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First Buy-It-Once Blog Post

It’s been a tough journey. All I’m trying to do is find products built to last then check if they’re sustainable and ethically made. Researching products and making sure that they really live up to their claims is slow progress. Initially I hoped to find products with lifetime warranties but you’d be surprised how often a lifetime warranty really means 1 or 2 years. Slowly but surely the Buy-It-Once store is growing with more and more products that really are the best of their category.

The plan is to use this space to write articles, show info-graphics, and everything else that won’t fit into the main store.

Please leave feedback and use this as a place to discuss around durability, sustainability, and planned obsolescence.

Comments

  1. Commented on
    Comment by Jason

    I love the idea of a site like this. I have worked in various retail settings for over 15 years, I’ve done everything from facing and restocking to general management to PCI compliance consultation to coordination to coordination of on-line sales. This site appears to be a work of passion as opposed to spin marketing, if this is true you have my great respect. Please take the following criticism as it is meant to be, constructive. My first concern is the breadth of your offerings. I understand how much time and work goes into sourcing quality products. This can be a daunting task for even large organizations. My suggestion would be to implement crowd sourcing of some type. Not just another comments page, but a submission button, allowing people to privately submit brands, products, etc… for review. This type of system would ideally be scalable; i.e. ability to implement poster ratings, trusted mods, and vetting provided by multiple authorized community members. This is a type of system used by many sites from gaming blogs, to how to sites and many others in between. This would be challenging because the very nature of a site like this requires consistently high quality and many organizations could potentially benefit from the exposure (I.E. you sell out, and doom the concept). Criticism number two. Getting caught in a “must have lifetime or lengthly warranty” or must have whatever, as you have touched on, leaves out many great products. I think a better idea would be taking a more holistic approach . You may already be doing that, I haven’t looked closely, but I doubt a pair of socks is going to have a huge warranty. If a company has shown consistant quality and good product/consumer support, through the life of the product, they are worth a look. I realize there will be a lot of overlap between has good warranty and has great product support, but some things are hard to warranty (I have a speco CCTV system at my store for example; I don’t have a high end version, costs and all that, but I have received support from the time I placed the order and I can call with questions or whatever anytime). I also understand I am getting a bit out of the scope of this site. My final critique is purely philosophical, I have made many personal compromises in business decisions (In an ideal world I would do this, but the world is not ideal kind of thing). The brands I am familiar with on your site are very ethical producers, I’m sure the rest are as well, when I have the knowledge that is a major part of my personal purchasing decisions. Your distribution chain leaves a lot to be desired in this respect. I will not publicly go into further detail in this respect. My complaints have been articulately made by many people smarter than me (see labor and anti-competetive practices). I will not add effects on local economies because this is inherent to on-line retailing in general. I am glad you have never experienced fraud through this channel, but it is there and as a fellow seller I have first hand experience with it. In my experience, it does not matter if you have stellar reputation as a seller when combating fraud, very little seller support is provided in this regard (really more of a personal pet peeve on this count, it’s Saturday morning). In closing, thanks again for the site, I wish you the best of luck. I am not sure how you have it set up but my hope is you are truly buying what you believe to be quality products and reselling, not simply linking for commissions. Either way I fully support your effort and would be happy to recommend things I come across for you to look at, but I will not simply leave comments saying things like “this shirt is awsome, really well made, and look an american flag!” I would also be happy to share any of my retailing experiences to anyone with a question (I’ve sold electronics with radio shack, hardware with a family owned business and a chain, appliances, and currently my least favorite, textbooks). Thanks again, I’m enjoying the site, keep up the good work.

    1. Commented on
      Comment by buy-it-once

      Hi Jason,

      Thank you for your insightful comments. I’ll try to answer your main questions.

      The reason I have so few products is because researching each product takes time. I do this in my spare time and the website doesn’t yet pay for it’s own server costs. I’m also slowly updating the product descriptions with better information. There are plenty of brands I want to add including Leatherman, Miele and Doc Martens.

      You are right about how some brands advertise a lifetime guarantee but the fine print can often say that only a few years are under warranty. Also many durable products don’t have any warranty at all.

      For sourcing products, a great source of information is http://www.reddit.com/r/buyitforlife/. Another great way to learn is by reading both the good and bad Amazon reviews, and Googling for people’s experiences. Reading about the history of companies is also fascinating. I have nearly messed up by including a product only to find out that it used to be high quality, but now the quality is low and it’s made in China.

      Letting people submit suggestions is a good idea. I’ll think about that. Do you think a photo gallery where people can upload photos of their durable products would work?

      Your doubts about the warranty of a pair of socks tells me that you don’t know about Darn Tough socks. They are truly amazing – https://darntough.com/about-us/our-guarantee

      Thanks again.

  2. Commented on
    Comment by Jan Petersen

    Take my money!
    If you can, you should make it possible to sign-up on a mailing list, so i know when you have new products. But now you have my e-mail and please use it 🙂

    1. Commented on
      Comment by buy-it-once

      Hi Jan. Thanks for your enthusiasm 🙂 I am planning on launching a mailing list in the future.

  3. Commented on
    Comment by Emily Katt

    We bought our EcoSmart in-line instant hot water heater in late 2012, installed it during a renovation, and registered for the “lifetime warranty”. It was affordable and space-saving, and delivered the endless hot water we wanted. We noticed a month ago, March 2016, after a power outage (and I guess power surge), that the water was way too hot, hotter than the digital reading (which also started malfunctioning, alternating between celsius and fahrenheit, both very wrong for the temp. of the water, or just shutting itself off). I called their customer service, not really hoping for much. I guess I have had too many welp-not-our-problem customer service interactions! I was helped promptly – they pulled up my warranty info quickly, said it covered a whole new …motherboard, I guess…, that the units had some ability to withstand mild but not large power surges, and just requested I pay shipping and handling (about $15 USD). The new motherboard arrived within the week, and had been designed to basically install itself, it was so easy. To my mind, this company has shown themselves to be a powerful testament to standing behind their product.

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