Why does it cost more to repair things than to replace them?

I am open about the fact that I am a bit of a geeky bloke. I like to repair things. Actually I Like to take things apart and see how they work and as I have got older I have become (slightly) better at getting them back together and working again.

So if something breaks, I always start from the position of seeing if I can repair it. We all know this is a more environmental route don’t we?

But when my almost new Morphy Richards slow cooker crockpot broke (because you can’t use it on the hob to get it going – doh!!), I thought it would be a simple case of buying a new crockpot and that would be that.

So I stumbled around the Morphy Richards site and spares are listed as accessories there. It’s a ceramic pot. They break. Surely they should describe it as a replacement? I did eventually find one at £15.86 with the benefit of free delivery.

Buying spares and accessories from Morphy Richards

Spares 2 Go had one at the bargain price of £42.63

Buying one from Spares 2 Go will cost you twice as much as a new unit

And Buy Spares had one at the rather more attractive price of £15.99, but by the time you added £4.98 shipping, this came to a less attractive £21.97

Getting closer. This part only costs a bit more than a whole new unit

And then we come to Amazon. A new one, from stock with free delivery for £19.99.

Amazon come in with a bargain price of £19.99

How do they do it?

For an extra £4.13 over the cost of the cheapest delivered replacement spare part, I get the whole of the rest of the unit in a shiny box with a new warranty all delivered to home within 3 days. So where is my incentive to repair?

I don’t want to turn this into a rant, but for any brand owner, it has to be a better long term proposition to make us stay with them by incentivising a repair.

I could just have easily gone away and bought another brand and all of the retailers have some stupidly priced products in the run up to the winter months.

If the price of the biggest and most breakable part was around half of the lowest price you could by the whole unit from scratch, there would be no debate, you’d get on and stick with it. But when it is virtually the same price, however well intentioned your repair/environmental principles, you’d be silly not to take a new one.

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