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The First Cut

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I needed to replace my lawn-mower this week. It served me well for nigh on 10 years despite suffering fortnightly abuse over the summer months. During that time I have pushed that little hover over garden path, cobbles, 8″ meadow, mud … you name it. I’ve even cut through the power cord  a couple times. So having such loyal service I decided to return to the brand and purchase the update of the same model in anticipation of the first cut for the season.

Whilst looking at the models on show at my local garden centre I was approached by a lady, a fellow customer, who pointed out a high end mower to me. She relayed that she had purchased that model a couple weeks earlier and was highly impressed with it. She began to show me how to fold and unfold it, raise the height levels, the fancy knobs it had. To her it was just the best thing and I should buy one.

I was really impressed with her brand loyalty which showed through in her eagerness to give a voluntary super sales pitch when not even a member of staff. Her delivery was exemplary and the tone in her voice as seductive as any perfume commercial. She should have been staff. When I told her of my experience, she protested “but you can’t beat this brand” and went as far to support the cause by informing me all her other major appliances were the same brand. Now she had a point. My washing machine, refrigerator and some power tools are from the said manufacturer, they all work fantastically and have served me well for some years. But I was here to buy a mower.

Now I had my experience and was determined to stick to the tried and tested. However, my purchasing decisions are not based on that alone. Over the years I’ve weaned myself off impulse buying and learned to purchase against a specification. Apart from my experience I had some other prerequisites. The mower needed to fit in a small shed so had to be compact. I have a practical garden so it would need to cope with all terrain. Warranty. Budget.

The brand is relatively new to the gardening market. That super model I was tempted with had wheels. Its cuttings bin was hard plastic and attaches to the back of the unit. Warranty was pretty much similar. So in terms of experience, size and flexibility the recommended machine did not meet my requirements. A standard year warranty was available for both models. Price? Let’s just say I’d saved enough to buy a 64GB compact flash.

So why relate this story in this blog?

Well for sure we get enticed by all sorts of promotions in the film and video world. Just this week I got an email from Blackmagicdesign about their stand at NAB 2014 and the opportunity to see their new URSA camera. What caught my eye was the comment on their Cinema Camera and the extensive rigs people have purchased to get the best out of it. Yet that was not what it was designed for. (They have now brought out the URSA for that).

Next time we save our hard earned pounds, dollars, dinars and sheckles for a video camera that offers film aesthetic on a budget let’s put together our simple list of requirements and compare the models on offer against it. Not only would we be more satisfied with our needs being met but we may also save some pennies in the process.

Yes the garden is looking wonderful.

Tony