We're friends here, right? So, I feel that I can tell you that there are more than a few things in this world that I just can't understand. I do not understand how people sleep at night without locking their doors. I do not understand how people can drink the leftover milk after eating cereal. I truly do not understand cold coffee.
But between you and me, I do not understand what exactly "reasonably priced" means. We have all seen the posts that go like this:
"Looking for ....needs to be reasonably priced."
These posts leave me confused.
What exactly does it mean? I mean, I am assuming it means not "expensive" but isn't "expensive" different depending on who you are talking to? It's kind of subjective. And why are we letting complete strangers decide what our version of "reasonably priced" is?
I have learned over the years that people pay for what they value. But if we don't place the same value on things, stuff or services how is that request supposed to be met?
We have no way of knowing what the poster values. We have no way of knowing how shallow or deep their pockets are. We have no way of knowing what their definition of reasonable even is. And what if by asking for "reasonable" they have missed a great product or service that may very well be in their price range but the person reading the request has a different idea of what "reasonable" is? Can you see why I am confused?
Can we break this down? Let me give you an example using one of my favorite things - shoes! (I swoon).
I LOVE shoes. I have quite a few. I keep them in their original boxes to keep them pretty - except for flip flops and tennis shoes. There are two brands that I consistently buy because they come out of the box broken in, I know the quality is good and I love them enough that I find the price "reasonable" and have no problem paying it. If they raised their prices, I would pay that too. My feet are happy, so I am happy. I see value in the brands I purchase (the quality, look, feel & dependability). And because I see their value, the price is reasonable to me.
A few years ago I needed a pair of red heels to go to the Marine Corps Ball. We are just going to call them the "demon" shoes. I could not find a pair in either of my favorite brands so I went and found a pair at a popular store that I personally knew other people had gotten shoes from. This shoe store is now out of business by the way. I tried them on in the store and could feel that they weren't going to be comfortable but figured, I could make it through the night. I heard my feet softly whisper "don't do it". But I was desperate, they were cheap, so I got them. Thank goodness I was smart enough to pack the demon shoes AND a pair of black reliable heels. The night of the Ball, I put the demons on and I am telling you, my feet cussed me out before I even got out of the room. There was pain. So much pain. The heel felt like it might snap, a rhinestone was digging into my pinkie toe, I could not get the ankle strap in a comfortable place and I could not stand upright. There was NO way I was going to be able to walk out of the room let alone dance the night away in these cheap, painful shoes. Was the price reasonable? No! The shoes were wholly unreasonable! They were some CHEAP shoes! The price was cheap and the shoes were cheap. Buying them was the biggest shoe mistake I had ever made and it was a complete waste of money. I don't care if those shoes cost a dollar. I could have bought a candy bar and been happier.
This isn't to say that I will pay top dollar for everything because no, I will not. I can be quite frugal (cheap) at times. I am that person who will see something in a store - let's just say a vase. I'm talking about a vase that there are 20 other duplicate vases sitting next to it. I will see it, like it and then look at the price and be like, NOPE. It's not that I no longer like the vase, I just don't love it. And because I don't love it, the price is not reasonable to me so I will hunt for something similar at a price that reflects my perceived value. This drives my husband crazy. He will look at that vase and say, "Tonia, if you like it, get it. By the time you run all over town wasting gas and your time, you could be at home with the vase you like." The keyword there is LIKE. I have to LOVE the item, the service, the experience to see the value in the price.
I completely understand that there are some who would argue and say that they can find shoes for a lesser price (I remember when I got my first pair of Reeboks - the high tops with the two velcro straps and my Dad told me that he could have gone to Safeway and gotten 4 pairs for the price of my one pair). And alternately, there are people who may pay more for their shoes.
But the shoes aren't the point - it's the perceived value. THAT is what we are paying for. And we all see that value differently. We may not place value in the same people, places, things or services.
So that brings us back to my original question, what exactly does "reasonably priced" mean?
Don't look at me for the answer because I still don't know. But I do know this - if we are posting looking for help trying to find a product or service, maybe leave the "reasonably priced" part off. We could really be missing out on a top-notch service or quality product within their price range because complete strangers whose values may not match up with ours are responding. That way, our search has opened up and we can get a range of prices and services. And then it's up to us to decide what is or isn't reasonably priced.