980 Price Magic
You have to wonder how some businesses set their prices. They seem to be unrelated to reality.
Take Macy’s, which at the moment is doing pretty well, at least on paper. If you look at some of their sales and one day and four hour specials you wonder how they recover the cost of the merchandise. “Originally $X … now 60% off.” The questions this raises: (1) were they ever sold at the original price? (2) If yes, was it for more than ten minutes? (3) How can they discount stuff that deeply and that quickly and still stay in business.
The opposite side of that coin is the airlines. Their fares are unrelated to distance, to destination the cost of paying for, flying and maintaining an aircraft. Some short hops are outrageously overpriced. Check it out at any airline or travel site.
Car dealers routinely sell stuff at or below the invoice price. How can they sell for less than they pay? They can’t. What they don’t tell you is that the manufacturer kicks back part of the cost. All perfectly legal. No set schedule.
Some generic drugs don’t cost a whole lot less than the name brands, but you pay less because your insurance picks up more of the cost. Are generics as good? Some yes, some no. They have to have the same main ingredient as the name brand. But all the other stuff? Not so. Yes, drug companies have to make up for research costs and the cost of cooking up medicine that either doesn’t work when tried or isn’t approved for use. But please! Some of this stuff is priced based on nothing more than imagination. And cash flow. And greed.
--Honduras has solved its prison overcrowding problem the hard way. How many hundred inmates dead in a fire? And the reports are that the firefighters couldn’t get the guys out of their cells because the guards with the keys flew the coop at the first whiff of smoke in the air.
--Gov. Christie (R-NJ) has started a big flap over lowering the flags to half staff tomorrow, the day of Whitney Houston’s funeral in Newark. He was right to order it. And people who say she doesn’t deserve it because she did dope and booze are (a) out of their minds and (b) not the type who notice flag-lowerings in the first place.
--You can’t make this stuff up: a customer had a heart attack while eating dinner at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, which specializes in high fat, high cholesterol food named for cardiac ailments. Nothing like living up to your name. (By the way, speaking of people like Christie, people who weigh over 350 pounds eat free.)
Have You Noticed? People saying Greenwich Village has “grown too commercial” in recent years said the same thing starting with the 1940s and that both groups were right.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2012