By Deborah Wroe

We’ve all heard buy cheap buy twice right? But we all still do it. Take Black Friday as an example. It shouldn’t even be a thing here. It’s traditional in the US as the day following Thanksgiving and we don’t (yet) have Thanksgiving here. But Black Friday is well and truly established in the UK and we’d hazard a guess a fair bit of tat was (flogged and) purchased. When is a bargain not a bargain? When you don’t want or need it and it’s tat! Anyhoo, we are a bit fascinated by the BuyMeOnce website whose short-term mission is to
• Make buying things that are built to last, easy.
• Help you take care of the things you have with our tips and articles.
• Encourage people to buy just a few great things they love rather than huge amounts of clutter.

We don’t see it as anti-capitalist or anti-commercialisation or anti-shopping, rather we see it as promoting quality and craftsmanship. And we can’t wait to see a smartphone on the site that lasts rather than one that needs replacing every 12 months – hah, one can dream.

BuyMeOnce (strapline, love things that last) lists shoes, accessories, kitchen wear, tools and new on the site a buy me once nail file – genius– a real mix of products.

Now clearly not every purchase you make falls into the BuyMeOnce category and – a car, a house, wine! and tons of other stuff but it does present opportunities for all manufacturers and retailers (and marketers) to think about extolling the virtues of the longevity and craftsmanship of a product rather than the sale price. Again, imagine if phone manufacturers did this? It’s actually too big an ask that isn’t it? It’s quite remarkable how throw away our phones have become. Although digging out your old phones from your junk drawer and selling them on to a specialist site could help contribute to Christmas expenses.

Another tenet of BuyMeOnce is the challenge “Let’s throw away our throwaway culture. BuyMeOnce finds and promotes products that don’t break the bank, don’t break the planet… that don’t break at all! We also challenge manufacturers to break their habits and build stuff that really lasts – we know they can. “

You may have read the lovely story of one man’s search for a new tippee cup for his autistic son http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-38141319 The search went viral and then the manufacturer heard and kindly put the product back into the assembly line and offered the family a lifetime’s supply. It seems Tippee cups are designed to last three years which makes sense when you think about their usage but maybe there is a market for cups that last longer?

There’s also an opportunity here for service providers to think about the way they market themselves. We occasionally visit businesses who have had their fingers burned from buying in cheap marketing services. The cheap provider has not provided the level of service/had the necessary skills/has broken stuff then we come along (at a more realistic market rate) to fix it and undo the damage. Same thing. Buy cheap, buy twice.

On this subject, this tweet resonated with us.


Quality investments need a bit more thought, but hey think of the benefits?