Perceived value

This is odd as my views have changed in quite recent years.

For example, I thought 5-6 years ago that a £600 Samsung fridge was pretty expensive, now I don’t, it’s the cost of a Powerline.

As per drying thread, £1200 Miele Condenser Tumble Dryer 10 years ago+ almost equalled by £200 cheap Beko in recent years.

TVs - 5 year old Samsung - have never been entirely happy with it but would be blown out out of the water by cheaper 2021 LG/Sony OLEDs - why haven’t I pulled the trigger?

Naim - Have spent silly money on a few things this week with little concern regarding vfm - I just wanted them. Could have got huge state of the art OLEDs for similar money. Odd.


Maybe an age thing but I spend much less on stuff and more on experiences; mostly holidays and short breaks .
I get less of a buzz than I used to out of buying things and shopping makes me cross rather than giving me pleasure. Hifi is a good example of this - packaging of much of it is absurd with wooden boxes etc. I would be happier if it was in a plain cardboard box - just citing this as an example of forced consumption of “luxury” packaging. As for drying, I use an Ikea rack and my Hotpoint washer has been faultless for over 12 years - never used the drying function.
I find there are some things that do give pleasure and other things that are just necessary - so I do have a nice LG Oled tv but grudge every penny on other appliances. Different people have different preferences - I will spend any money on hifi and motorbikes but I use Primark for clothes and Aldi for food and wine. We often spend more on one meal out than on a whole week’s shopping.


That sounds pretty close to me, simply substituting hobbies for hifi and motorbikes, Bosch for Hotpoint, and not the TV. However the ‘any money’ on hobbies I have to balance as I have several, so focus on the spend varies, and (sadly) never enough!

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I don’t like spending money on things that seem designed to be disposable. It just seems wasteful

Kitchen appliances all Miele. Not the most fancy model. But they had up to a ten year warranty. I expect them to last 3 times as long as a cheap machine. In the long run maybe I’ve spent the same but I’ve used less resources

Hi-Fi. Some of my boxes are 30 years old.


Not much to add but I have always thought and usually found that the buy cheap buy twice rule applies. The one thing that I intensely dislike is the current trend of expensive looking and usually completely unnecessary packaging that accompanies everything from a simple cable ( I’m looking at you hifi suppliers) to a Christmas candle. Who really needs velvet lined wooden boxes for a hifi cable? Perceived value indeed.


We had all Miele, mid range dishwasher with 5 year warranty and anti-leak system leaked and flooded the utility floor. Cheap Beko dishwasher currently, does the job but top shelf weak and sags at the front so have to be careful loading it. Functional but not great.

The ‘top range’ Washing machine and separate Tumble Dryer I think had 10 and 5 year warranties .

The condenser dryer leaked as the rubber seals became ineffective - nearly £200 for a new condenser box either out of warranty or considered a consumable, later it made an awful scraping/grinding noise as some bearings or runners had worn out, again I think we had to pay for a fix. £200 Beko dries well and clothes almost as soft due to drum design, but less flexible settings. Heat pump is probably one to get next but I’m put off by longer drying times as we wash a lot with school age kids.

The Washing machine with 1800 spin and direct drive motor was brilliant but became noisy and went bang with a huge amount of smoke one day, just outside warranty from memory. Uneconomical to repair I suspect, so we got a Samsung which is noisy as hell. I miss the finer control of spin speed/temp etc that the old Miele had. Miele again next time I think.

Much of my hi-fi is 20-30 years old - LP12, olive NAPs/HICAPs, active SBLs with newer NAC and streamer. Keep finding old stuff (eg Linn Intek from student days, Dual turntables, old CD plaers/DVD players but alas still can’t find my Naim CD player).

Expensive packaging designed for unpackaging videos on instagram

As an illustration of the alternative I’ve just bought a new Mac. Previous ones have come in cardboard box with loads of polystyrene. The latest box is all cardboard and designed as one piece that sort of folds round the computer. Like really impressive origami. Better and less wasteful

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My new Mac Mini box is mostly cardboard too, plastic film around the unit itself. Box is twice as deep as it needs to be as the power cable (figure 8) sits in a small well below the Mini - as it’s a square box it wouldn’t work otherwise but I suspect a slimmer rectangular box would have been fine.

Posted this quickly last night and maybe a bit non-sensical.

I think it boils down to systems with separate components perhaps, be it hi-fi or cameras/lenses etc.

In a Naim system I know which component I might want next and it costs what it costs, so if the time is right you buy it even if pretty expensive. For other items I think I either go for cheap and fucntional or best vfm with the features I need not necessarily best in class.

