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#169671 - 03/18/09 07:58 PM Put off buying things long enough?
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I'm normally a pretty frugal guy and I generally think fairly hard about non-essential purchases before pulling out the wallet. However, I noticed that for a while now, I've been buying more things than usual. For some, I guess shopping is a comforting thing, but in my case, it's because I'm afraid that some of these things that I have wanted for a long time just won't be available in the future because the store or the manufacturer just might not be around much longer in this economy. Delayed gratification is one thing, but it's certainly not gratifying when you finally go to purchase it and realize that the company went belly up 4 months ago and the product is no longer available. frown

Anyone else been thinking this way in the past 6-12 months? I certainly know that a slightly different form of this thinking has been going on regarding firearms and ammo, but I'm thinking talking about anything besides guns. Like I've recently bought a couple training/education sets from niche companies that might not be around longer. I hope they'll survive, but you just don't know.

#169674 - 03/18/09 08:30 PM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: Arney]

Yes, I have been thinking that way. I almost made a credit card purchase for some survival gear last night. It's one of my rules to not use my credit card unless absolutely necessary. Lately I have been wondering if it is true that I am paranoid. It's hard to agree that a less than 10% chance of occurence is not worth preparing for. I might make that purchase today. I suggest that if you can do it without hurting yourself or another, then you are not crazy for doing it.

By the way, can you provide links to those niche companies?

#169682 - 03/18/09 11:03 PM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: Arney]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
I've noticed it in myself. First with the Nalgenes- understandable, I think the Tritons are worthless and they won't be making any more of the polycarbs. Then I saw myself buying good and ok wool socks, and paracord.

I have been buying $8-10 of freeze dried or wet pack foods with every paycheck, and was picking up a brick of .22 as well, but I can't find bricks for love, money or blackmail.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#169689 - 03/18/09 11:51 PM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: ]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1913
Loc: Washington, DC
America needs you.

To be a consumer-patriot. Our economy is not going to recover until people, banks and businesses stop hoarding money.

If you have savings from your frugality, you want something, need it, can afford it - buy it.

It may not get any cheaper than now.

Inflation's not your friend and many think that scourge is looming because of the mass infusion of government spending (an additional trillion dollars just today!).

Happy shopping!

Edited by Dagny (03/18/09 11:52 PM)

#169690 - 03/19/09 12:00 AM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: ]
raptor Offline

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 284
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
The only purchase I have coming up that I am saving up for (Actually putting away money for, not charging) is a kayak.

That sounds like a good investment. Are saving up for the white water type short plastic kayak?

#169691 - 03/19/09 12:05 AM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: Dagny]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Dagny
It may not get any cheaper than now.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking with some of these more expensive items that I have held off buying for a long time. The price may not go down any more and the next step may be that the company just folds and I completely lose my chance to purchase it.

Actually, forget the niche companies angle of my reasoning--you could say that same thing with things from the biggest companies on the planet like GM or Ford cars and trucks! Been eyeing that Mustang or Corvette for a while now? Buy it while you can! Tell your wife that it was your last chance to get one. grin

#169692 - 03/19/09 12:14 AM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: Arney]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Nope. We have more than we need and want less than ever.

I am looking forward to the 200,000 mile mark on my Jeep, will be any day now...I don't worry about niche stores closing, because niches always get filled. I have an excellent local supply chain for food and an excellent community for everything else.

All in all, no, I have no plans to "start buying" much stuff, mostly because I stopped so long ago that it's just our habit now.

#169696 - 03/19/09 01:25 AM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: MartinFocazio]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
On one hand, a while back, I noticed some tools and foods I liked were either changes in a way that largely eliminated their special attraction or they simply discontinued the item, so there is something to say about buying things you like when you find something you really like.

On the other hand, the quality and utility of the merchandise has generally improved. Back in the 70s it seemed like every flea market, discount store and corner market had Buck folder knock-offs for sale at ten dollars a pop. By my estimation all of them were made of cheap Pakistani and Indian stainless that was so soft it refused to hold and edge and bent in normal use, if it don't snap. Now you can go to any discount store and find a knife for the same ten dollars that is usable and practical. It won't be pretty or the best that has ever been made but, as long as you avoid extreme designs, like skeletonized versions, you will generally have a useful product.

Used to be a $20 backpack was a bad joke. Now, it isn't hard to find a solid and usable product for $20. Most everyone will want to spend more to get a little more durability and a few features but on average the amount of money you have to spend to get functional gear has gone down as the average quality has gone up.

This trend is driven by market forces and automation. The difference in materials and labor between good quality and poor is trivial compared to the cost having to run a second line to produce the lower quality item. Automated machining and finishing cuts the difference even more. In the end it is simply more practical for a manufacturer to produce something that works. You pretty much have to into the $2 bin to find gear that is so substandard that it has no use.

There is no reason to believe that things will change much overall. For sure, the brand names and where things are made may change. An economic slump in the US may end up with manufacturing coming back to the US. China might buy GM and produce Chevys over there and Dai-Wu light industries might open a plant over here but I don't see much chance that many products will disappear or that quality will go down.

#169703 - 03/19/09 03:24 AM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: Art_in_FL]
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
I need to spend money on my house, it needs a roof, siding and 3 new windows and at least the roof has to happen soon.

I am also finally building shelving in the basement to store my Rubbermaid containers full of outdoor gear. I finished one today and must complete another one tomorrow. This is because the in-laws are coming on Friday for the weekend, and my DW said I have to get "all that crap" out of the spare room!


#169713 - 03/19/09 05:33 AM Re: Put off buying things long enough? [Re: SwampDonkey]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Dagny: "It may not get any cheaper than now."

There's probably considerable truth in that. With our government rewarding the mortgage/banking industry for a job well-done, the pouring of a trillion dollars of unbacked, worthless paper money on the market is going to fuel inflation. That means that it will take more money (because it's not worth as much) to buy the same stuff.

I'm quoting Wikipedia on the Roaring Twenties because it does agree with my other readings.

"A branch of the federal government called the Federal Reserve expanded credit, by setting below market interest rates and low reserve requirements that favored big banks, and the money supply actual increased by about 60% during the time following the recession. The phrase "buying on margin" entered the American vocabulary at this time as more and more Americans over-extended themselves to take advantage of the soaring stock market and expanding credit.

"In 1929, however, Federal Reserve officials realized that they could not sustain the current policy of easy credit. When the Fed started to raise interest rates, the whole house of cards collapsed. The Stock Market crashed and the bank panics began."

If anything here seems vaguely familiar, I would agree that if you really want something and have the money, you might as well buy it.


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