Monday, November 09, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

And so it begins.

You can tell the spirit of giving and good cheer is upon us when price wars break out like teenager's acne. A week or so ago it was all about books. Walmart had announced it was slashing its prices, so in retaliation Amazon announced it was slashing its prices more than Walmart, which I believe led Walmart to retaliate with OH NO YOU DIDN'T and then Amazon yelled YO MAMMA and they went back and forth undercutting each other by a penny.


And now it's DVDs. Walmart is going to sell them for $10, so Amazon is going to sell them for $9.99 and now Target is going to sell them for $9.98 Seriously.

Now, maybe I'm supposed to be thrilled with all this free market competition. Maybe I'm supposed to be confused or dazzled by their AMAZINGLY LOW PRICES. Most likely Amazon is praying that while I'm stopping by to buy my El Cheapo version of UP I'll make an impulse purchase of something like a $2000 treadmill. And I'm sure that Walmart is praying that while I'm stopping by to buy THE GREATEST EPISODES OF THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW, I might some sort of impulse purchse of, .... well, I'm not sure what, exactly, because Walmart gives me the hives on general principals.

So to Walmart...Amazon...Target...and anybody else who is hopped up on this economic merry-go-round, I'm going to let you in on a little secret:

Your plan is not working.

In fact, it is SO not working that it actually IS working...Against you.  The more you waste time undercutting each other by a penny here and a nickel there, the more determined I am to walk into a brick and mortar store and give my business to an independently owned local merchant instead of a monolithic chain. Will I pay more?  I'm certain I will.  But honestly, it's not that much more, and I get so much more from them in return.  Bookstores are a little slice of heaven.  I love the overstuffed chairs, the table with books set aside for reading groups and the siren song wafting over from the nearly forbidden land of new hardback books (oh, the temptation!).  Every pile of books represents possibilities and choices to make, and it's a rare day when I walk out of a bookstore empty-handed.  My local bookstore is my oasis.  It is the calm in my hectic life, and I don't want it gobbled up by Internet retailers and discount houses.

So, sorry folks.  My penny saved is not going to be your penny earned. And honestly, you all just look SILLY  fighting over chump change.

However, if you decide to have an all-out knock-down drag-out on 42 inch flat-screen TVs, well then, you'd have my full attention.

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