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Buy less but pay more

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2012

Allen Tucker writes about how people should pay more for the goods and services they buy. I especially liked this bit on tipping:

No one cares about $5 unless it’s a tip or part of a meal. This is so weird to me. No one haggles over $5 on the price of a car, but it seems that everyone needs a tip calculator to determine if they should pay 21.50 or $22.00 for a meal.

I usually eat at the same few restaurants all the time. They’re maybe 10% more expensive, usually locally owned, and the food doesn’t come out of a frozen pre-made bag before being tossed in the oven. I never tip less than 20%, and I’m not an asshole….at restaurants.

I always get great service. The staff who isn’t even waiting on me comes over to say hi. They know what I’m going to order, and if I forget something, they know it.

This doesn’t happen at Applebee’s or McD’s.

Overpaying in small ways is often not financially significant to you, but it seems like a lot to someone else. Over tipping makes $2 or $5 seem like a lot of money. This multiplies the value of your money.

I wrote about buying higher quality items a few years ago.

My wife and I are ardent upgraders. I rarely buy anything anymore but the things I do buy are usually better versions of things I already have. As things break or wear out, we’ve been replacing them with items that are nicer to use/wear/whatever and will last a whole lot longer than the cheaper stuff.

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