Repair vs. Replace

When something breaks, does your instinct say repair or replace?  My instinct says repair.  Sometimes, it’s actually cheaper to replace though.

If you’re going to repair something, can you do it yourself, or do you need to pay someone?  That definitely makes a difference when comparing to replacement cost.  If you’re paying someone, shop around for pricing.  If it’s a DIY (do it yourself) project, you’ll want to shop around for supplies.

Another thing to consider is quality of the broken item.  If you repair it, will it last longer than a newer item?  After all, many new items are cheaply made since the manufacturers want the items to break so consumers will need to purchase them again.

I had been meaning to shampoo my carpets for a while because it’s been too long since their last shampoo.  I had an unpleasant surprise when water starting leaking out as I was filling the container.  I called a local service center, and the guy said he had to ship off my brand for repairs.  It would be $60 which included a 3-year service plan.  I hesitated, and he said I could just bring it by so he could look at it.

He determined that it just needed new O-rings.  He said I could get a mixed-size package at an auto store.  I asked about hardware stores, and he said yes.  I was already heading to a hardware store down the street so I could buy bird food with a $5 reward.  I had a wonderful employee ask if I needed help, and I explained the situation.  They sold each size separately, but I didn’t know which size I needed.  No problem!  Since the vacuum service guy showed me how to access the O-rings, I told the hardware guy how to do it.  He eventually found the correct size (trial & error) and put the container back together.  Wow, talk about customer service!  I paid $1.30 for the O-rings.

With a little bit of my time and $1.30, I have a working carpet cleaner and freshly-shampooed carpets.  Would you have paid the $60 without asking for an alternative?  After all, $60 is much less than replacement cost.

Linda 🙂

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