I seem to hum and haw for ages when deciding about things like TVs where the featuresets are very close but often each competitor has a feature the others don’t.

For other things like TVs, the goalposts shift, 2 years ago I’d not have gone for Samsung again, almost certainly LG. Now difficult to decide between LG and Sony sets - a new one would be nice but not essential (same for Naim) but the old Samsung’s backlight is separating at the edges. Sadly an old Panasonic plasma I had in storage managed to mysteriously throw itself forwards and the panel has smashed - I had it leaning back against a supporting column protected by carpet underneath with the back of the TV leaning on the column. Very mysterious but how did it from there end up smashed screen down a few minutes later when it was ‘bottom heavy’. Had it slipped down onto the back of the TV I might have understood - spooky at the time and in retrospect.

Must agree about the Mac mini packaging, my Dell 27inch 4K monitor turned up Tuesday the packaging was incredible all folded cardboard with extra reinforcing on the corners the only plastic was what the booklets in plus a lot the plastic used in it’s manufacture is recycled.

Alway found Dyson packaging to be very good all folded cardboard for many many years.

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I’d love the manufacturers to offer a basic packaging option at a discount, then perhaps they will learn what people really want.

I realise that packaging sells, but imagine a shelf of Perfume, with the overly designed sparkly ones in the middle to show off all their marketing capability which might be selected for gifts, and then around them or behind are the square box, less bling packages that are perhaps the same price but hold a little more liquid.

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Amazon have had no fuss packaging for ages for certain things like printer consumables - great idea.

They unfortunately swing between excessive packaging and none at all - was not impressed to get a vinyl LP without even a simple brown cardboard outer wrapping to protect it. Really ought to get to the nearest record store more often.

Yes they do try, but often packaging OTT in my experience, but thats terrible to hear about an LP - was it bent at the corners?

Surprisingly it was actually ok, but I think I was lucky.

Buy the best and you only cry once …

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How about the perceived value of Whisky? I love the product so don’t begrudge the price of the bottle but sometimes stop to think this is 70% tax. So your product value is 30% of the sticker price. The balance is likely to be my contribution to health and education!


Last week I succumbed to asking for Elton Johns Jewel Box CD set for Christmas.

I wouldn’t buy at £90 but online it was at an all time low of £52.

When it arrived I was shocked at the size of the Amazon box and said to my wife I just have to see how big the box set is. Expecting it to be an A5 sized affair.

It isn’t, it’s an A4+ sized weighty thing.

Immediately I thought I can see why it was £90 and what a Bargain at £52.

I also have a box set of Erasure, Moscow to Mars, that is one mightily impressive item.

These are things that delivered more than expected whereas some of todays stuff doesn’t.

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I was astonished the other day at the ridiculously low cost of TV’s. I still recall when a 32" Sony CRT was over £1000 and Loewe were selling similar for £2000. We needed a large TV for the home gym we have set up (it’s just an exercise bike and rowing machine so gym is overstating it!) I managed to buy a 43" flat screen JVC with Amazon FireTV on board for about £300 and it’s pretty good too.

One thing I have found is that the premium brand appliances (Neff, AEG, Bosch) I bought a few years back haven’t really lasted any longer than the cheap Beko and Indesit stuff I bought with my first house - in fact the BEKO fridge outlived them all! As a result when our washing machine and tumble dryer packed up recently I ended up buying Hoover just because I loved the styling and capacity and so far we’re delighted. It seems to me that in many cases this stuff is all coming out of the same Chinese factory anyway!



The trouble is (for consumers not the producers), malt whisky has become fashionable and prices rose markedly when that happened, It seemesd t me by 30-50% just over 3 or4 years. Also there are ever new variants created, e.g. from different ‘flavour’ barrels, generally commanding elevated prices - yet many don’t state an age: I suspect that may be because they don’t want to advertise their youth.

As for value - it lasts longer than a bottle of wine of the same, or even 1/3rd of the price…!

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As for TVs I remember being captivated by 42" plasma sets, with starting prices of £3000 or so, I waited many years until they came down in price and got a HD ready (non-HD panel) Panasonic for around £1200, and later a cheaper but somehow inferior 1080p Panasonic from Currys. Hankered after a Pioneer Kuro or one of the last Panasonic plasmas but didn’t go for them and lamented it thinking I’d be stuck with poor LCD TVs in the future as they were dire for many years.

Only a few years later for £1000 or so you can get a stunning 48" OLED set - I baulk at the cost of the 85" versions but they’re often cheaper than those ancient £3000 42" plasmas.

There was a 70" TV in Tesco for well under £600 the other day, incredible really.