Okay, I know you've done it - bought a cheap whatever, only to find that it needs to be replaced really soon because, well, it's cheap. I don't want to say that I do it all the time, but I have definitely done it enough that I should maybe be a better of judge of where to scrimp and where to spend.
Example: my cell phone charger. The car charger for my cell phone stopped working. I tried to go without but I was forever finding myself stuck away from home with a dead phone. As the sole present parent for four small people, I have some responsibility to be available by telephone. It seemed I would need to buy a new car charger.
The first time, I stopped at my local office superstore on the way to the cell phone company's store. They had a charger for just $10 and I was pretty happy about that. It lasted about two months. I then picked up one of those universal car charger kits at AAFES. For $20, I got about 15 adaptors, including a USB adaptor, plus the cord automatically retracted. Happy again! That one didn't even last a month before it stopped working. (I may still try to take it back but it might be too late.) Now I've got the $30 charger made by the same company that made my phone. It doesn't do anything but charge my particular phone, but it works. Basically, I spent $60 to save money on a $30 charger.
Now, I couldn't really have known that these were going to stop working so quickly. The $10 charger could have worked just fine, and I would have saved $20. It is a dilemma and I never know the right answer.
How do you decide when to save and when to be cheap? Is there a trick to knowing which items will last and which items won't?