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This is a question Cheap Tat

OneEyedMonster remindes us about the crap you can buy in pound shops: "Batteries that lasted about an hour and then died. A screwdriver with a loose handle so I couldn't turn the damn screw, and a tape measure which wasn't at all accurate."

Similarly, my neighbour bought a lawnmower from Argos that was so cheap the wheels didn't go round, it sort of skidded over the grass whilst gently back-combing it.

What's the cheapest, most useless crap you've bought?

(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 7:26)
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Lessons learned...
Cheap tat exists for a reason. If there was no demand, no bastard would make/sell it. I reckon that there are two types of people who go out and get things on the cheap:

1. Pikeys
2. People like me

Here are some cautionary tales of how I ended up falling into category number two...

I've never believed in cutting corners on a big purchase. It was either the best or nothing for me, I was happy to pay out £x of my hard earned even if it meant cutting back for a while until I got the money together.
Back in my school days, I worked all hours in part time jobs to fund my Nintendo and video habit. Feeling flush and cocky one day, I walked into my local Sony centre and offered them £900 for for over £1,000 worth of TV and video kit (I like to haggle!) which was duly accepted. This was back in 1995 and as of 2008, the TV and video have now been passed on to the fourth family member and are still going strong.
Fast forward many years from 1995 and it's now time to get a new telly. A nice fuck off great LCD TV, HD, all the bollocks. As I'm kitting out my new house with all the usual white goods as well as the telly, I end up with a nice discount, a wall mount for the telly, some nice SCART cables and a free tumble dryer. The telly was £2,000 of that purchase.
Eighteen months later, the bastard broke. The repair bill? £725. TV prices have dropped dramatically in that eighteen months, so much so that I can get an equivalent model brand new for less than the repair bill. I'm still battling this with Sony now...

And on to other things:
* The nearly new Citroen Saxo that cost me nearly as much in repair bills as I paid for it in the two years I had it.
* The free tumble dryer died a month after the warranty expired.
* The Sky+ box that died ONE DAY out of warranty.
* The £120 Nike Air 360s where one of my cats bit through the air sole and burst it.
* The Roomba "robotic vacuum cleaner" that no longer charges.
* The surround sound system to go with the TV no longer turns on.

And there are so many others. My house is an electronic graveyard.

So fuck it. My advice is:
* Spend £20 on a DVD player, if it lasts a year then great, if not, you can get your money back.
* Get an old German car with full service history for not much money. So far in four years, I've spent £26 on repair bills.
* Fuck Sky and get Freeview.
* Pay peanuts and expect monkeys. You won't be disappointed if whatever you bought doesn't last long but if it does, you'll be very happy.

That's why I buy cheap nowadays - the only thing that could have made it worse is if I'd bought on credit...

Click "I like this" if you agree (or if you think I'm a pikey)
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 22:25, 6 replies)
Get a click
for the monkeys and peanuts line. Excellent
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 1:01, closed)
Don't buy an LCD telly because they're crap unless you have HD. CRTs look far better with standard definition signals.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 8:28, closed)
"The £120 Nike Air 360s where one of my cats bit through the air sole and burst it."
Oh, how I lolled.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 8:49, closed)
Man after my own heart
Just got rid of the worst car I ever owned (nearly) which was a reasonably new Peugeot 206. Exhaust fell off, the brakes seized up etc. etc. Off-loaded it and spent £450 on an old Toyota Carina E with 200k on the clock - a dream car!

I'm not going to get a flatscreen telly until our current Tesco purchased Thorn TV gives up the ghost.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 13:59, closed)
We bought an LCD telly
(and it's great) but then we DO have Sky HD. My tip would be : buy from John Lewis - they offer a free 5 year guarantee on all big electrical goods and generally are hard to beat on price too. If that isn't enough, they deliver for free as well, unlike C*m*t who wanted £30 quid to move a telly just over a mile! (And no I don't work for Lewis's!!)
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 14:05, closed)
You are the first person I've known who actually bought a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 10:22, closed)

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