When Do You Buy New Items Or Just Replace Parts?

by Mike Holman

roller-bladesI’m a big fan of inline skating – or “roller blading” as I like to call it.  I got my first pair of skates which were the original Rollerblades back in the mid-80s.  Rollerblade was the original inline skate company and I had to order them from somewhere in Quebec.  It wasn’t until probably the 90’s when they became more mainstream and other sporting good companies got in on the act.

I tend to run my sporting equipment into the ground before replacing it.  This has nothing to do with being frugal or environmentally conscious but rather it’s just easier to keep using what you have as long as it still works.  Laziness is also a factor as well.

My first pair of roller blades I used until the wheels literally stopped turning.  Then about 10 years ago I bought a new pair which are still in good shape but unfortunately I never rotated the wheels and the front left wheels got worn down to the point of falling apart.  I was still able to use the blades without that front wheel but I figured I should get new wheels or blades.

I ended up going to Sporting Life and buying a new set of wheels for $100 which compared to $260 for the blades I considered buying.  One of the main reasons for this decision was that I liked the bindings on my old blades better than the “new” style of bindings which you see in the photo.  My skates are more like downhill ski boots.  Plus of course, it was a lot cheaper.

I’ve had situations in the past where I just replaced a part and the final results didn’t work out very well.  Hockey skate blade replacement, buying used tires for my car (really dumb) are some things that I would recommend avoiding.

Do you have any examples of where you where able to just replace a part and it was successful or not?  Are there some things you would just automatically buy a new item?

Photo credit: Oh Barcelona

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mr. Cheap

It’s always tough when you get to the repair / replace stage. I’ve helped friends with computer problems (replacing power supplies and whatnot) that for just the cost of the part it’s better to replace, but if you had to pay a service fee as well, it would have been better to buy a new computer.

2 Mike

Computers are an excellent example. I’ve replaced power supplies/cords in the past but then ended up buying a new computer shortly after when other things start to go.

I use my laptop a lot and if it starts to have problems (like my last laptop) then I’m just going to replace it rather than try to “live with it”. It’s just not worth it.

3 nobleea

we have a 12 yr old furnace. on a cold day in april this year, the control board died. replacing it would cost $400 (actually quite cheap) or spend a couple grand and get a new high efficiency, with all the rebates. i decided to replace the board since the furnace still has some life in it, though other items are likely to break down over the next 3 years.

4 Mrs Pillars

How about our dryer saga? The 7 service calls to fix it, and being told at one point that it would cost almost as much as replacing it to fix it (luckily it didn’t end up costing quite that much) – these make me very leery of having things serviced. But I have an aversion to throwing out big items that can be fixed.

5 Mike

Nobleea – I think you made the right choice. $400 isn’t a deal-breaking amount.

Mrs. Pillars – I forgot about the dryer. I should do a post on it – 2 big repairs on a 2 year old dryer plus one more potential repair that the repairman caused (which they waived). Piece of junk!

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