questionsare you impressed by brand names, or is generic…

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Generic is fine with me, provided the quality is up to snuff. I would prefer to spend a little more for better quality, overall.

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Generic have to prove themselves. Some are as good, some even better, than the originals. Many though seem to fall short.

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There are tangible reasons that go with a brand that could sway me one way or another, but on the most part, it's how well something functions that's more important than the brand name.

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What I expect out of a brand name isn't necessarily better quality, but manufacturer longevity, backing their products and honoring their warranty. So something like a can of peas, I could care less about the brand name, while a TV set, yes, I do care. I weigh the benefits of the product protection against the price difference to determine which way I go. Brand name companies that have a reputation for not backing up their products go below generics on my radar, as generics do sometimes back up their work.

Speaking of backing up products, I just had a nice conversation with Tracfone. My 6mos old smartphone quit working, and after verifying that it was, indeed, dead, they are sending out a replacement with my phone number and minutes already activated. No grilling on what happened to it, no waiting for me to send it in (I mail the dead one to them in the pouch provided with the new one), no fussing over warranties or anything. Wonderful customer service.

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@mtm2: I'd be interested in hearing about which generics are 'better' than the originals. :)

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I ran out of room when adding my question, so I waited for a few answers to add this. Quality is definitely a key factor. If the generic shrinks ridiculously, frays, breaks, etc. in less than a year, then the brand name is probably the better option. Even then, I'm not brand loyal. On many things I read reviews and price compare/match just to be sure I'm getting the best bargain.

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i am snobish on some things: i grew up on flavoraide and macnchez and pasturized processed cheese food. since i pay for it i now get kool-aid, kraft mac and cheese, and real cheese.

i am stingy with my cash on other stuff: cleaning supplies, clothes, plain pasta (cooked into other stuff), prescriptions.

this said however i watch what i spend where and can afford "the good stuff" when i want it, and/or it's worth it. thus my industrial grade kitchen mixer and sewing machine.

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"impressed by" wouldn't really apply to me, but i DO purchase brand names, for certain things. Most other things, i'll shop by bang-for-buck ratio.

cheap shoes hurt my feet, and knees generally... and i've found a few brands that meet my needs. They aren't cheap, but aren't uber expensive either.

for complex networks, i'll only use cisco. I pay through the nose for it, but have forayed into other brands in the past (HP, dlink, etc) and while perfectly reliable in average setups - they didn't do what i needed them to when dealing with complex infrastructures. Now i don't bother.

for knives, I stick with the german or japanese names like shun or henckel. I've tried hundreds, and frankly, many of them from widely different price ranges simply don't hold an edge as well, or don't feel as balanced (and even within the brands, i need to find the right knife for my hand) or countless other factors that just make it not feel right.

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@trekmiss: Completely agree. I tend to look at quality above all else.

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@inkycatz: My reference is in the food category. I've had some generics that are as good or better than the originals.

I freely admit, it's rare.

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@inkycatz: I'll admit that Wal-Mart generic pop-tarts (or whatever they are supposed to be called) taste better than Kellogg's Pop-tarts...

My mother taught me to never cheap out on garbage bags. My father taught me to never cheap out on tools.

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With most things, I just get what seems to be the best value. I do have a favorite clothing designer (Tommy Hilfiger), but I tend to only buy that stuff when it's on sale at the outlet store, where it doesn't cost me much more (and sometimes it's even less) than I pay for other clothing on sale at Kohl's. The reason I love the brand is because of how well they've held up for me. I've got some clothes that have been through the wringer, and Tommy just holds up really well.

Shoes I have to be careful with, I have a high arch, and some name brands work with it and some don't, most cheap brands leave me with aching feet. Right now, the most comfortable sneaks I own are Nike Alvord 9, I have two pair in two colors and I love them. They are trail running shoes, and while I don't run, I can wear them all day and still feel good.

As for foods, I'm not so picky, as long as it tastes good.

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another vote for quality as much as anything. I find that there are some things I buy brand name only but when I consider it it's because of quality/ uniqueness for example certain chips/cereal knock offs just don’t taste the same to me

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Like most people who responded, I prefer to think about how well something will perform and how long it will last instead of the name people will see. As for clothing, I buy whatever I think looks good and fits me well. Sometimes it's a $10 shirt at KMart, other times it's a $150 Ralph Lauren rugby jersey. I usually weigh price against how unique something is and how much appeal it has to me, not how much it will impress others. I'm always open to a good bargain, but sometimes I can only find something at full retail price, and that's when I have to decide how important it is to own it. When it comes to electronics, I usually don't trust no-name or "store brands," but I think it's easier to get away with generic jeans than it is a generic TV, in terms of how much enjoyment I'll get out of them.

