40 Things People ‘Bought For Life’ And They Didn’t Disappoint (New Pics)
Buyer beware! A century-old adage that still remains very much true today. In our highly commercialized world, there are so many cheaply produced products wrapped in attractive packaging that likely cause owners nothing but trouble. Whether we’re talking about planned obsolescence, poor-quality manufacturing, companies taking shortcuts while thinking beyond profits, or consumers falling victim to misleading bargains, it’s frustrating to see products break down in mere seconds.
But what if you find such a high-quality product that you never need to buy that item again? Ever? For the rest of your life?! Here’s where the 'Buy It For Life' (BIFL) subreddit comes in. With over 1.3 million members, it's dedicated to "practical, durable and quality made products that are made to last". Think of a toaster from the 1920s. Or a refrigerator that celebrated its 99th birthday this month!
Below, we hand-picked some of the most interesting and surprising photos of things that stood the test of time and continue to serve people for years to come. So continue scrolling through to enjoy this inspiring collection, be sure to upvote your favorite pics, and let us know if you own any long-lasting items you only bought once in the comments below.
1949 Caloric Ultra-Matic Gas Range. Got It For $20 And It’s Used Daily. Everything Works!
Our Son's Nanny Just Received Her Master's Degree, And We Wanted To Get Her Something Special. My Wife Found This 1980's Coach Briefcase, And I Did A Full Restoration
"Durable, Quality, Practical": this is the tagline that the 'Buy It For Life' subreddit greets its members with. As the person who founded this online community, user Petrarch1603, detailed in their mission statement, the group initially started off as a spin-off of the 'Shut Up And Take My Money' sub.
"I noticed that sometimes there are high-quality useful products there that I'm interested in buying," they explained. "Unfortunately, I also noticed a lot of gimmicks [and] cheaply made products there too. Nevertheless, this is a great reddit and I would like this reddit to be a companion to SUTMM."
However, since BIFL was founded in 2011, it has become more than twice the size of its predecessor. The forum "is intended to fill a niche for only high-quality and durable products," the user added. And a brief scroll through this proves the members certainly deliver.
108 Years Old And 54 Years Old Boots - Just In Case You Think Boots Can't Last You A Lifetime
My Girlfriend’s Grandma Gave Us This Kitchenaid From The Mid 80’s. It’s In Almost Perfect Condition Except For A Few Scuffs That Give It Some Character. It Still Has The Manual, All Original Attachments, And It Works Flawlessly
122 Year Old Pocket Watch My Grandfather Gifted Me, Still Works Like A Charm With Original Internals
Previously, one of the moderators who takes care of the sub was kind enough to share what commonly shared products they see on the forum. "The most popular items I see based on what's posted are: Stanley Thermos, Darn Tough Socks, Kitchen Aid mixers, Red Wing boots, and pots and pans, particularly cast iron," they told Bored Panda.
We were also curious to learn what factors allow these items to persevere for as long as they do. "I'm not an expert by any means but I think there are a few factors," they said.
"Most products are built to be as cheap as possible .... and poorly assembled (maybe partly due to planned obsolescence but mostly just due to the fact that people in general like spending less). The products that you see lasting longer are often made of higher-quality material and care when built. But they're also priced accordingly."
The First Tractor My Great Great Grandfather Bought To Replace His Horses. 1927 Mccormick Deering 10-20 Still Running Strong
My 54 Yr Old Stove Made To Look Like An Antique. Still Can Make A Mean Baked Mac N Cheese With Her
61 Years Ago My Parents Received This Waffle Maker As A Wedding Present In 1961. Still Makes Great Waffles
Unfortunately, a lot of today’s products are built with planned obsolescence in mind. This phenomenon refers to various strategies that make a product seem undesirable, useless, and unwanted. According to Andrea Soke, co-founder of Durability Matters, there are four types of planned obsolescence that companies use to make a profit: contrived durability (when parts break down intentionally), software updates, perceived obsolescence (when a customer is convinced they need an updated product), and prevention of repair.
"Companies can use all of the above or a combination of all four. The ultimate goal is to make you buy products again and again," Soke wrote. And thankfully, she also provided a few examples of how to watch out for the products that are going to fall victim. "Before you buy a product, think about two things: do you need it? And, is it going to last? Just because you are purchasing an expensive product, it does not mean that you are getting one that is going to last."
Still Works. Sunday Spins, A Continued Tradition With Our Kids On The Same Stereo I Had Growing Up
This Desk Lamp (Emeralite Banker’s Lamp) Is 100+ Years Old, And Is Solid As A Rock. So Cool Looking
A Customer Of Mine Came In For Help With Her Voicemail…
Last year around this time I posted an old Motorola Razr one of my customers was finally upgrading from, purchased November 2006. I was advised that those Razrs weren’t BIFL and in fact broke quite often, and that the only true BIFL phones were the old Nokias. Came across one today and figured I’d share.
"Look for future-proof products that are not going to be affected by software updates, and check if the product is one in a long line of slightly updated ones," Soke added. "There are some great companies and durable products out there; you just need to do a little research to find the honest ones." And BIFL is the perfect outlet for that.
My Wife Purchased These Doc Martens In 1993 And Hadn’t Worn Them In Over 20 Years. I Restore Leather As A Hobby, And It Still Blows Me Away What Quality Leather Can Come Back From
In Response To The "Vintage" 2009 Bottle Opener, Because I Have Underwear Older Than That, Here's Mine From A Brewery That Closed In 1959
Happy Birthday To Our Refrigerator That Turned 99 Years Old This Month! She’s Still Going Strong
Companies are in business to make money, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But as it turns out, people have an appetite for long-life guarantees. A 2016 study published by The European Economic and Social Committee analyzed whether displaying a product's lifespan would influence a consumer's decision to purchase. In other words, would we choose the same item if we know about its lifetime?
