I love branded items. Remember those rowdy cowboys in the Marlboro cigarette commercials or the sexy, almost naked A&F models that subconsciously told you to wear A&F and feel as sexy as them. I tried – it didn’t make me look or feel sexy – but I loved A&F just the same.

I recently bought a 128gb iPhone 7 Plus, matte black. It was quite pricey so I decided to scrimp on accessories – a glass screen protector and transparent skin cover. Big mistake! Two weeks later, the screen protector had bubbles on the edges and started coming off, while the skin cover got deformed. My brand new, shiny device didn’t look new at all and it didn’t have the protection I required.

The perennial problem of what to do with an older device when you upgrade haunts me here in Toronto. I wish I were in the Philippines where there are many friends and relatives who would delight in having the older devices.

In ensuring protection from day one, I end up with devices that have no scratches and dents, and fetch a higher price when sold pre-owned online. Such was the case with my iPhone 6 Plus and the one before it. Online buyers are quite scrupulous and many have been scammed by online sellers, so they are very careful when buying online.

I ended up going back to the Apple store and buying the proper screen protector and cover for twice the price of the unbranded items. They also installed the screen protector with a machine which ensured that alignment was perfect.

Lesson re-learned: branded items promise and deliver quality and durability. In trying to scrimp I ended up spending more. Now my iPhone looks immaculate and I’m happy with its protection.

This principle applies not only to electronic items – it’s universal in my world. I can cite countless examples of how branded items provided a better experience and made it worth the extra spend.