“Buy It For Life” means acquiring and using products that are built to last a lifetime. Amidst the thousands of disposable goods and cheaply-constructed gadgets that provide continual fuel for consumerism, there remain some products that promise enduring excellence. The movement to embrace high-quality, long-lasting goods promotes less consumption, less waste, and (often) less money spent in the long run.
Buy It For Life products don’t have to be purchased brand new; in fact, many are purchased secondhand or inherited. During times when the Buy It For Life concept was culturally pervasive, products were crafted with greater care and more durable materials. Though the initial investment may have been higher, products like these were meant to outlast their purchasers. Some were discarded even though they had plenty of life left, but many survived and remain useful today.
Cast iron cookware from the mid-20th century is one example of the Buy It For Life philosophy. Cast iron has been used in cooking for hundreds of years; its practicality and endurance have been proven. Even when cooking shifted from the open flame to the stovetop, cast iron remained useful in new forms such as the flat-bottomed skillet. Cast iron skillets produced by companies such as Wagner and Griswold during the 1950s are still in use today. An eBay search for vintage cast iron cookware reveals a thriving market for these old pots and pans. The reliability and quality of Buy It For Life items never becomes obsolete.
Brand new products from young companies rarely qualify as Buy It For Life because they aren’t time-tested. Buy It For Life relies upon history and reputation. Lifetime warranties help but are not necessary. Price is not the most important criterion, though overall value matters because Buy It For Life products are meant for practical use; they are not museum pieces.
We will be featuring Buy It For Life products on our review site Reactual.
2 thoughts on “Efficient Technique: Buy It For Life”
Thanks for the article. If anyone is interested we run a site dedicated to curating all of the best Buy it for Life stuff out there: http://buythisonce.com/
Mark, at Buy This Once
Definitely second the lifetime of cast iron, it’s the type of thing that lasts multiple lifetimes! I’ve seen some of the articles on Reactual which have been great for stuff like this. I’ve found http://www.buy-for-life.com to be nice catalog of these items too. And there’s a good sub-forum on reddit: /r/buyitforlife.
Sometimes some of the very high quality stuff can be such an expense you might be better off getting more than 1 relatively cheaper item and suffer in the knowledge it will break but it’s the better investment. I think it’s always wise to check the maths and make sure it makes sense for you.