous improvement.

3. Emphasis on craftsmanship and uniqueness: Many local businesses take pride in craftsmanship and attention to detail. They often create unique products using traditional methods or high-quality materials, resulting in superior durability and functionality. This focus on quality over mass production leads to products that are built to last and reflect the individual values of the business owner.

4. Commitment to sustainability: Local businesses are often more invested in sustainable practices than large corporations. They may source materials locally, minimise packaging waste, and prioritise environmentally friendly production methods. This commitment to sustainability often translates into higher-quality products, as sustainable materials and practices often lead to greater durability and longevity.

5. Knowledge and expertise: Local businesses often have deep knowledge and expertise in their specific niche. They understand the needs and preferences of their local customers and can tailor their products accordingly. This specialised knowledge allows them to source superior materials, develop innovative products, and offer personalised service, all of which contribute to higher overall quality.

Supporting local businesses isn’t just about getting higher quality products; it’s also about investing in your community. Local businesses create jobs, contribute to the local economy, and add to the character and vibrancy of a neighbourhood. By choosing to shop local, you’re not just getting a better product, you’re also helping to build a stronger, more sustainable future for your community.

So, the next time you need something new, consider venturing beyond the big box stores and supporting the local businesses in your area. You might be surprised at the quality and uniqueness of what you find, and you’ll be contributing to a more positive and sustainable future for everyone.

HART 215 Piece Mechanics Tool Set Multiple Drive Chrome Finish
HART 215-Piece Mechanics Tool Set, Multiple Drive, Chrome Finish
This HART 215 PC Mechanics & Home Tool Set delivers the performance and durability you need to handle any job in the garage or at home. This set features an extensive range of SAE and Metric sized sockets and drive tools. The 90-tooth ratchets allow up to 20%* more access in tight spaces and the reverse switch lever lets you change working direction with one hand. The set includes tools and adaptors, 1/4″ drive 6 point sockets (standard and deep well), 3/8” drive 6 point sockets (standard and deep well) and 1/2″ 12 point sockets. For more specialty applications, included are star bits and a variety of hex bit sockets. In addition, the chrome finish provides rust resistance for added durability and large size markings for quick and easy identification. The set comes in a durable case with metal latches and barrel hinges, plus additional storage space for maximum versatility. *Disclaimer: compared to standard 72 tooth ratchet US$158.00

Buy used products

1. Financial benefits: Used goods are significantly cheaper than their new counterparts, often at a fraction of the original price. This can be a game-changer for budget-conscious consumers, allowing them to access high-quality items without breaking the bank. From furniture and appliances to clothing and electronics, buying used can unlock a treasure trove of savings while still fulfilling your needs and desires.

2. Enhanced quality and durability: Many vintage and pre-owned items were made during an era when manufacturers prioritised quality and longevity over cost-cutting measures. They often featured better craftsmanship, sturdier materials, and more attention to detail, resulting in products built to last for generations. So, buying used can provide access to goods of superior quality compared to some mass-produced, modern offerings.

3. Environmental advantages: Purchasing used items significantly reduces your environmental footprint. It diverts unwanted items from landfills, minimising waste and the need for resource extraction to produce new goods. This translates to lower energy consumption, reduced pollution, and a smaller carbon footprint for you and the planet. By giving pre-loved items a second life, you’re actively contributing to a more sustainable future.

4. Unique finds and treasure hunting: The world of used goods is a treasure hunter’s paradise. You can find one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, quirky collectables, and unique items you wouldn’t encounter in regular stores. This adds an element of excitement and discovery to the shopping experience, allowing you to personalise your space and express your style with items that hold a story and character.

5. Supporting the circular economy: When you buy used, you participate in a circular economy, where resources are kept in use for as long as possible. This promotes reusing, repairing, and recycling instead of the linear “take-make-dispose” model prevalent in our society. By embracing the pre-loved, you’re supporting a more sustainable and responsible way of consuming, one purchase at a time.

However, as you mentioned, inspection before purchase is crucial. Here are some tips for ensuring a smooth and successful used-item buying experience:

  • Ask for detailed descriptions and photos.
  • Check for any potential damages, wear and tear.
  • Research the product online to understand its typical lifespan and common issues.
  • Test the functionality if possible.
  • Negotiate the price, especially at flea markets or garage sales.
  • Buy from reputable sources like certified pre-owned retailers or trusted online platforms.

