College Lifestyle and Product Blog for Dorm Room Living | DormSmart: Cheap isn't all it's cracked up to be! Cheap College Dorm Essentials, Cheap Dorm Buys... Cheap Cheap Cheap! Get the Dorm 411!

September 2, 2010

Cheap isn't all it's cracked up to be! Cheap College Dorm Essentials, Cheap Dorm Buys... Cheap Cheap Cheap! Get the Dorm 411!

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
Creator of

OMG! We seldom vent at Dorm411, but every now and then we just have to cut loose.  We've been reading and hearing about how college bound students should buy cheap dorm products, cheap college dorm essentials, cheap dorm buys, cheap dorm supplies, cheap dorm trunks, cheap dorm appliances, cheap dorm rugs... cheap cheap cheap... seems to be today's popular buzz word, catch phrase... So we decided to go to and provide our smart dorm shoppers with the definition of cheap (see below).

Seriously, does a tough economy mean that retailers should pass cheap dorm supplies off on unsuspecting student shoppers? Obviously, we are all budget conscious, shopping for bargains, great values, but cheap? Would you put your child in a cheap car seat? Would you drive across a cheaply constructed bridge? Would you fly in a cheap airplane? Would you ride in a cheap elevator? Would you jump with a cheap parachute or cheap bungee cord? Seriously, would you? And, have you seen some of the price tags on those cheap college dorm essentials?

Remember these sayings:

"You get what you pay for."
"Nothing in life is free."
"Quality over quantity."
"A cheap price is a short cut to being cheated."
"If it sounds too good to be true it probably is."

At Dorm411, we are not saying you shouldn't shop for a bargain, but you need to be careful when it comes to buying certain college dorm essentials such as dorm bedding for a good nights sleep (important for student success in college), electrical appliances such as coffee makers, irons, computer equipment (don't want to burn down your residence hall)... and safety products (take campus safety seriously)... need we say more? Maybe we'll say a little more... why would you choose to buy a cheap knock off iron without auto shutoff then buy a separate auto shutoff outlet to turn it off instead of choosing to buy a quality auto shutoff iron and having it shipped to your campus for the same price? Hello?  How is that dorm smart? OK... that's all we are saying on this matter! Thanks for listening!

Let us know your thoughts on the matter...


cheap   /tʃip/ Show Spelled [cheep] Show IPA adjective, -er, -est, adverb, noun


1. costing very little; relatively low in price; inexpensive: a cheap dress.

2. costing little labor or trouble: Words are cheap.

3. charging low prices: a very cheap store.

4. of little account; of small value; mean; shoddy: cheap conduct; cheap workmanship.

5. embarrassed; sheepish: He felt cheap about his mistake.

6. obtainable at a low rate of interest: when money is cheap.

7. of decreased value or purchasing power, as currency depreciated due to inflation.

8. stingy; miserly: He's too cheap to buy his own brother a cup of coffee.


9. at a low price; at small cost: He is willing to sell cheap.


10. cheap at twice the price, exceedingly inexpensive: I found this old chair for eight dollars—it would be cheap at twice the price.

11. on the cheap, Informal . inexpensively; economically: She enjoys traveling on the cheap.



bef. 900; ME cheep (short for phrases, as good cheep cheap, lit., good bargain), OE cēap bargain, market, trade; c. G Kauf, ON kaup; all < L caupō innkeeper, tradesman; see chapman

—Related forms

cheapish, adjective

cheap·ish·ly, adverb

cheaply, adverb

cheapness, noun

o·ver·cheap, adjective

o·ver·cheap·ly, adverb

o·ver·cheap·ness, noun

un·cheap·ly, adverb


1, 4. Cheap, inexpensive agree in their suggestion of low cost. Cheap now usually suggests shoddiness, inferiority, showy imitation, complete unworthiness, and the like: a cheap kind of fur. Inexpensive emphasizes lowness of price (although more expensive than cheap ) and suggests that the value is fully equal to the cost: an inexpensive dress. It is often used as an evasion for the more specific cheap. 4. paltry, low, poor, inferior, base.


1. costly, dear, expensive. 8. generous, charitable.


  1. I get it! Last week, I needed to buy a new power cord for my Dell laptop so I shopped for the cheapest price. I was so happy because I saved a lot of money by purchasing a "compatible" generic power cord. When I got it, it felt so much lighter than my orginal power cord which seemed a little strange. I used it for about 2 days but it got so hot I thought it would catch fire. When I opened it up... there was no insulation inside. So, I had go out and buy the correct power cord by Dell. In the end I lost money...

  2. I purchased a dorm trunk last year that was really cheap. It arrived busted up which should have been my first clue. They replaced it and it broke again. Now I need a new one. Big waste of money.