Becoming a contrarian shopper sounds like a strange idea. Why would you voluntarily pay more for something than you have to? It doesn’t make economic or financial sense.
But when you investigate the issue further, you find that there are lots of people out there who fit into this category. These individuals love nothing more than splurging on goods that they could find at the dollar store. It’s quite odd.
However, there are actually several good reasons for being a contrarian of the retail variety. The first is that paying more often saves you money in the long-run. You could spend $20 every year on new sneakers because the old ones wear out, or you could grab your dream kicks and have them last you a lifetime. The upfront price of Air Jordans is more, but the quality is far higher.
The second reason is ethical. Paying more for some goods is worth it because of the severe market pressures producers face. Handing over extra money helps to make workers’ lives more pleasant.
Lastly, spending more occasionally helps to protect the environment. Green goods are often a little more expensive than their conventional counterparts. But when you buy them, you can’t help but feel you’re “paying it forward.”
Contrarian shoppers, therefore, are those who pay more to get the best. They’re concerned about more than the product itself, but also the wider ecosystem that generated it.
So when is it worth spending a little more to save money in the long-term and help the planet? Let’s take a look.
Cheap soaps have attractive sticker prices, but they’re often terrible at cutting through grease. That’s because manufacturers don’t carefully calibrate the formulation or spend any time on R&D developing compounds that get the job done better. Buying more expensive brands implies a larger upfront cost, but it pays dividends over the long-term.
Cheap coffee is dreadful and hardly worth buying in the first place. It just doesn’t taste right, and you don’t get that fresh aroma you get when you have the proper beans in your possession.
Paying a little extra means that you get a significantly better experience.
Paying a little more for food is good for several reasons. For starters, it ensures that you’re getting something that is beneficial for your health. Cheap food is often highly processed and contains mountains of salt, fat, and oil. Healthier food is more costly, but it also improves your overall wellbeing, making you more productive and happier.
There’s a reason that there’s a big difference in price between nonstop flights and those with stopovers – they’re much more convenient. Nothing is more annoying than having to stay at an airport to wait for a connecting flight to take you to your destination. It wears you out, and it often takes many hours.
You spend around a third of your life in contact with your bedsheets. For that reason, it’s worth spending good money on them. The higher the thread count, the longer they will last, and the most comfortable they will be.