Remember, buying used doesn’t mean settling for subpar quality. With a little research and inspection, you can uncover fantastic bargains, unique finds, and high-quality goods while doing your part for the environment. So, next time you’re looking for something, remember the treasure trove of possibilities in the world of pre-loved items. You might be surprised at what gems you can unearth!

Hart 5 Tool Cordless Power Tool Combo Kit and Hart 270 Piece Mechanics Tool Set
Hart 5 Tool Cordless Power Tool Combo Kit and Hart 270 Piece Mechanics Tool Set
• The 20V one battery system allows you to interchange the battery on all 20V HART products. It powers all HART 20V tools, outdoor, automotive and lifestyle items • This product comes with 2 batteries and a charge • 1/2″ drill with 24 position clutches for adjusting torque • 1/2″ drill chuck allows for greater range of accessory options • 1/4″ impact with a variable speed trigger from 0-2500 RPM • 1/4″ quick connect chuck allows fast and easy bit changes • 7/8″ stroke length with easy access lever for quick blade changes • Hand Vac has a crevice tool makes cleaning tight spots easy • 90 tooth ratchet is 20% more efficient* with more speed and access in tight areas • Full chrome finish for rust resistance • Quick release for superior socket hold with easy release • Reverse switch lever for easy one-handed use • Mechanics Set with 270 pieces. US$377.00

Fix things instead of throwing them away

1. Financial savings: Fixing a broken item is almost always cheaper than buying a new one. Even if you need to purchase spare parts or pay for repair services, it’s usually a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire product. This not only saves you money in the short term but also builds wealth over time, allowing you to stretch your budget further and avoid unnecessary expenses.

2. Increased lifespan and sustainability: By repairing your belongings, you extend their lifespan significantly. This reduces the need for new products to be manufactured, saving precious resources and energy. It also diverts waste from landfills, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable environment. Think of it as giving your belongings a second lease on life, reducing your environmental footprint one repair at a time.

3. Personal satisfaction and skill development: Fixing things yourself can be a rewarding and empowering experience. Learning basic repair skills fosters a sense of self-reliance and accomplishment. It can be a fun and engaging hobby, allowing you to connect with your possessions on a deeper level and appreciate the craftsmanship and materials that went into their creation.

4. Supporting local businesses and craftsmanship: When you take your item to a repair shop, you’re supporting local businesses and skilled craftspeople who keep these repair traditions alive. This not only injects money into your community but also preserves valuable knowledge and skills that might otherwise be lost. Moreover, it promotes craftsmanship and attention to detail over mass production and disposable culture.

5. Reducing dependence on planned obsolescence: Many manufacturers design products with built-in obsolescence, meaning they’re deliberately made to break down after a certain period, forcing you to buy a new one. By fixing your belongings, you break free from this cycle of dependence and resist the manipulative marketing tactics that push for constant consumption.

Of course, repairing everything isn’t always feasible or practical. Some complex repairs might require specialised expertise or parts that are difficult to find. However, before automatically discarding a broken item, consider these options:

  • Assess the damage: Determine the severity of the problem and whether it’s worth fixing. Research online tutorials or consult repair manuals for guidance.
  • Do it yourself: If the repair seems manageable, gather the necessary tools and parts and give it a try. There are countless online resources and communities dedicated to DIY repairs, offering tips and tricks for various items.
  • Seek professional help: If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, take your item to a local repair shop. Many shops specialise in repairing specific types of electronics, appliances, furniture, and more.
  • Consider upcycling or repurposing: If the item is beyond repair, explore creative ways to give it a new life. Upcycle it into something new or repurpose its parts for other projects. This promotes resourcefulness and minimises waste.

Conclusion

Remember, every time you choose to repair something instead of throwing it away, you’re making a conscious choice towards a more sustainable and responsible future. It’s a small step with a significant impact, not just for your wallet but for the planet and the communities around you.

So, the next time something breaks, don’t despair! Embrace the opportunity to fix it, learn something new, and contribute to a world where things are made to last and treasured instead of tossed aside.

Take care of your belongings. The way you treat your belongings can have a big impact on their lifespan. Make sure to store them properly and clean them regularly.

By following these tips, we can all help to make the world a more sustainable place.

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