We’ve all heard the saying “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Well, what if it’s broken?
The other morning I happened to catch the end of an educational cartoon (Arthur) my daughters were watching on TV. In this episode, Arthur’s parents were considering purchasing a new car, because their car was broken and the mechanic told them it would cost too much to be fixed.
Despite what the mechanic told them, Arthur (the main character in the show) is determined to fix the car. Arthur calls into a radio talk show hosted by a couple of car experts to get some help and find out how to fix the car. The car experts tell Arthur what the problem is. And using their information, Arthur’s dad fixes the car, so they don’t have to buy a new car.
The message of the story is a good one – fix it and save the money.
Today, it seems like many of us are in such a hurry to get things working – that the thought of fixing it just sounds too time consuming. But taking the time to do a little research, understand the problem and find the right solution – could really save you some serious money.
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” ~St. Augustine
Besides, the Internet is a great place to find out how to fix things. You can watch helpful how-to videos on YouTube.com, research what others may be saying about it and submit questions on discussion forums.
Just the other day, the trackball in my Blackberry fell out when I dropped it. I called my cell phone company to see what they could do to help me. Unfortunately, that was a complete waste of time because I did not have any insurance and all they did was aggressively try to sell me a new phone.
They must have thought I was from another planet when I explained that I usually keep my cell phone for about 4 years. So they could forget about me using my upgrade. Needless to say, I really did not care what they thought because I had already made up my mind that I was not buying a new phone.
After spending some time on the Internet I found a few companies who could fix it for about $50. However, I kept on looking and eventually found the new part on Amazon.com for less than $2 with free shipping. For real!
Since seeing is believing, take a look at my shipping order details below:
Blackberry Trackball / Joystick / Navigate / Pearl / Ring Repair Replacement Fix Fixin…
Sold by: The OEM Shop
Item subtotal: $1.47
I even added a protective case for less than $3. Amazingly, the grand total added up to less than $5 with free shipping on both items.
Next, I went on YouTube to learn how to fix my trackball myself. And it was unbelievably easy. When the part arrived, I fixed my Blackberry in less than a minute. And now it’s like I have a new phone without spending hundreds of dollars. Plus, I don’t have to worry about being locked into a 2-year contract agreement.
As with anything we must use our own judgment to determine whether something is worth replacing. For example, do the costs outweigh the benefits?
I’m frugal and when it’s broken, I always consider fixing it first. Another tip is to seek a second opinion, because it could save you money and give you the leverage you need to negotiate a lower price. After all, Arthur’s second opinion helped his family save money on the cost of a new car. 🙂
Below is a segment from the Arthur episode that inspired this post. Enjoy!
Dare to be Different.