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10 Items You Should Always Buy Generic


6
Technology and Media
While brand-name batteries may last longer, the lower cost of generics may still make them the better deal.
While brand-name batteries may last longer, the lower cost of generics may still make them the better deal.
Hemera/Thinkstock

When you invest in a computer or home theater system, you want to make sure you're getting the best quality equipment. That means buying expensive batteries and A/V cables, right?

Wrong. In fact, those $100 media cables with the gold-plated connectors aren't doing anything that a more reasonably priced set of cables can't do [source: Gizmodo.com]. Not that your helpful big-box sales associate will tell you that, of course! Save your money for DVDs and Blu-rays of your favorite movies, and go with the cheaper cables. They conduct electrons every bit as easily and efficiently as more expensive wires, and that's all they need to do.

And while brand-name batteries do tend to have longer lives, Consumer Reports has done extensive tests to prove that this doesn't outweigh the cost. Don't go for the cheapest batteries, which do tend to fade pretty quickly, but you don't need to hit the top of the line. A lot of marketing goes into telling you the advantages of using longer-lasting batteries, but the price difference can be staggering. For example, batterytruth.info found that batteries from Thunderbolt Magnum, a generic, are almost 57 percent cheaper than the next best value, Duracell CopperTop batteries.