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Generic versus brand name

Thanks so much to Amanda of The Happy Arkansan for today’s guest post, Generic versus Brand Name!  

Generic versus name brand is a constant debate amongst people across the world and their pocketbooks. There are so many brands out there that are household names, but they also come with a hefty price tag. How do you determine whether or not you should purchase something that is name brand versus buying something that is generic? Well, that’s what today’s blog post is all about.

Let’s get started with our discussion:

How Much Money Do You Have To Spend?

First, and foremost, you should start with how much money you have to spend. Money is not always a prominent factor in deciding to invest in something, but it’s often the first thing you have to consider.

For example, if you need a pair of pants, but you only have $100 until your next paycheck, it wouldn’t be wise to spend $70 on a pair of brand name jeans. Instead, go for a basic $15 pair–they may not last you a long time, but you will have the pants you need, and still have money left over from your last paycheck.

Think about the money that you have to spare on each item that you purchase, it may not end up being the determining factor on whether you decide to buy something, but it’s always great to consider so that you don’t run into money troubles later on.

Are There Standards For Your Product?

Specific products have standards they need to meet before they are released such as medication and food. Generic drugs are often a fraction of the price of brand name medications, and they usually do a similar job.

You can often research the generic drugs and compare them to the brand name drugs. Look at their active ingredient lists and see if the generic version is similar to the brand name version you want to purchase.

Not all drugs have generic options available, but if they do, it would be wise to see if the generic version fits what you need from the medication.

Food is also pretty regulated, although maybe not to the same caliber that drugs are. Grocery stores want to carry the food that is good, perhaps not always healthy, but they don’t make it their mission to sell dangerous or poisonous items.

Foods also have to have labels on them with ingredients and other important values. Generic and brand name food items are usually in the same place in the store so don’t hesitate to compare and contrast if you are stuck between a generic label and a brand name label.

Do You Plan To Sell The Product In The Future?

The next thing you must consider when you are thinking about generic versus brand name is if you plan to sell the product in the future. Generic products often don’t have a lot of resale value. If you want to sell the purse or the jeans you are spending your hard earned money on; you want to consider that when you decide which brands to purchase.

Furthermore, not all brand names are the same. A name brand purse may be expensive, but it may also have a limited selling value because the market is flooded with similar high-priced handbags. Before you decide to purchase an item for later resale value, you want to consider how in demand the object actually is.

You may not be able to get your money back from expensive purchases, depending on the market, so be aware of this before you purchase a name brand item.

How Long Will You Have The Product For?

The longer you own a product and the more use you get out of a product, the more valuable that product becomes. If you spend $200 on a pair of fantastic jeans, but you wear the jeans 200 times of the course of their lifetime, paying $200 doesn’t seem all that bad in the long run. Of course, you also have to consider the short-term disadvantages of getting those jeans, because you will currently not have $200 in your pocket.

If you can afford a product that you think you will use or wear for a long time to come, it makes sense to get the product, even if it is expensive. Fast fashion is in for trendy items, but you don’t want to be stuck purchasing dozens of jeans each year when you can just buy seven high-quality pairs of jeans and be done with your jeans shopping for a while.

Will You Get The Taste/Feeling/Results You Want?

Okay, some purchases just feel right. It doesn’t matter if Oreos are more expensive than sandwich cookies, sometimes you just want the freaking Oreos! That’s okay, y’all! You can choose the Oreos; you can choose the name brand jeans, you can choose the brand name medicine if it gets you the results and feelings that you want.

Some things have sentimental value far outside their actual price tag. Maybe you and your grandma always used to bond over a pack of Oreos, so those have a special place in your heart. Or perhaps you always went clothes shopping with your mom each year, and you went to a particular store to get a specific brand of shirt, so you hold that brand in high esteem.

Having preferences beyond the simplicity of a price tag is okay. You can choose to get specific items just because they have personal value to you!

Bottom Line: Do Your Research!

You are the person with the purchasing power. I ask that you do your research on the products that you are trying to purchase whether it a shirt, a pair of shoes, medicine, food, or anything in between. See what alternatives are out there. Would you rather save money on this, or splurge a little?

There are tons of price comparison websites and apps out there, and one of the most obvious options is Google Shopping. You can put about anything in the search bar and comparison shop between stores that stock the product to find the best deals. You can use sites like GoodRx to see where the best prices are for medicines you want to take. You can also just do your comparison the old fashioned way by closely researching two things you want to buy or cross-checking their ingredients lists.

We are living in the best time for consumers thanks to the internet. You have SO much power as a purchaser in this connected age. Utilize that power to make smart purchasing decisions, use coupons wherever you can, and get cash back on the purchases that you do make.


It’s honestly in your hands whether you should purchase a generic item or a brand name item. There is no one size fits all answer. Unfortunately, you have to decide for yourself what you want as a consumer. It is essential to consider all of these questions when you are picking between a generic item and a brand name item.

I would love to know how you determine which one is best for you? Do you use any of these questions when you are considering a purchase?

Bio: Amanda Cross is a blogger and freelance writer from Arkansas. She recently graduated with a Master’s in Sociology. When she isn’t blogging on her blog The Happy Arkansan, she can be found eating, napping, and watching too many videos online.

Thanks again to Amanda for sharing her insights!  Have an idea that you think would make a great guest post for For the Sake of Good Taste? Shoot us an email with your ideas!

Generic versus brand name


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