Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lo Barato Sale Caro

We have a saying in Venezuela: "lo barato sale caro". The translation is: cheap stuff becomes expensive. The point is that sometimes by trying to save money we end up spending more than we would have with a "more expensive" choice. For example, buy a cheap used car and spend lots of money on repairs. Alejandro had a similar situation recently. He designed a t-shirt for his swim team and suggested that they order the shirts on Zazzle. But some of his teammates felt Zazzle was too expensive and suggested making the shirts themselves instead - by buying cheap shirts and iron-on paper that someone would print at home. At first glance the cost would be about half as much so they proceeded. What happened? The ink jet printer ink ran out and they had to buy new ink. Paper was more expensive than anticipated, and they didn't factor any cost for misprints. When all was said and done more money was spent, the shirts didn't come out as well, and a lot of time was wasted. How to avoid this? Before jumping to a cheap (do it yourself) option, think it through carefully. Are you factoring all the costs, including those of mistakes that otherwise would be absorbed by someone else? Are you comfortable with the lower quality of the end result? Did you consider your time?

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