The Value of My Dollar {Pt. 1}

Lately, I've been really thinking about shopping (OK, to be fair, I always think about shopping) but the difference lately is that I am consciously considering not only how much I pay for items, but the businesses (specifically) and industries (generally) I choose to support through my purchases and the ratio of price versus value (or how much "bang for my buck" an item has.)

For me, the biggest consideration as a patron is service. I don't care where I am, what they sell or how much it costs, I expect an almost unattainable level of service. For a very long while, I was in the customer service industry - from retail sales to IT call center service quality management for a very popular computer vendor. Though graphic design doesn't scream "customer service job", any successful designer will tell you how critical it is to understand your customers and consistently follow-through with a professional service experience. When it comes to spending my extra pesos on something, I want to make sure I feel good about it. The last thing I want to do is walk away, thinking I just gave my business to someone ill-deserving. Sure, I may give you another chance if my first experience is meh, but that's it. And here's a PSA for all managers and business owners: We are judging you on the quality of the people you hire. With Ohio's unemployment rate at just over 10%, there is no excuse to settle for arrogant, snotty people who make your patrons feel as if they are a nuisance to their day. Very qualified, fantastic, motivated, talented people need jobs, too. Sometimes, we even want to get out of our field and start selling used books. Give us a chance! Set the bar high. Very high. You will not be disappointed and neither will we.

Now onto my most recent, seemingly unnecessary purchase:

Enter Exhibit 1: Full Price with a Perk

I love my TOMS Shoes and D. loves his a whole heaping ton. Did I need another pair of shoes? Not really. Did I want them? Abso-friggen-lutely. Will I wear them until they fall apart? High probability. How's the quality? Tops. The service? Well, it was online and the shipping took a bit longer than I had wanted, but the intrinsic value of the 'one for one' (buy one pair, donate another pair to a child in need) more than makes up for it. I tried to buy mine locally at Tigertree, but alas, they didn't have my size or my flavor.) They are cute, match just about everything in my closet and make a great shoe to travel in. Is all of that worth my $45? To me, it was, not merely at face value, but when taking into account all of those factors.

TOMS Shoes Twins

Am I alone here, or do you feel better about paying full price if you know that there is a vote of "good will" tacked on? The way I look at it is this" I spent $22.50 on a new pair of shoes and bought a pair for a needy kid for $22.50. That's win-win to me, folks.


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