Major Appliance = Major Expense?

How much should you pay for a really good vacuum?

Perhaps you’re one of the many embarking on a frenzy of gift-giving this month. Even if you’re one who prefers to keep all that low-key, you’d still be wise to take advantage of the sweet sales going on! If given the choice, who wouldn’t wait until the Black Friday-type sales came along to buy that “desperately-needed” new washing machine, TV, computer or vacuum cleaner? After all, major appliances are “expensive,” right?

A major appliance is usually a relatively large machine/device used in the essential operations of your home and family care. The fridge and oven both help you feed your family. The washer and dryer care for the clothes you wear. The furnace and AC units keep you comfortable. These are all important and useful, hard-working items and they indeed can be costly. Yet they relieve you of so much irritating and time-consuming work they’re totally worth every penny. $1000 for a washing machine though? It sure is better than beating your dirty britches on some river rocks, so I’ll take it! In fact, throw the dryer for me too!

And thank goodness for televisions! Sorry, I’m being facetious…TV’s don’t actually “DO” anything. So why do folks seem fine with spending so much money on them? Don’t forget about the added cost of the channel subscription… That alone can add an extra $20-$100 every single month!

I’m sure you can detect that I’ve attempted a tactful segue…Indeed, I hope my humor will allow you to forgive my audacity in stating that I don’t EVER want to hear someone complain about the price of a vacuum cleaner again!   LOL 😉

In my experience, “expensive” is a word usually accompanied by a sneer, furrowed brow and/or deep scrunching of the nose. Not attractive. Admittedly, I’ve become irritated by the overuse of this highly subjective word. I know folks don’t intend any harm or insult, yet the implication is that the purchase of a high-end vacuum is wasteful, a rip-off or money that would be “better” spent elsewhere.  Such a reaction tells me is that a vacuum is not as sexy, exciting, satisfying or important as a designer purse, luxe carpeting, new car payments, video games, plasma TV, or even daily trips to Starbucks. I know…I get it. Some vacuums simply cost more than folks had expected to spend.
Perhaps I’ve become hyper-sensitive. Have I’ve become mentally scarred by the cries of customers sickened by the cost of a decent vacuum? …Complaints uttered (ironically) after discussing the colossal square-footage of their homes and 6-figure cost of floors and furnishings? …Disturbing discussions about the suffering and cost of healthcare for seriously allergic family members. Ever hear the phrase “penny-wise and pound-foolish?”  Oh!! If could only get people to understand the importance and value of a quality vacuum I could end the wastefulness and suffering!  (And that’s what this whole newsletter series is about!)
A vacuum cleaner is a critical, household workhorse and thus a major appliance. Accordingly, room should be allocated in your budget for a quality, appropriately-equipped machine. Vacuums were always costly – check your history. They used to be made well, lasted for decades and cleaned like the dickens. Great vacuums still exist and they clean even better than before with greater ease. But they are not “cheap” and you will not find them at Wal-Mart or Costco.
A vac that works and lasts like Grandma’s will cost the same as she paid, after adjusting for inflation. Today, you’re looking at about $400 – $1,000 for a quality, reputably-branded, carpet-and-bare-floor cleaning, HEPA filtration, 10-20 year vacuum. Going forward, general tune-ups and maintenance items should tally about $50-$100 annually. But don’t think “expensive” and sneer. If you’d bought a car, you’d allot for not only the original purchase but also the gas, oil, tune-ups, tires and the occasional breakdown or accident. Or I dunno…maybe you put your car to the curb when it gets a flat tire or needs an alignment?  What’s “expensive” (i.e. wasteful) is replacing a crummy vacuum every year. Even worse is having to prematurely replace furnishings! Poor vacuum performance renders sofas and rugs matted, dingy and curb-worthy. Needlessly aggressive vacuums wears and tears up carpeting and leaves hardwood floors dull and scuffed.
$4K for a TV?!  Don’t ever tell me a vacuum is expensive!
Besides speculative brain-rotting, there’s nothing “wrong” with a fancy TV, game console, stereo system or even uber-designer fashions. But some folks appear to value these products far above those that affect the health and upkeep of their household. I simply implore everyone to evaluate their priorities carefully.  
I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson and gained some valuable perspective towards all of your prospective purchases this holiday shopping season! Moreover, we at Queen Vacuum wish you and your family a joyous and blessed conclusion to this year, however you celebrate 🙂