Everyone who buys one from us gets a free cubic yard of plastic packing peanuts, America’s new breakfast treat.
This hoarding was no easy trick. It was real work. But there always was the expectation that demand would continue to outstrip supply and we could cash in for big bucks.
First, we tried Amazon. It was backordered. Then we tried the websites of eight of the nine top shopping TV channels. No luck.
Finally, the ninth channel had some. Bingo! We stocked up.
And waited some more.
And then still more.
Finally, there was the DHL driver at the door.
DHL? Who uses DHL on this continent?
“Packages from India, Sir. Sign here.”
The guy loads a big box onto a hand truck and plunks it on the doorstep.
In India, they pack like Amazon.
Huge box. Full of packing peanuts, those little electrostatically charged Styrofoam “s” shaped chunks of plastic you have to chase and never fully catch. Someone wrote they taste like Cheerios. Um… no thanks. A small box of 50 masks in the middle of all those Cheerios.
The delivery man said “You have two more boxes of this size… I’ll go get them. He got them.
So… 150 masks, enough packing peanuts to safely ship a piano.
Let’s try out the masks. The elastic pulled out of three of the first five. But even with a defect rate like that, our customers snapped them up.
Meantime we hunted for new sources. The Vermont Country Store or some outfit like it had some. We ordered. Masks-R- us sold us 500 for pennies each.
Then… there was the DHL guy again, this time with a package from China. More Cheerios.
What, we can’t make this stuff here?
But now, we were drowning in masks and moving them out at a good clip.
HSN or was it QVC had a special with auto delivery subscriptions and time payments. We subscribed.
And then, suddenly, every store on the planet had plenty. Target, Wal-Mart, Publix, Ace, Home Despot, Lowe’s, the three remaining Sears stores and their poor cousins, the two remaining KMarts.
The Exxon Quick-Bite had them. So did the Bargain Outlet, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Men's Wearhouse, McDonald’s, and the liquor store. The neighborhood Quilting Society had them. So did the VFW. And Kiwanis. High school kids were peddling them door to door. “Support our Soccer Team… Buy a mask!”
But no one beat our prices!
Now, suddenly, here comes the CDC with word we don’t need all those masks anymore. We and all of the smarter merchants listed above are out big bucks and our warehouses are overstuffed.
Maybe the Quilting Society can take them off our hands.
Or maybe we should just keep them under wraps until the next pandemic.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Any Questions? email@example.com
© WR 2021