It’s True: You Actually Do Get What You Pay For

Hanes tee shirts

Steve needed some new undershirts and bought a Hanes five pack for $13.00 from Walmart. He was so disappointed in their poor construction and inferior material that he complained to Hanes customer service. They asked where he had purchased the product and when he said Walmart, offered to send him another set sold in higher end stores like Target. The new ones felt appreciably nicer and had a significantly higher price tag of $34.00

I always thought Walmart’s prices were lower because they bought in large quantities, but it turns out that many products sold at Walmart are cheaper because they are inferior. At Sam’s Club there is the additional problem that the products are often factory seconds like they sell at outlet malls only without the disclaimer.

For example, a manufacturer of lawnmowers reduces the gauge of the metal or uses a lower quality screw or a slightly lower gauge of wiring or maybe even one less coat of paint. Or a cookware company uses a lower gage of steel and makes a separate bottom rather than one solid molded piece. Or the clothing manufacturer uses lesser quality gray goods with a simpler finish sewed by underpaid workers.
In each case, these changes would not affect the look or the general function visible to the consumer but it could help reduce first the manufacturing cost, then the wholesale cost and finally the retail price.

Oh Walmart- you sneaky little Moles- in order to under price your competitors, you require product specifications from manufacturers which force them to use lower quality materials and interior workmanship.

Good thing our educated consumer needed new tee shirts because now we know!

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