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Things You Should Never Cheap Out On

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More stories from Becca Malachowski

Harrison Hall: Safe or Not?
September 14, 2017

We live in a world where sales and generics are everywhere. We can really get anything cheap, from food to cars. While all of that sounds fantastic, I’ve been wary about that kind of stuff lately. Like, why do three boxes of that mac and cheese only cost a dollar? Or why is that apartment only 100 dollars a month? Those seem like great deals, right? Well that kind of stuff has been making me a little suspicious, so I put together a list of things you shouldn’t buy generic, on sale, or things that you should be wary of buying if they are at an outrageously low price.

           Computers: At college, your laptop is your lifeline, and everyone loves a shiny, brand new computer. Well, I agree that this is one thing you should not get as a hand-me-down or try to make yourself (unless you’re like weirdly talented, then good for you). Try to get a name brand like HP, Mac, or Dell. Brand name laptops and PCs are better designed and tested more thoroughly than their generic equivalent.. So, with a brand name laptop you’re more apt to avoid the hassle of technological glitches.

           Phone chargers and battery packs: These I am wary of because I have my own experience that made me slightly bitter, not going to lie. I bought a cheaper battery pack and charger set that was a pretty tye-dye color, and it was only a couple of bucks. I thought, “this can’t be true, can it?” but I checked the power rating, and it seemed like a good range to me (It was something my older brother told me I should check and I haven’t the slightest idea of what it means). I was super excited and I went all the way home to try it. Well, it worked for a couple days and then it said it wasn’t compatible with my phone and then it stopped working all together. So, the moral of this story is just because it’s cheap and pretty doesn’t mean it’s going to work.

           Boxed mac and cheese: Mac and cheese for me is life and at first when I see a cheaper box for 69¢ I immediately think, “YES.” But then why is the same thing, just Kraft brand, $1.29? Well, part of it could be the brand, of course but then I also start to think if the supposedly same thing is almost a dollar less expensive than the Kraft brand, what is the quality of the ingredients they are using? With this one, opt for the more expensive brand.

           Cars: Really be wary of this one. When you see a supposedly super good car deal, like a shiny car for only $2,000, you might want to think twice. There could be stuff about the car that the dealer is not telling you. Also, be really careful when buying a car from Craigslist. You hear a lot of stories about that not ending well.  One of the most common types of scams involving cars on Craigslist is the escrow scam. The scammer will require you to wire money  to a “third party”. People then wire their money through an illegitimate website that they have created (wisebread.com). Then your hard earned money is in their pocket, when there probably was no car in the first place. It really is best to get your car from a licensed dealer like Ford, Jeep, or Nissan.

           Medicine: It’s really good to stock up on over-the-counter medicine when winter is approaching but you should definitely keep a watchful eye on the price of the medicine. Always check the date because if a popular medicine like Dayquil is on sale, it could mean that the medicine is almost expired. When a medicine expires it loses most of its potency and really does nothing for your body. So, this is one thing that buying a name brand or the more expensive price is almost necessary.

           A really cheap apartment: If an apartment is oddly cheap and seems too good to be true, then it probably is. They could not be telling you certain things about the place itself (like the fact that the toilet does not work or that it does not come with appliances), the neighbors, or the neighborhood. These are always good things to mention regardless, especially when the deal seems too perfect to be real.

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Things You Should Never Cheap Out On