Monday, December 2, 2013

Buy, Buy, Buy!


So I just have to ask....why are you sitting at your computer reading this when there is "stuff" still on store shelves that needs buying?  SLACKER!  

Black Friday has been officially declared a bust.  Sales were down 1.7% compared to last year.  The hope now is that CyberMonday sales can make up for it.  If not, the economies of the free world will collapse, and it will all be YOUR fault!

The statistics guys are trotting out one possible excuse for the poor sales numbers is that, because of the lateness of Thanksgiving this year, there are 6 fewer shopping days before Christmas.  So what?  Doesn't that just mean you're going to have to shop faster to buy everything you'll give to friends and family?  Are you going to just dump a few names from your list because you "ran out of time"?  Are you really going to pick family winners and losers?  Good luck with that!

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Here's something interesting I just heard:  If you're shopping online at, say, Amazon, and you don't complete your order and just abandon your "shopping cart", you're likely to receive an email from them a little later saying that shopping cart item has been miraculously reduced, "hurry, limited time only, act NOW!"  But oddly, people using an Apple computer are generally NOT extended as good of a cut rate price as someone using an old fashioned PC.  That's because Apple users are generally viewed as willing to pay more.  THOSE BASTARDS!

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Thinking a bit deeper, this is what legitimately concerns me about our shopping habits today:  Our society wants a "deal" on everything we buy.  We seem to forget it's pretty much a "zero-sum" game....for every winner, there's also a loser.  For you to get your deal, someone else takes a hit.  

Sure, some things are getting cheaper because technology is improving, making them less expensive to produce.  But that's also likely to mean someone lost their job to a robot.  Or your neighbor lost his job to someone in China or Bangladesh.  Or someone took a pay cut in order to keep from being laid off.

You say "not my problem, I've got mine"?  But for how long?  If those are the people YOUR company is hoping to sell YOUR product to, and they are no longer able to buy what you're selling, well, it's a vicious race to the bottom.  That's one reason middle-class incomes have been stagnant for the past 20 years (after accounting for inflation).

I'm afraid the one thing Walmart and the other discounters have taught us how to do is shoot ourselves in the foot.  *sigh*

S  



10 comments:

  1. Soon FedEx and UPS drivers will be out of a job once Amazon activates its drone air force. Though someone on the local news brought up a good point: if you have a gun you could shoot down the drone to take someone's stuff. Arr, it be a new age of piracy then! Shiver me timbers!

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  2. Without Walmart, there would be a smaller middle class. Low prices make the paycheck go farther. I think without Sam's or COSTCO, no one would have really cool grills and patio furniture.

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    1. I think it's one of those chicken or the egg issues. Because wages are stagnant, we now HAVE to go to discounters to stretch our dollars. But who caused wages to stall? Discounters, sourcing stuff from the Orient? I dunno.

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  3. I thought Black Friday sales were down because of shopping on T-giving.

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    1. What about people like me who did our shopping weeks ago? Are our purchases counted at all?

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  4. I don't buy anything that isn't on sale, and if what I'm eying isn't on sale I figure out a way to make the merchant sell it to me for less. Most stores have managers who have the authority to make bagains and match prices and it never hurts to ask.

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    1. Kind of makes you wonder what the point is of the MSRP? They can make it whatever they want, can't they, as no one pays it anyway?

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  5. I need you all to have really crappy credit .... or no credit will do .... or just prefer to not have credit that will work too.

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    1. Recruiting for Rent A Center are you?

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  6. I haven't even thought about shopping yet. Won't do much of it anyway. Well, groceries, yes. Those are important. Gotta have good food for the Christmas feast. :-)

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