How Can Cheap Be Expensive?

Scenario #1
A young man comes up to me and asks to buy a “used” laptop. His goal is to make sure he has a working computer at the cheapest price possible. The goal is to mainly save as much as he can. A brand-new laptop, depending on the specs, can range from $500 to $2,000. Now, to a common man, that price can be as steep as it can get. For just one equipment, this young man will be tempted to reason out and opt for the cheap option.
Scenario #2
A family man wants a fridge, but does not want to get the new one. He prefers to get one that is “used” and therefore cheaper. After all, what a new fridge does, a cheap fridge does it as well, maybe better. The goal is probably noble if you happen to ask this man. In many occasions, the extra money they presume to save is never accounted for.
Scenario #3
A guy wants a car that can take him from point A to B. There are two options in which he must choose. It’s between a new car for $5,000 or a used one for half that price. As usual, he chooses the latter. In his mind, there is so much that can be accomplished with the saved amount. In this occasion, this car moved from point A to… nowhere. The presumed saved amount was used to buy spare parts, but to this day as I am writing this article, that car is still on point A.

I have come across clients who want a website for less than $100. Yes, I said it. For less than a hundred dollars. These are humans who are breathing the same air as you, who want a fully functional website for that amount. Now, this is a true story that happened to me most recently, and am not being sarcastic here. I merely want to show you how cheap can be expensive from a neutral perspective. I will ask a couple of questions, and then proceed and clarify my point further.

If someone came up to you with a brand-new Ferrari, and wanted just $200 for it, will you take it? Assuming you have that amount. I will let you think about that. Okay, assume that someone offers you a house for rent, and tells you don’t need to pay anything, it’s FREE. Would you take it, with no questions asked? You see, the law of gravity can apply to all areas of life. Any sensible human being will question the quality of a $200 Ferrari, but surprisingly not a $100 website. They will wonder what bribery will follow if they are to live in a house for free, but never ask what quality a $100 website has.

Many times, cheap is always expensive. People usually get into the habit of “saving costs” and completely ignore the other factors like quality of the actual product. I think before any crucial decision is made on investing, it is important to study what exactly you want from your product. If the Ferrari can go 20 Miles per Hour in two days, pump out black smoke, then maybe you should consider taking it for less than $200. If you want a $100 website, then don’t ask the world from the web developer. The best you can have is something worth that amount. And it is obvious that you have valued your work at that price, and there shouldn’t be complaints if the quality meets that amount.

One common feature I see on most hosting companies is the domain and hosting prices they offer. Many people still fall for the trap that cheap is saving money. They jump right on and buy a $1 domain and free hosting. What they are not told is that they will be charged to upload files, to add email accounts, and so on. Every basic add-on that is basically free will be charged. Once their websites are fully launched, they find out faster than you can say “da heck” that they have spent more than the person who bought a domain on a regular package.

So, how do you know which value best fits your project? How can you tell that a $2,000 laptop is better than a $300 used one? How can you decide between a cheap website, and one with regular prices? The answer is with you, and not the web developer. You must know what you want, then find out if the web developers can deliver what you want. The decision should be based on two things only. What you want, and what they can offer.

When it comes to logo design and websites, the issue is not normally on “how much does it cost?”. Inevitably, it comes down to maintenance issues, quality design, functionalities deployed and the economy at hand. The reason I mentioned the economy is because in India, you have hundreds of programmers who can deliver what you want, and this pushes prices down. When you, as a client, want to launch a new project then I think you should consider all firms and companies offering that service. You should then compare, do your research, and make a decision after you are full comfortable with what they have to offer. At the end of the day, this is your work.

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