My 53 Year Old Work Truck. The Man I Got It From Bought It Brand New In 1969 And Drove 1 Truck His Entire Career Until He Retired
I Was Told You Guys Would Want To See This! My Mom’s Great Grandma’s Cherry Pitter From 1867. I’ll Be Using This On My Own Cherries Next Season!
Brass Drafting Instruments And Brass Pacific Arc Lead Holder
The experiment surveyed nearly 3,000 participants from five European countries by designing a fake shopping website (like Amazon or ASOS), where people were directed to a questionnaire about various socio-economic and psycho-social indicators.
"The results showed that if shoppers had information on product lifespan, they would choose to buy longer-lasting items: on average, a product’s sales increased by 56% if its lifetime was longer than competing products'," the researchers wrote. "Of the products tested, purchases of suitcases (+128%) and printers (+70%) were influenced the most by displaying the lifetime."
The Chandelier At Our Cottage Has This Vintage Light Bulb From The Early 1900s. It Still Works!
White Mountain Model 692. Been Making Ice Cream For Birthday Parties And July 4th’s For Decades
I Inherited This Toaster From The 1920s Around 10 Years Ago And It Has Worked Great Every Single Day
Not to mention that buying longer-lasting and more durable products may cost more but will save you a lot of money in the long run. And it’s definitely better for the environment. For example, one study from the University of Arizona found that people who consume less are likely happier than those who engage in other pro-environmental consumer behaviors, like buying "green" and environmentally friendly products.
My New Visionware - 30 Years Old And The Cheapest Way To Completely Avoid Teflon/Chemicals I Could Find
Twenty Six Years Old, 326,000 Miles And Still Going Strong. I Love This Thing
The study looked at two pro-environmental behaviors: reduced consumption and "green buying". "If you are able to buy environmentally friendly products, you can still live your materialist values," researcher Sabrina Helm said. "You're acquiring new things, and that fits into our mainstream consumption pattern in our consumer culture, whereas reduced consumption is more novel and probably more important from a sustainability perspective."
On the flip side, "Reduced consumption has effects on increased well-being and decreased psychological distress, but we don't see that with green consumption." According to Helm, having less and buying less can actually make us more satisfied.
Though I’d Share This Here. This Dryer Came With My House, And It Still Works Amazing. (See Description)
I’ve never had a problem with it not drying fully on a standard 20 minute cycle, never had a problem with lint clogging (cleaning the filter and ducts as recommended of course), and I love the simplicity. About a year ago, it wasn’t drying and when I opened it, there was a schematic, and on the schematic was a written note that a repair was made in 1980! The issue was a broken belt, which I was able to replace very easily. I would estimate this to be from the 70’s and it still functions as if it was new!
1970's Montgomery Ward Powr Kraft Drill. Before And After. Still Works Great
My Journaling Setup Is Complete! The Desk Lamp Was Made In Japan By A Company Named Sinar. My Late Grandfather Used It When He Was Painting. The Writing Bureau Is Walnut Veneer And Is At Least 70 Years Old
"If you have a lot of stuff, you have a lot on your mind," she said. "Maybe you have a lot of debt because you bought all that stuff, and now you have to manage all that stuff. It requires maintenance and being organized. It's not like you buy it and you're done with it. There's a lot of burdens of ownership, and if you relieve yourself of that burden of ownership, most people report feeling a lot better and freer," Helm concluded.
Little Tykes Climber & Slide. My Grandfather Bought This For Me In 1985. It’s Entertained Countless Cousins And Nieces And Nephews. Now My Daughter Plays On It. Poolside Since 1995
Mom Said "They Liked The Le Creuset Your Aunt Gave You? Show Your Internet Friends Mine!". Well, Internet Friends, There You Go
Rescued Oil Can (Before And After) Manufactured Around The 1930's — It Currently Sits On My Work Bench And Is Used Regularly. Should Last Another 90 Years
My Ti-84 Plus Turns 15 This Month; It's Lasted From 7th Grade Through My Doctorate!
The Richard Milous Nixon Watergate Commemorative Iced Tea Cooler Made By Gott In 1974. Of Course It's Lasted, It's Space Age Plastic! It's Holding Lipton Iced Tea Now! It Just Doesn't Quit! It'll Probably Give Us All Cancer!
My Dad Has Used This Escort Digital Alarm Clock Since The 1980's. I Needed A New Clock In My Bedroom So He Let Me Have It. I Love How It Looks And It Feels Much Better Quality Than Most Cheap Digital Clocks You Can Get Today
My Grandma Has The Same Blender Since The 1970s, Still Works Perfectly. Not Repaired Even Once
I Teach 5th And 6th Grade Math. I Inherited My Grandmother's Pencil Sharpener From My Aunt About Five Years Ago And This Beast Has Been Tirelessly Working In My Classroom For Three Years. I Have No Idea How Old It Is, But It's Certainly Older Than All The Students And Some Of The Teachers
Roper Automatic Dishwasher. Installed 1978. Works Great And Is Quieter Than Most Of The New Dishwashers
Microsoft USB Intellimouse, Still Working After 22 Years
Here Are My Orka Silicone Oven Mitts That Have Lasted 15 Years. They Look Like New, And Whenever They Are Dirty I Just Throw Them In The Dishwasher
Chicco Stroller. This Beast Is Over 10 Years Old And Been Through 4 Kids, Traveled Around The World To 5 Countries, Uncountable Mall And Theme Parks, Tossed In The Back Of Trunks Like A Hostage, And Treated Like A Jungle Gym More Times Than... Well A Jungle Gym
Note: this post originally had 125 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.