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Are You A Brandaholic When It Comes To Shopping?

May 24, 2008
There are three kinds of people when it comes to shopping - those who are obsessed with brand labels and refuse to buy any product unless it has a known brand label that has a sound reputation on it, those who refuse to go for the brand labels and focus on the cheapest price available, and of course, those who don't care one way or the other and simply purchase whatever they happen to grab first.

If you do take brand names so seriously that you'll rarely give other makes a chance, you are letting the advertisers and market departments win, and part you from your money, often without anything much in return.

A brand label is just that - a label, and this is usually the first thing thrown in the bin once the packet is opened. The two things which really matter are quality and price, and it isn't always the case that the leading brands offer both of either of these.

There are certainly cases, especially with clothing for example, where leading brands which cost significantly more than others create the clothes in a way which improves their life expectancy. Clothes that are hard wearing, wash well and look good may well cost more than cheaper alternatives which may look good to start with, but may deteriorate quickly and may wash poorly and end up sagging, distorting or shrinking. However, this is not always the case, so again it is worth not assuming that this is true. Certainly I know of a top brand name that sells baby clothes, almost all of which end up distorted very quickly when you follow the washing instructions, yet I have found a very cheap supermarket make which seem indestructible and outlasted the baby! It's always worth giving own brands a go, because the cost difference can be dramatic.

Of course, one of the reasons that some people choose not to go for supermarket own brands is because they look cheap, and the shoppers feel that by buying items which look cheap, it will in turn make them look cheap and ruin their self image. The idea that we go food shopping in order to bolster our self image seems absurd, and of course is a clever tactic fostered and encouraged by the advertisers and retailers to encourage us to pay more for a product than we need to.

The other reason some people choose not to buy supermarket own brands is because of quality, yet very often this is based on assumption, and they have never tried them for themselves. Say a can of beans with a label costs fifty pence, and the supermarket's own brand costs just eight pence. You may well feel that the difference in quality must be astronomical, but for the sake of an extra eight pence, why not give them a go? Either just buy the store brand, or buy both in case. The chances are, you'll probably not notice the difference.

The truth is, your local supermarket hasn't got a thousand factories of its own scattered about creating all these own brand products - they simply buy in bulk from the manufacturers who are already selling these items. I happen to know someone who works at the factory for what is probably the world's most famous baked bean manufacturer. Apparently they skim off the top quarter of the beans once they're cooked and package them in the store branded cans, and the rest into their own. The same beans - but some sold at fifty pence, and the rest at eight pence. Not only can you not tell the difference - there is no difference, they're the same product!

It's always worth giving them a go - the money you save could well result in halving your shopping bill - and that gives you much more spare cash to work on your image.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping. You will find the best marketplace for luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping at these sites for bags, luggage, hotels, cruise, and shopping, brands, shopping bills.
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