I've discussed before how crappy modern products are with their one-piece plastic casings and impenetrable innards to keep the manufacturing costs down. Our refrigerator has issues, our microwave finally bit the dust and we got a second-hand replacement and, most recently, our Kenmore vacuum died on us. The main difference is that the vacuum is 15 years old and actually well made.
We got this canister vacuum from my mom around the time we graduated from the UW, so it must have been in 1994. At the time, we didn't have much of an opinion on vacuums and were just happy to have one that worked well. This was way before the current media blitzkrieg by Dyson et al on why you need a sci-fi vacuum that doubles as a Foreman Grill when you aren't looking.
For some weird reason, we bought an upright vacuum at Target about 5 years ago - I don't remember exactly why, but I think it was because my husband was under the impression that uprights were better than canister vacuums. Needless to say, it totally sucks, and I don't mean that in a good, vacuum cleanery sort of way. We only used it when we ran out of vacuum cleaner bags for the old one. Oh, that's it! The Kenmore vacuum cleaner bags are hard to come by on our old vacuum, that's why we got the new one. Aren't you glad to witness my brain in serial action?
Anyway, we really came to appreciate our old vacuum and how good it is, so we managed to find replacement bags online and have been happily using the old Sears one. About a year ago, the carpet cleaner attachment died on us (yeah, maybe vacuuming that giant flokati wool carpet wasn't such a good idea) and the canister part finally kicked the bucket about two months ago.
Are you getting the impression that our house is really dirty by now? Well, you'd be quite right. We looked into buying new canister style vacuums, but they are quite expensive, so instead of doing what most people do (which is buy a new one and throw out the old one), we found a repair shop that would fix Kenmore vacuums. Oddly enough, Kenmore vacuums can only be repaired at Kenmore shops, which makes things even more difficult and annoying. Fortunately, there's one in South Seattle.
Are you bored yet? You should be. So, to make a long story short, we spent about $150 getting our old vacuum fixed rather than spending $500 for an equivalent new one. And, I must say it's a hell of a lot better than the cheap crap being manufactured today. We picked up the vacuum today and are happy about saving the money and I'm happy about keeping it out of the landfill.
What would you do? Are you more apt to get things repaired or is it too much trouble so you buy a new one? Or do you buy a refurbished products instead?