The Scary Barbee

I know I preach on the subject of quality and pricing rather often, but it’s important, especially in this economy where it’s tempting to go with the lowest bidder. I’ve often quoted John Ruskin “There is hardly anything in the world that someone can’t make a little worse and sell a little cheaper – and people who consider price alone are this man’s lawful prey.” I like that sentence because it is just so true and when you make a premium product it’s important to let your customers know that you are putting all of your efforts into every detail. Why? Because people expect quality and quality isn’t cheap so if you’re a manufacturer whose product is well built & well designed you have to inform your buyers why they should consider more than just price when it comes to purchasing equipment. I’ve written other blogs about marketing and how deceptive it can be. So you really need to do your homework when you’re dropping a few grand or more on equipment for your animal care facility. I love illustrations so here is a little one to drive this point home. This past weekend my husband and 2 daughters accompanied me to the grocery store (heaven forbid I get an hour by myself). I asked him to entertain them while I grabbed the groceries so he took the girls next door to one of those stores where most things are one dollar and my 3 year old asked for a “Barbie”. This is what it looked like when we opened the box in the car.

Not bad for the price.

Upon further inspection I noticed it looked like something had gnawed on her arm (the arms were also a different color, hopefully you can see that on your screen)

I was kind of concerned about the safety of this toy at this point so I lifted up the dress to have a look at the legs.


By this time my daughter had kind of a sad look on her face which turned to fright when she took out her ponytail to brush her hair…

We only wasted a few dollars, and I thought it was worth that for the whole you get what you pay for lesson, but I could tell my daughter felt cheated. “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.” If you’re spending a couple of dollars on something, you don’t lose a lot if it turns out to be a disappointment. On the other hand if you spend 50 grand on kennels and cages and they don’t meet your expectations there’s not a lot you can do about it and the stress of that bad purchase will both haunt and anger you. So when you’re purchasing equipment, do your homework, get to a tradeshow and see manufacturers side by side and always remember The Scary Barbee..