Tuesday, March 14, 2006 ______________________________________________________________________________

For Just another 50 cents 

I resent the insiduous tactics various vendors employ to have you part with more of your money. If I only want to buy one unit of a single item, that is my perogative and I should not have to be assaulted by bulk discounts or strongarmed by offers such as "buy one get one free" - not to be confused with it's more agreeable counterpart the "50% off merchandise".

It's obvious what they are doing. They are overpricing single units to force you to get the most for your money. But why shouldn't I get the most for my money upfront? I mean seriously, take the shipping rates for example. For $1.50 more than I would pay for ground shipping (which would take 4-6 weeks, by then no one would be interested in whatever there was to be shipped. Think about it, postcards sent while on vacation accompanied by some tacky, cheap souvenir would arrive after everyone's tired of looking at photos of said vacation.) I can have my package shipped by air: 7-10 business days, if you please. That's just for international shipping, which, oddly enough is cheaper that shipping within Canada. For shipping within this great nation, which surely is less serviced than the many international locations to which the great $7.30 air shipping rate applies (the remote Nicaraguan mountain ranges, the foothills of the Andes, that bit of Russia that bends around and touches about every other known country) an extra $1 gets your package there in 2 days rather than a rather excruciating 2 weeks. I mean why would you not shell out the extra dollars? Heck in mailing two packages out today (one to a remote international location - a longkang somewhere in the East Coast of Singapore *heh* - and another to a fellow Canadian albeit out East) I've spent less than I would on a latte (which seems to be the standard currency for monetary comparison nowadays) to get my packages to their wards while they were still salient - something rather important in this era od instant communication. Heck, if I were made to wait 4-6 wees for anything, I wouldn't. I'm already annoyed that Survivor has decided to make me wait 2 weeks for a fresh installment, 3 weeks if you count that the last episode was a clip show with new material that was better left on the cutting room floor, which I gather it was in the first place. Lousy revival of sub-par material. I think they should've kept the discovery of the hidden immunity idol from us and trotted it out in the fake episode. That would have made it worthwhile. But who am I to say anything - I watched the whole episode, just the same.

I digress.

I really resent how people selling truly worthless trinkets tell you that it's 1 for $3, 2 for $5 and 3 for $6. I mean really, by the last count, you're on a buy 2 get 1 free deal, which is a huge rip. You end up buying things you'll never going to use because hey, for that much more you might as well get it. I'm wearing this ridiculous puffy hair tie right now because I didn't have the foresight to carry one with me today. I will admit that I was drawn to it because it has a puff ball on it that feels good when you touch it. Alright fine. I'm touching it now. But my point is that this thing could not have cost the vendor anymore than 25 cents at the most. All her stuff is so night market that you know she's just hoarding all these bits and bobbles from her frequent trips home to see her parents in some Asian nation with cheap bits and bobbles threatening to flood the streets and make the traffic worse than it already is. But here she is, selling a hair elastic with a puff ball attached for 1 for $3, 2 for $5...I looked her in the eye and said that I would relieve her of her wares for $2 - and that I would only take ONE, that's right ONE hair tie.

She giggled and gave me a look that clearly said "hey, you must be from one of those Asian nations where cheap bits and bobbles threaten to flood the streets and make the traffic worse than it already is." She tried even to imply a conspiratorial "don't let the white folk in on this scam" but I would have none of that. I paid without returning her gaze and left. The shame, the nerve of some people. I shouldn't complain though, she could have refused my offer and I would have been saddled with a second hair tie whose colour would prevent me from ever using it in order to keep my hair out of my face. Then again, I could've tried to pawn it off in one of the Craftster unconditional swaps. Lots of people ask for "a surprise"... but I'm pretty sure that that's not what they typically have in mind, neccessarily.

It's even worse when you're shopping for a household of two. Just what the hell did you think I was going to do with 7kg of breakfast cereal? Feed the fucking homeless? Sorry, they make me feel bad enough the way the congregate outside the liquor store and look at you as if to say that if you can afford the luxury of alcohol surely you can afford them a meal. Besides, with all the foot traffic they've planted themselves beside (and if there's anything Donald Trump has taught me is that foot traffic is key to success) I'm going home to enjoy my wine without handing off my change, which I use to tip my favourite fishmonger with because he proudly gives that to the United Way...which is an organization which helps the homeless. *sigh* there are some days you just can't win.


posted by Joie! at 1:32 PM

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