Six Month Disposable Products – Draining Our Wallets

It may take you a second, but you know what I am talking about when I say a “six month disposable product”.  Think of the times when you say “I need a new…” and within a day or two, you have whatever that “…” was.  These aren’t products that are designed to last only six months (or maybe they are) but that is inevitably how long they last.

My biggest six month disposable product is earbuds.  I like earbuds, I like how small they are, and how light they are.  What I don’t like is that over the past four years, I have bought EIGHT different sets of earbuds, none of them has fit “just right” and ALL OF THEM have broke within 6-8 months of me purchasing them.  Can you guess what prompted me to write this today?  You guessed it, one of my earbuds just stopped working.  It just stopped.  Guess its back to shopping online for a new pair.

The more I started to think about this, there are a lot of these types of products floating around our lives.  Products that usually last me only six months on average are as follows:

  • Earbuds (see above)
  • Cellphone cases (I am resisting replacing mine, after seven months it’s looking pretty tattered)
  • Hockey sticks (these things snap all the time, or it could be me breaking them out of frustration)
  • Cellphone car charger
  • And many more

These items cost around $20 a pop for cheap replacements.  A lot of people say “what’s $20?” and don’t think twice when they make their replacement purchase.  However, those Andrew Jackson’s add up over the course of a year.  Now one solution is to take care of your stuff better, but odds are if you are buying cheap goods, they aren’t as durable as their expensive counterparts.

My Current Headphone Dilemma

I have spent $75 in the past year on 3 pairs of cheap earbuds, replacement buds, and shipping and handling charges.  Each one of them has had one ear just stop working all of a sudden.  I am not ruling out user error, but really, how do you misuse earphones?

Since my most recent pair has stopped working, I am back in the market for a new pair.  I am thinking of making a significant purchase, paying for value and buying earbuds that will last over a year or two.  If I pay $100 for a pair and they last for 2 years, I am coming out ahead.  Then again, I fear the product category of earbuds itself is no good and I am resigned to buying a new pair every six months and the $100 purchase could be wasteful.

Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences with earbuds specifically?  What kinds of six month disposable products do you go through on a regular basis?

5 Responses to Six Month Disposable Products – Draining Our Wallets
  1. Shawanda
    July 18, 2009 | 12:08 am

    I replace headphones at least 3 or 4 times a year. I’ve bought the $30 earbuds. They don’t last long either. Now, I’m using $10 headphones. I figure no point in buying the expensive stuff.

    Considering how often I use my headphones, even if an expensive pair doesn’t malfunction as frequently as the cheap ones, I’ll probably end up destroying or losing them before the payback period ends.

    Matter of fact, I just had to replace $10 headphones because I lost a pair in Phoenix and one of the ear phones in my back up pair stopped working. I need a fully operational set of headphones to listen to my iPod while I workout.

    About a month and a half ago my car charger and GPS charger broke on the same day. I’m guessing those will need to be replaced about once a year.

    The cord to charge my iPhone probably has to be replaced about every 6 to 9 months.

    And because I’m a klutz, I usually have to replace a cellphone once a year. Pathetic. I know.

  2. Angie
    July 20, 2009 | 5:35 pm

    Wow. All of you must not take very good care of your things. I have a pair of ipod earbuds from 6 years ago and they still work fine. Buy a more expensive pair of something with good reviews. It will last longer and you will be more inclined to take care of it (and not lose it!). You won’t waste so much money.

    I can’t think of anything that I buy more then once within 2-3 years (let alone 1 year) other than food and household items. The key is quality.

    Replacing the iphone cord every 6 months? Really? What do you do to it because I’ve had the same one for 3 years.

  3. Angie
    July 20, 2009 | 5:37 pm

    As an added comment, my earbuds and cords have outlasted 2 ipods. So I’m more concerned about the $400 item I’ve had to replace twice.

  4. Fellipi
    July 23, 2015 | 8:36 am

    18 of 19 people found the floolwing review helpful Good Quality for Price, November 2, 2011Bya0 a0a0 This review is from: I have owned 3 pairs of these headphones now. I am an avid music listener, and I could not find a pair of headphones with decent quality, comfort and a cheap price tag. These are about 9 bucks at Best Buy if you go when they’re on sale. After living with the headphones that came with my iPod for about 2 years, these were quite the upgrade. Sure, they aren’t Dr. Dre in-ear headphones, but for 9 bucks, these are awesome headphones. They deliver a great range of sound. The treble is clear and it has a pretty rich bass in my opinion. I’ve owned many normal headphones and they always left me with an ear-ache and poor sound quality. These come with sizes that fit anybody. The size that is on the headphones when you purchase them is too big for my comfort and they are SO easy to change out. However, the reason why I did not give them a full 5 stars is because their durability is horrid. I use them everyday, in and out of my bag and those only lasted me about 3 1/2 months. The wires are very thin and weak, and I think that with all of the wear and tear, the wires just tear up inside because in that time, one of my earbuds was totally dead. I wish Sony would give their wires about another inch of thickness. I would buy a lifetime supply of these. Overall, awesome headphones with a short lifespan. But for 9 bucks, I think it’s okay for how much I use mine.Help other customers find the most helpful reviewsa0Was this review helpful to you?a0 | a0

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