If it sounds too good to be true, what do you think?
I seem to have reached a point in life where I have difficulty accepting the premise that when something sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is too good to be true. However, it may not be related to age but rather ingrained in our DNA; we want more for less, something for nothing, always looking for the deal of the century. Later living to regret.
Every day I am bombarded with countless ads and emails offering everything from handy gadgets to fabulous furniture to brand new kitchens or bathrooms, all at ridiculously low prices. As much as I try to avoid even looking at these unlimited offers, my fingers pay no attention to my brain. Taking on a life of their own, they click to open all the offers that have managed to avoid my spam or junk folder. And every time I succumb to the lure of the must-have LED flashlight with a built-in can opener that’s “cheap at half the price,” I’m disappointed all over again. Why don’t I learn?
I saw a young woman on TV who wrecked her car, which she had named BRAD (while it was insured by a company we should immediately switch to). I believe she took her advice and created a website by the name of Brad that offers great DEALS, but only if you act very fast. Most of these things are either too good to be true, or too cheap to be good. But that doesn’t stop us. I bought a set of outdoor furniture (some assembly required); six chairs and two footrests, guaranteed not to rust for one year. I am too embarrassed to reveal how low the price was. It took two full days to assemble, after a two-week wait for missing parts to be shipped from California. The rust started 31 days after the initial delivery. Company policy: 30 days return. I was told that I had no luck with the return, but since the warranty was valid for one year, I could ship the assembled chairs to California (fine print: at my expense) for a replacement. After figuring that shipping the assembled chairs would cost three times the initial cost of the product, I now live with rust.
But did I learn? Apparently not much, although my resistance to these offers is gradually increasing. And, speaking of building, the same goes for remodeling. Advertisements for incredibly low-priced cabinets and countertops are popping up everywhere. Cabinets and countertops are often imported from overseas, in countries where they have no scruples or standards. We have no way of knowing what harmful chemicals are in these products and what dangerous gases will permeate our home environment once they are installed. But by then, it’s too late, the damage is done, and we’re putting out daisies (which never grew because we ordered them from a cheap mail-order catalog).
Common sense: There is a legitimate price range for any product or project, so beware of silly offers that don’t sound plausible. Every time I’ve succumbed to the deal of the century, whether it’s for a lawn chair or a new computer program that will fix everything, I’ve regretted it. As enticing as low offers are, especially when combined with big promises, they should raise a red flag.
Do your research! Check the reviews and references and use your common sense! In the case of remodeling, be sure to select a qualified company for your project whose business and financial capabilities, past performance, and reputation ensure that they will do a good job, with products that perform as promised. I’m not saying you can’t find bargains, but remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and you may end up living with rust.