color cycle (slow)

Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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What I paid for
Figuring out whether I "got what I paid for" when I purchased something is surprisingly hard when that thing is inexpensive. How low quality should I consider expected?

I bought a group of index cards (because the Hipster PDA concept is actually working quite well for me). They arrived today. As hoped, they are printed with a grid pattern. The printing is imperfect; several of the lines don't go all the way down. The cards are not perfect rectangles, cut slightly too large, are more "heavy paper" than "light cardboard", and came pretty badly curved, with the shrinkwrap apparently on too tightly.

I got 3,600 cards for about $20, though, so how much room do I have to complain about objects that cost less than seven-tenths of a cent?

I sincerely don't know the answer to that.

I've migrated to DreamWidth. The original post is at View comment count unavailable comments at; go ahead and use OpenID to post your own, or you can comment here.

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If you are happy with what you paid for, it was worth it. Your description sounds like you are not pleased, and did not get what you expected; therefore I would not consider them worth it.

The thing is, I'm not actually sure that's true. Is there some price point below which an unsatisfactory product can reasonably be expected? I sincerely believe that $0.007/card may be below that line!

You didn't pay $0.007 per card. You paid $20 for a number of cards. You can't distinguish each card; that's like saying "each sip of this drink was suboptimal, but each sip was also a small fraction of the total cost, so I have no room to complain".

I'd say that your room to complain is based on your total investment in whatever you were doing. If a shitty timing belt ruins your car, then it doesn't matter how cheap the belt was; it's responsible for the whole expense of your car. If your index cards make you slightly grouchy, then they have (ever so slightly) wrecked the whole rest of your investment of time and energy. If these cards make you 5% less productive or happy across N minutes of use, some simple multiplication will tell you the true cost.

Time and energy are way underrated when thinking about costs. Also remember your opportunity cost; these sub-par index cards robbed you of your ability to have better index cards instead.

You paid $20 for a service to print, cut, pack, and ship your desired design.

The design was printed inadequately on less-desirable paper (high-bond construction paper instead of cardstock), and the cards were cut poorly so that they are the wrong size and their edges are not square (is there at least one edge square with the grid design?), and then wrapped and packed inappropriately so that they arrived warped instead of flat.

The custom printing service you paid for was not adequately given as far as I'm concerned. It's up to you to decide how satisfied you are with what you did get, and how much noise you want to make about it. But I typically don't pay $20 for new checks from the bank, nor nearly that much for note cards from the store.

You are a cheap dragon. I'm a cheap pooltoy.

Hmm, let's do some trades. ^'===='^

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