The Cost of a Product

There is a product for sale I am thinking about that seems rather expensive for what it is. However, I cannot knock the design or quality (although I do wish for one modification!) It is simple in design, and neither tight tolerances nor a high degree of precision are required. The basic process of making it seems quite simple too, not requiring a lot of steps.

Naturally, I began to wonder how I would go about making it myself. What materials would I use? What process would I use? What challenges might I face, and how could I overcome them?

I began to price out materials and put a bit of thought into how long it would take me, including all the testing, figuring, and corrections and adjustments along the way. It began to be very clear that if I were paying myself wages, it would certainly be cheaper to just buy the product (but material cost, barring an unexpected number of mistakes, would be less).

This realization got me thinking that maybe I should just buy the product and start using it right away and invest the time I would spend making my own doing work to pay for the product (and then some). Makes sense, right?

But the problem with doing this is that I would miss out on the experience and knowledge I would gain from making it myself. There is a lot to be learned from making something from scratch, and even more benefit if the process can be shared with others first hand.

Every product is priced to attract a certain buyer, but don’t forget that buying a product has a greater cost than just the money you trade for it – the knowledge not gained from learning to make it yourself.

4 thoughts on “The Cost of a Product

  1. Well said, though the corollary is that if I don’t want the knowledge or already have the knowledge, but not maybe the time to futz with it, then perhaps I should also just buy the thing. Still too often I choose the other

  2. I’ve been thinking the same thing lately. I need a coping sled for my router table and KMS Tools sells a nice one but I see so many diy ones that spark my creative edge. I’m still deciding…

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