One of my favorite online destinations is Reddit’s Buy It For Life.
This is a place where you can find product recommendations, reviews, and discussion about products that are meant to last. The products are those which have high build qualities and great warranties.
Why do I bring this up?
We live in a disposable society.
One where us, the consumers, are complacent with replacing our items. The problem? Not only are we wasting money on new iterations of the product but many of those could have been repaired!
It doesn’t have to be this way…
Qualifying BIFL Purchases
Sounds interesting to buy something once, right? Let me give you a few examples of the types of products that fall under the BIFL factors:
· Furniture – Our designs and styles come and go but a quality piece of furniture is forever. Wood, leather, and durable upholstery are the factors to consider along with customer service and maintenance. Century furniture company, for example, provides a seven-year protection plan covering stains, scratches, and other common problems with furniture. These furniture pieces, if cared for, can be ones passed down to future generations.
· Clothing – Merino wool is the typical go-to in terms of clothing material. The fiber is light-weight, breathable, and resists odor. Its high durability can be found in pants, socks, jackets, shirts, and more. These items come at a price but companies like SmartWool, Ibex, and Patagonia provide stellar warranties and return policies. These pieces of clothing become the ultimate hand-me-downs.
· Luggage/Bags – Goruck, Red Oxx, and Osprey produce durable bags for all occasions. Their designs reflect modern trends yet won’t break down as easily as ones you’d find in a big box retailer. Osprey, for example, provides “The All-Mighty Guarantee” which will repair (or fully replace) their items regardless of when it was purchased.
· Tools – There’s no doubt that tools don’t last like they use to. Look at reviews for Craftsman and you’re bound to find reviewers talking about the degrade in quality. No worries because other companies like Stihl, Snap-on, and Mac Tools have stepped up to the plate to provide amazing quality and robust warranties.
· Cooking – These everyday items take a lot of abuse. That set of non-stick pans is already buckling and showing scrapes I bet. Do yourself a favor and get a set of Pyrex mixing bowls, Cuisinart cookware, BlueStar appliances, or a good, old-fashioned cast iron skillet. These could become heirloom items.
I recommend checking out the BIFL Reddit to see what other types of items you may find. Especially in the sidebar which does a regular roundup of the best product finds of the year.
Buy It For Life Considerations
A BIFL item relies on important vetting factors:
· Quality of build
· Company reputation
· Customer service
These items begin with a quality build such as real leather vs pleather or steel vs plastics. Already, these items (shoes, backpacks, furniture, knives, etc.) are made of materials meant to last.
Couple that with a generous warranty and stellar customer service and you’re on track to purchasing items that won’t break down after a few uses.
The costs are the last of your worries. A bit of research goes a long way.
You pay more now to spend less later.
I’ve always found it interesting to hear people complain about items breaking but rolling over and purchasing a replacement. Many of these items can be repaired for a few dollars. Other items could have been honored by a warranty.
Maybe we’ve become lazy.
Quality items make sense. There’s less going to the landfills – there’s extra money in your pocket. It does require an up-front investment but it’s better than playing into this disposable society.