I Did Some “Scale” Shopping Over The Weekend

By | February 9, 2016

I did some furniture shopping over the weekend and it made me realize the real difference in quality between certain types of products. You may be wondering, what does this have to do with shopping for scales, but hang in there and you’ll see. I was going from store to store and I was noticing the quality of the different types of furniture and how much it varies from store to different store. In fact, as I was leaving one of the “higher end” furniture stores, the sales associate reminded me that:

“You’re going to see lots of different types of items up and down the street but not very many are going to be comparable to the quality and the construction of my furniture”.

And when she said that it got me to thinking that really is true in our scale industry as well. For example, if you’re looking for a high quality floor scale system that you can buy and it’s going to last you for years and years, then you’re probably not going to purchase a floor scale on ebay that costs $499 with Free Shipping.

The floor scale example above is just one example that I could cite. The same thing would be true with laboratory analytical balances, load cells, etc..


One thing that was also interesting was looking at the different quality of the furniture as I was going through the different stores. This also really hit home with me when the sales associate I was with later mentioned the different levels of quality. Some of the furniture was noticeably cheaper made. The wood was thinner. And the items just had a less expensive feel to them.

Now I’m no furniture buying expert, but in my opinion, when going from store to store, and sitting up & down on the different pieces, it became quite obvious that furniture that was higher priced was, in most cases, better built and would probably last for many, many years; as opposed to the less expensive choices that didn’t seem to have near as much quality built in. And it was fairly easy to tell since I had just looked at the high end version at the other store.

rice lake roughdeck floor scale

The furniture example I think also can be translated to the scale industry. When you look at a Rice Lake Roughdeck floor scale for example, the quality and the construction are top of the line. Now of course you’re going to pay more for a scale like this but the scale is capable of lasting you for years. Maybe even decades, dare we say.

Now when you compare this to one of the auction site floor scales (which we have evaluated in person by the way) the quality difference really does start to show up. Now I will admit visually there doesn’t appear to be much difference but when you look and items such as the no name load cells and the junction box (if it has one) and the overall shipping weight, the truth starts to show.

And to be fair, many of the low cost pallet scales have gotten somewhat better over the years but I would still argue that they are cutting corners (sometimes literally) in order to bring the price down. I’ve seen that first hand with quite a few of the decks. It used to be that a 4×4 was a 48″ x 48″ size deck with same size diamond tread plate. In many cases now, the metric system is used by the overseas manufacturer in China and the top tread plate is closer to a 47.2″ x 47.2″ size. I won’t even mention how much overhang the top deck plate has versus the Roughdeck. The point is, as a consumer, you need to do your homework and understand what you’re getting and what you’re not getting.

High quality floor scales construction really comes into play because remember you’re placing hundreds or thousands of pounds on this item time after time.

With the furniture I was looking at in most cases you’d be placing several hundred pounds on the furniture. But with this floor scale you could be placing several hundred or several thousand pounds, or maybe even five thousand pounds or even ten or twenty or thirty thousand pounds depending on which type of floor scale that you’re going to purchase. So that’s where the construction, the reputation, of the scale manufacturer really comes into play.


Finally, as I was strolling through the different stores and looking at the various price tags it got me to thinking about the different prices that we offer on scales that appear to be the same item. I mean how can one couch that looks exactly the same as the other one be $1000 more!

Well, I’m sure we have customers who wonder the same thing. For example, how can that Inscale floor scale be so much less expensive than the Rice Lake Roughdeck? Well, I can’t answer the furniture difference other than it’s probably better construction and materials perhaps.

Now, on the scale side, I can tell you that the Roughdeck has a better junction box, better load cells, and better digital weight indicator.

Is it a better purchase for you or your business? I would argue it probably is if you’re planning on making this a one time purchase. However, if you’re looking for something that fits into a certain budget, you might be able to get away with purchasing a lower cost item.

When you’re looking to maximize your buying, I would suggest contacting us and tell us what you’re looking to buy and what your budget is.

Then, we can take that information and try to come up with an item(s) that will work for your needs. We can also help you to steer away from items or manufacturers that we know are not good choices.

I hope that this article was informative and helped you to think about some of the different challenges that are presented when looking to purchase an industrial floor scale system.