“There is hardly anything in the world that some man
cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.
It is unwise to pay too much, but it is also unwise to
pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little
money, that is all. When you pay too little,
you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought
is incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying
a little and getting a lot … It can’t be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add
something for the risk you run. And if you do that you
will have enough to pay for something better.”
John Ruskin (1819 – 1900), English social critic
That just nailed it. We're often asked why our hardware is so damned expensive and, depending on the item in question, we have good arguments for the value that every piece of hardware we offer brings to a project. But when I read Ruskin's blast from the past, I realize, hey, the battle we are fighting, the battle for a better built environment, is not a new one. Schlock has always existed and will always exist. Gray market products are always going to seduce the inexperienced and callow. It's only companies like FSB and others at that level which provide us with the ammunition (dear as it is) to battle the entrenched mediocrity, armed with the best that money can buy (as long as it's in the budget, right?).
This stuff is expensive, sure, but so is buying ugly junk.