Earbud headphones always seem to break at one point or another. If you have fallen victim to a pair of headphones becoming defective and don't have the time to learn how to solder, check the company's website for a return program. At the very least, you can generally send in a support request.
One of the ears of my old Skullcandy headphones recently stopped working, and I was able to get a $50 coupon for sending them in.
This is a pretty obvious idea, sending back a product for a replacement if it stops working. But I know of a lot of cases where people just throw away their shot earbuds and buy new ones. Don't be afraid to do this with any product that stops working, even if you think your warranty might be up.