Let me explain why I spent too much on a grill. I’ll start at the beginning. Our old grill fell apart and had to be replaced.
Now, the old grill owed us nothing. We got it from a friend who found it at a lane end with a free to any home label on it. I spent some time cleaning it and replacing the rusted out parts. The grill bars were in great condition; so, along with a new tank of gas, it only took a new burner, briquettes, and the lower grill which holds them to get us up and running. That was a good few years ago. Winters have taken their toll. Covered or not covered, rust happened and the same parts had to be replaced.
Once the snow melted this spring, I looked over the old grill to see what would need doing. Well, the burner had disintegrated and the wooden slats at the sides were completely rotted. The situation was beyond duct tape and baler twine. ‘Something’ had to be done.
I went down to our local hardware store in hopes of finding one of last year’s models still on the premises. I could even remember the price. I asked for one, but, of course, they were all gone. There was, however, this year’s equivalent standing right in front of me. The number on the label was more than I was planning to spend. You know, sales psychologists should make it known that it demoralises the customer when both the price and the model number appear on the tag and the price is a larger figure than the model number. But, ‘something’ had to be done.
The first thing that I did was to go home and think about it. I pushed thoughts of the tag to the back of my mind and concentrated on the grill. Could I get as good a grill cheaper from another source? A-surfing I did go.
The second thing that I did was to go for a look. I went into this thinking, ‘You get what you pay for!’ That turned a shopping expedition into an exercise in due diligence. The grill in my local store is an Ultra Chef which is the second line of Napoleon Grills. It is a good size and without any pay extra to fully utilise gadgets. It has a cast body and the innards are held in place by screws, not pop rivets. I was impressed by its construction. Similarly sized grills by other reputable manufacturers were cheaper, but did not match it for build quality.
The third thing that I did was take stock. If I stayed within budget, could I live with the buyer regret of knowing that I had purchased an inferior product? Could I compromise on quality and service for price? More importantly, how could I rationalise spending the above budget bucks to She Who Pays The Bills?
There is always a weak spot in any design. The Ultra Chef has one; but it can be easily replaced. On the others, I know that when their design weaknesses give out, I am on my own. The warranty will be a thing of the past as will the model of grill. There will be no spare parts winging their way from China. My local guy can call Napoleon and have replacement parts in a couple of days; and he has never known the manufacturer to quibble over warranty. So, She and I had a chat about depreciation and which grills would cost more in the long run.
Were I to go to a box store, no matter how nice the floor model looked, it is a box that I’d take home. My local store would give me free assembly and free delivery. Could She put a dollar figure on my blood pressure?
‘You get what you pay for!’, but you can’t pay for intangibles. We’d get a superior product and superior service for what was becoming an increasingly obvious fair price from the local store. We’d also get an ongoing relationship: we are bound up in the bundle of life with these folks.
Well, we bought the Ultra Chef. And, as if to prove ourselves right, the grill was delivered right onto our deck. The gas tank was attached and the thing fired up to make sure that it worked before the boys went away. There were scratches on some parts. About a week later, the man from the store was round with new parts and replaced the damaged ones.
Now all that I have to do is learn how to fly the new machine.