..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

... just to remind myself why I'm doing this ...

Depending on our personalities, the world can be a crowded place or a very lonely one. For those who seek comfort in numbers, there is no shortage of hangers on, but for those who avoid that circus, keeping thier own counsel can leave them feeling quite alone and disengaged from the mad place we call home. Life is a trade off and most of us choose how we live it.

For me, I'd rather work things out as best I can, using my own thoughts and feelings to sort things out. Following the crowd has never been a temptation to me, but that has its price, one that I'm totally comfortable with every day I get to stand up and be the person I aspire to be. When I sometimes lose track of who that is, I come here to remember, to reconnect and to resume my quest.

These posts are a reflection of some of what matters to me and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to collect these thoughts as they form in my head, as they prepare the way for my life, as it evolves from one day to the next. They re-inspire me when things seem to be floating about, with no particular aim or purpose, and it does happen from time to time.

So, today I had these thoughts that I think are worth writing down for the future me to look back on when I need to ...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Integrity in retail ? ... prove it!

50%, 60%, 70% and even 90% OFF! Just who in their reasoned mind believes it? As a retailer, when I see this kind of promotional activity, the questions I ask myself are 'off what?', what kind of margins do they work with? How can they live with their principles if indeed they sell these items for the full base amount {before the OFF part}at ANY other time? Who is that willfully blind to such practices at any other time when they see such baiting? ... and on and on.

Surely such apparent discounting renders the thought of any fair pricing strategy by such retailers as nigh to  improbable. If, indeed, trust is an element in the transaction cycle, there is surely very little, if any at all, in such dealings. Why would any reasoned person even begin to believe that these operators support either the product or the buyer?

Loss leaders notwithstanding, generally, the cost of operations has to come from the selling revenue, as does the product landed cost and any margin of profit, without which operations would eventually grind to a halt. If these elements are all accounted for and such notable discounting is a regular feature, the question of integrity can not be far removed.

Under such conditions, it becomes very difficult to establish a supportable value or valuation method for these goods and that can be construed as a deliberate strategy that, in the end, renders the consumer vulnerable to all kinds of subtle and not so subtle manipulations. Just because we call it "business" doesn't absolve such activity from exercising integrity, fairness, honesty or any other label you want to put on it.

It is reasonable to expect minor differences in selling prices of the same product at competing locations. Many factors make up the pricing method and many factors vary from business to business. When "discounting" reaches levels above 50 or 60 percent, there's something going on that is probably not open knowledge and that makes pretty good reason to suspect the whole business right from the start.

While it may be hard to toe the line of fairness and reason, businesses that give in to the lure of quick and dirty profits offered by the temptation of such manipulative means do a disservice to the fair-minded segment of the business world, the trusting consumer and to themselves. In the long run, everybody looses something and nothing ever gets better.