The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a financial concept. The idea is that the initial price of something may not reflect its full cost. For instance, one appliance may be cheaper to purchase than another, but the supplies or maintenance required to keep it running may add up to a higher amount over time.
Other items may also change the TCO. For instance, one store may advertise the price of a refrigerator without including the cost to deliver and install it. One brand of cookware may break more easily and frequently than another.