A recent visit to the local vacuum cleaner store prompted me to ask the owner whether he recommended the Dyson products on his showroom floor. “Because they’re bagless they need a lot of service and cleaning,” he replied. “In addition to what you do at home you need to bring them in every two years for about $150 of professional service. Then they die after about five years. Compare that to $20 per year of bags for a Miele.” Consumer Reports rates the cleaning performance of the Dysons as far inferior to competitive products (a $550 “Cinetic Animal” machine scores below a $150 Hoover canister), except for their “Ball Multi Floor” upright ($400, albeit underperforms a $160 Eureka, a $180 Hoover, and a $200 Kenmore (all with bags)). How can they sell any machines at all then? “Dyson puts a huge amount of money into marketing,” said the owner. “Miele puts the money into the product and counts on the fact that once you buy a Miele you will be a Miele customer for a lifetime.”
He had scarcely finished this explanation when a guy walked in with a $500 Dyson upright. He plugged it in and there was an insane amount of noise but no suction. “You’re going to need some new filters and a thorough cleaning,” said the vacuum expert….
What do readers think? Is there anything to like about Dyson vacuums or does their success as a company prove that the best path to success is through superior marketing?
[Disclosure: I have a 20-year-old Miele that still works great.]