“At the end of the day, product sold at a discount is better than product thrown away,” he says.
Cars: When it comes to daily driving — getting from home to work — vehicle break-down stats won’t vary greatly across manufactures, says Gregg Fidan, publisher of RealCarTips.com, though the more expensive cars offer additional luxuries and high-performance options. Pick a price point and remember that sticker price is more negotiable for some brands. Check truecar.com to see average lows. Also, never buy a new model immediately after its introduction and always make offers at the month’s end, when dealers are meeting quotas, he says.
Make-up: When it comes to ingredients and color, lower priced cosmetic lines such as Revlon, Maybelline and Cover Girl are blended by some savvy scientists, says Sage, a Broward County-based make-up artist who’s worked on faces modeling for Calvin Klein and Dillard’s stores. “When you buy the more expensive products store you’re paying for the packaging,” she says.
However, cruelty-free will always cost more.
Sunglasses: Look for two basic features when shade shopping, says Edward Beiner, who owns 12 eyewear boutiques. You’ll want UV protection, which shields your eyes from the ultra-violent light causing wrinkles and cataracts, he says. Also get a properly ground lens for accurate vision. Those are made from either CR 39 (a polymer) glass or polycarbonate. Fishers will need a polarized lens and bikers should wear one that won’t crack on impact, Beiner says.
“A person might ask, ‘Do I need to spend $400,’ ” he says. “No. But stay away from glasses that are mass produced because they’re unsafe.”
This is one of an occasional series of columns by Miamian Brett Graff, a former U.S. government economist who writes about how economic forces are affecting real people.