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Our family practices a bit of reverse snobbery, avoiding brands that make you walking advertisements with their prominent names or symbols. Other than that I find that some brands are worth their reputation, and others are not. I was raised to be careful with my money, and have found that most name brands I really want can be had by practicing patience, watching sales, shopping eBay, etc. If I can't find it that way, then I usually assume I don't need it.

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@inkycatz: Generic headphones from Monoprice vs. Beats from Monster. :)

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For clothes, Kohls is your friend. Lots of trendy/popular clothing for my teenage daughter, and if I shop right, very affordable.

One thing that I do try to get name brand for her is shoes. I'm a bit sensitive about that sort of thing because when I was growing up my mother decided it would be a good idea to dress me in drag. So I was wearing cheap men's clothes, and cheap men's shoes. I purposefully try and buy "clearly female" clothes for my daughter and name brand shoes, because I remember being picked on in school. :(

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I buy generic for most medicines and some cosmetics. If you inspect some generic items at Walmart and Target, like vitamins and aspirin, you may find the products to be identical, but with slightly different packaging.

Many generics and brand name medicines have been produced/manufactured/bottled/distributed from the same companies according to their own labels.

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Will I buy something because it's a specific brand. Most likely not. There are a few exceptions that I've learned it's better (through trial and error) but on the other side of the fence I've also learned a lot of things where I can substitute generics and get just as good of a product.

One example is (ironically) trash bags. Yes the "cheap" trash bags tent to be really bad but lately I've been buying them from Aldi's ("Boulder" brand) and they are very, very nice and still cheaper than Hefty bags.

I'll buy something based on features, quality, and "bang-for-the-buck" factor long before I'll buy something based on its brand name.

I work in the automotive industry and I see a lot of the "generic" brands of auto parts are simply re-boxed brand-name parts anyway. One example is "PartsMaster" oil which is nothing more than Valvoline put in different bottles. I once peeled the sticker off of a "Standard" turn signal switch and underneath it said "Motorcraft". You just never know...

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Most generally, I buy generic (most food, clothing, cleaners, etc...). As others have pointed out, I prefer brand name over generic when it comes to things like TVs.

One area I've recently found out that brand name seems to be better than generic is when it comes to cooking pots and pans. I've gone through a couple of generic non-stick pots where the coating has flaked off and rusted only after a couple of months, even though I've only used silicone utensils. I've found the best luck with "T-Fal" non-stick cookware. Sure it costs more, but it seems to last WAY longer.

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@inkycatz: Here's a good example:
Walmart's Great Value Sour Cream: Ingredients: Grade A Cultured Cream (Milk), Enzyme

It is the equal of the much higher priced Daisy: Ingredients Grade A Cultured Cream
and Knudsen Ingredients:Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Cream (from Milk), Enzymes.

and better than
Borden Sour Cream Ingredients: Cultured Milk, Cream, Whey, Food Starch-Modified, Sodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Calcium Sulfate, Locust Bean Gum, Potassium Sorbate (to Preserve Freshness).

Kraft Sour Cream Ingredients: Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Milk And Cream, Contains Less Than 1% of Agar, Vitamin A Palmitate, Enzymes.

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I'm having trouble typing my response on my Great Value keyboard, but it works, right? :)

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@moondrake: I never knew that about GV sour cream! I have sworn by Daisy for years, but maybe I'll give them a try next time I buy some.

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Generic can be better, the same as or worse, depending on a number of things. You really have to try it to find out.

For example, the Cookie Dough flavor of America's Choice (generic Waldbaums/Pathmark/etc.) ice cream is much better than the Cookie Dough flavor from Blue Bunny but not as good as some of the others (my daughters know this particular hierarchy better than I do... I think Breyer's is their favorite one). But the AC generic sugar-free popsicles (grape, orange, cherry) are identical in taste and ingredients to the Popsicle brand ones (I have to get my aspartame fix somehow now that I've given up diet soda).

Value (I guess this is quality divided by price, though there is a lower limit on the acceptable quality) is more important than brand. Quality is always more important than brand.

Given that though, once I find a brand that I like, with an acceptable level of value, I tend to stick with the brand rather than experiment unless the price is extremely good.

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Depends if the generic is wilbrak naWeik then I will get the brand name.