Is It Always Best to Buy Off-Brand Items?

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

We’ve all heard before that buying an off-brand, whether it’s a store brand or a generic medication, can help save money. Some people choose not to buy store brand items because they feel that the taste or quality isn’t the same as the name brand, but most off-brands and generics have the exact same ingredients, or at least close to the same. People used to assume that a higher price meant a better product, but this belief isn’t as prevalent anymore. Store brands often cost 25 to 30 percent less than name brand equivalents, which is an added benefit for customers.

It’s true that buying generic or off-brand items saves money, but is this always the case? Actually, no. Usually purchasing store brand or lesser known brands saves big money, but there are also some cases when specific sales or coupons make it possible to purchase the name brand for less. Sometimes it’s better to buy the name brand for quality reasons as well.

Some grocery stores have specific coupons for their store brand items, but most coupons are for name brand items. If you are able to purchase a name brand product with a coupon, particularly during a big sale when the item is already on sale, you might be able to actually save money by buying the name brand item. Some people also just feel more comfortable with name brand recognition.

For example, many people choose to purchase name brand batteries because of the belief that they last longer. One study found that cheaper dollar store batteries don’t last as long, but you spend less money, so there isn’t a big overall difference. In addition, customers often buy name brand milk. However, a lot of this just depends on your own comfort level. Purchasing the store brand versions of these items will definitely save you money, but paying a little more for name brand milk or meat might give you piece of mind.

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