I find myself discussing design, quality and reliability more often today than ever.
The internet has made us all visual shoppers. We can not determine, by looking at pictures only, the value of the product. It is hard to differentiate, and usually we only find out after the purchase, or not even then, as we never get to experience the items we did not buy.
BUYER BEWARE! ARE YOU GETTING AN APPLE OR A POMEGRANATE?
The showrooms and stores still provide the only way you can comparison shop properly. Pictures are very deceiving and the products all look beautiful. In Plumbing at least, the brand will give you the first clue of quality, but not always. Just because you recognize the name, it does not mean quality. It might mean Company size, or marketing.
The design will also tell you a lot about the product, but you do not see the quality of the execution. The lack of straight lines, the bluntness of edges or corners are not visible in the screen shot, but will make a product look and feel inferior once in your hands.
Manufacturing in metals particularly becomes costly when done right. Less expensive versions have to cut corners in order to produce a cheaper product. You may not see it in the picture, but the lack of quality is still there. Metal finishes are also dangerous. Zinc products in pol chrome look OK, but do not do well in other finishes.
The beauty of a well designed product sometimes is not apparent at first glance. The three dimensional perception is lacking when shopping on line, and we can not appreciate depth or volume when all we have is a flat surface.
The quality of products that are used in a home matter. These are not products that can be easily replaced. Once purchased we should expect not to have to change or repair it for a long time. If the product will not survive the use and abuse of a modern home, why buy it?
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