The following is a guest post
Being ‘convenient’ is often seen to be a fantastic selling point of products. On the face of it, it isn’t hard to see why. After all, various gadgets such as phones and tablet computers often do make our lives easier, opening up communication and allowing us to carry out tasks that would have otherwise taken much longer. However, this isn’t always the case and ‘convenience’ isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. For instance, it might ‘convenient’ simply to renew the same car insurance quote you’ve had for the past three years, but would this really give you a better deal?
Arguably, convenience also has a hidden cost and, all too often, that cost is monetary.
Less work, bigger price
Convenience is generally sold on the basis that buying a certain product will take work out of your day. The general assumption is that this is a good thing. However, when so many of us are feeling the strain of economic troubles and are tightening our belts in any way we can, convenience products aren’t always a fantastic solution.
It might seem a bit of an odd example, but take a look at cheese. You can now get cheese pre-grated, pre-sliced and generally pre-prepared. This might save you a couple of minutes when it comes to getting lunch ready, but you’ll often have to pay a higher price for the privilege. The same is often true of pre-sliced vegetables and other food items.
A similar principle applies to many larger products we use in our households. Many people, for instance, have a sit-on lawnmower. The aim of this is to make it easier to mow the lawn but, because of the extra capabilities of the machine, they cost significantly more than a lawnmower that you push by hand. And really, how many of us actually have a lawn so large we need to drive across it?
This isn’t to say that convenience products are a bad thing – they’re not at all and do often make our lives easier, it’s just that they can also have an extra cost that isn’t ideal if you’re trying to save money or get great value for money.
This, though, isn’t always the case. The good news is that there are some occasions when convenience solutions actually are all they promise to be and more. They can help us save both time and money, which is definitely something to be celebrated.
Take price comparison sites as an example. It used to be that, back in the day, if you wanted to compare the prices of different car insurance companies for example, you had to go to them all directly. This took time, usually involved spending money on phone calls and, because the companies obviously have an interest in getting your business, sometimes ended up with you getting a product you didn’t especially want.
Now, however, you can just log on to the internet, fill in the information on a price comparison site (usually for free) and get a list of insurance quotes within minutes. Now that’s what we call convenience.