Sunday, July 27, 2008

Inflation and Balderdash...

...and yes you know I meant to put another word, also beginning with a B, in the title instead of balderdash. I recently went to a modern day drugstore to buy some batteries. You know the type of drugstore, one of the ones that sell everything from pantyhose to pills to popcorn. As for the batteries, nothing special really, just some run of the mill button type alkaline batteries for a small electronic scale, LR44 batteries to be specific.

I asked the price of 3 of these batteries and was told they were $12.95. Not $12.95 for all three, but rather $12.95 each. I was pretty surprised to hear that, and asked the clerk to double check on the price. 'Yep, that'll be $12.95 each, everything has gone up in price because gas went up'. I was flabbergasted, I mean really, could inflation due to the high price of gasoline have made the price of batteries go through the roof too, or was it just price gouging? Since I wasn't born yesterday, and since I really did not need to use the scale except to weigh a few pieces of gold jewelry I am considering putting up for sale, I figured why bother - I could have them weighed another day.

This morning was another day. I signed onto where I had just sold an item in an auction. I guess being on an auction site of one sort or another led me to think about selling the jewelry, and that made me think I had to know the weight of the pieces, and that made me think of the scale, and that brought me back to the batteries and to the really high price quote. So I plugged the term LR44 into my browser. What pops up but several links to sites selling these batteries. I took a look at a few of them, and that made me realize I had been bullshitted balderdashed by the store clerk who told me they were $12.95 each. I suppose this was quite possibly through no fault of her own but likely by way of the fault of the greed mongers who own the store, or simply by way of a glitch in their pricing system. You see I saw them for as low $1.00 each if you bought 1 to 4 of them at a time, and saw them as high as $2.50 each plus shipping. Now don't start to think that shipping would be expensive for them and therefore drive the price up to $12.95 each, because I also found this deal: 50 of them for only $22.00 with free shipping at one site:

That is 44 cents each, shipping included. I would open a battery store if I could get em that cheap then think I could really sell them for $12.95 each on a regular basis.

The thing that gets me the most though is how anyone could be so naive as to believe that a commonplace a battery as is the LR 44 could have a legitimate price tag on it of $12.95 (or $38.85 for three plus tax), and also believe it is the price of gasoline that caused it to go up so high. Are people that friggin stupid? Don't answer that, it will just depress me to hear from someone other than myself that yes they are indeed that stupid. Now don't try to defend this particular clerk by saying maybe she was new to the store and was not familiar with the prices; she has worked there for years, and has been in the photography department where they sell those batteries for as long as I can recall her being in the store. It just boggles the mind that people are so easily manipulated by greed mongers, and that they would be willing to pay stellar prices based on bullshit balderdash.

As for me, I'll buy them somewhere where I can get a reasonable price, like from an online retailer, or from a store with prices that honestly reflect the worth of these batteries. I'll also be going back to the same store wherein I was given the $12.95 apiece price quote, and I'll be taking along a copy of a few of the ads I found to show to the manager of the store. I figure that, and a bit of a speech about how I feel like they tried to cheat me may get me the batteries at a fair price, and maybe get me an apology and some future discounts. If not, I can shop at their competition across the street.

All the best,
Glenn B


Humble wife said...

Did you see the radio interview(es) that couldn't buy meat because of the high prices of gas? Both mother and daughter were morbidly obese! Everyone is running a numbers game.

I am sick of this crap fest...and like you we shop lots on line. We buy all our batteries and even ink for the printer on line and even with shipping save huge amounts.

At walmart I have noticed a 5 cent hike on nearly everything. So I have gone to the competitor, a small grocery chain that is only here in NM. The competitor runs weekly ads that actually have items on sale, as Walmart has avoided sales for a long time.

Oh well to keep on long winded comment I think of the (i think) allstate commercial where the actor says "if we are not in a recession it sure feels like we are" What is going on with these Sky is falling...CHICKEN LITTLES???

Sorry to run on,

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