Thursday, September 11, 2008

Big Money

Today is September 11th. God Bless the families of the 9-11 victims.

I have had several people in our store asking, "Why spend over $100 on a vacuum?"
I have a pretty short answer for that. "You get what you pay for."

Let me take it a bit deeper though. Vacuum cleaners are not a new technology. They are not electronics that get less expensive to build with time. They are appliances. In the 1970s you could buy a good car for about $2,000.00 and a good car in this era now retails for $20,000.00. That is ten times as much money. I the 70s you could buy a gallon of gasoline for .30 to .60 cents. Today a gallon of gasoline costs $3.00 to $4.00 and more in some places. That is also 10 times as much money.

Now lets talk vacuums. In the 70s you could buy an average vacuum cleaner for $59.00 to $99.00. Today to purchase that same quality of vacuum that will last 10 years, you will be spending about $500 to $600.00. that is 5 to 10 times the amount. I must now ask you, with the rising cost of autos and gasoline, What makes people think they can buy a quality vacuum for $59.00 at Wal-Mart? That's right, you cannot. Yes you can buy a $59 vacuum but you better not get your expectations up.

Here is some more to think about. In the 70s and 80s the average vacuum cleaner lasted about 7 to 9 years. Today the average vacuum lasts about 1.5 to 2 years. Do you think there is a quality issue? I remember in the mid 80s telling customers that they will throw away about 5 to 7 vacuums in their lifetime. Good Heavens! I now have had customers that now throw that many away in one year.

Now for my humble advertising. Go to and look at the Sanitaire and Miele vacuum cleaners. You will find machines that are built to last for 10 to 20 years, not 3 months like the junk Wal-Mart sells. What did you say Dyson? Forget about it. It is a frenzy where someone from a different country is getting rich off of our stupidity. I give that company another 3 to 5 years and people will be saying. "I had one of those once."

I know, not every one can afford a $500+ vacuum cleaner. OK, don't spend that much, just buy a machine that will get you by for 5 years. Look at the Panasonic. Made in Japan, it is one of the best low-cost vacuums on the market.

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