Saturday, August 31, 2013

Quality vs Bargain: Blackout Curtain Purchase Enlightens Me

Quality and Manufacturers

Welcome to Bonham Business! Today I want to talk about my enlightening experience with buying black out curtains and trying to be frugal. Quality is often sacrificed by manufacturers who are trying to be frugal, too. This lesson was really brought home to me when I ordered black out curtains that were $15 a pair.

Our First Blackout Curtain Purchase

Earlier this year, Bill and I purchased a pair of blackout curtains and magnetic rods for the french doors that lead outside to the back deck. The French doors radiate heat during summer months. Bill and I decided that black out/thermal curtains would help reduce the electric bill by keeping the heat outside and help the house stay cooler (which they did). The cost for the two panels was about $46 and the clear magnetic rods were $30. Yes, we paid $76 dollars and my frugal heart was terrifically sad. But, Bill was in charge of this purchase and he is a firm believer in the saying,"You get what you pay for."

My "Bargain" Curtains

Now that you know my experience with the French doors, I will tell you about my "bargain" black out curtains. Bill has trouble sleeping if the room is light, and we have a dusk to dawn light that is interfering with his sleep because it is keeping our bedroom too light. The east window already has a double layer of curtains over it. So, when I saw an ad for black out curtains that cost $15 a pair, my frugal heart beat faster. After carefully reading the ad, I decided that these curtains would be ideal for the bedroom. The curtains could also be bought in gold, which is the color I already have in the bedroom. Bill did ask, "Do you really think these will be that good?" However, my desire to save $8 a pair overcame my common sense. Happily, I went online to the retailer's website and purchased two pairs of "blackout curtains."

 The Bargain Curtains Arrive and Depart

Four days later, our curtains arrived. Bill helped me take down the double curtained rod from over the east facing window. We took the curtain off the rod and replaced it with the new "blackout curtain." You already know what I'm going to say next, don't you? The curtain was no better, than what we already had in place. Yep, frugality actually cost me $8.00 more, because I had to pay postage to return the darn curtains. One bright spot in the whole experience was the fact that the company quickly refunded my $37.43. Okay, my mom was right when she taught me,"If it's sounds too good to be true, it usually is." Pessimistic, but true this time.

Buy One, Get One Free, Baby!

Last night, I repurchased two pairs of blackout curtains. This time, the price was on the low side because of  Labor Day sales. Two pairs of curtains, with shipping, were $44.97.  If you look at the price we paid for the one pair earlier this year,$46, then you know that I just purchased two pairs for the same price. Buy One, Get One Free, baby! They don't come in gold, but espresso is a good color too. My frugal heart is beating an upbeat tempo AND I know that the quality will be great. How do I know this? I bought the same brand that Bill bought.