always cheap sh…umm, low prices

“There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.” – John Ruskin

And there you have the conundrum we call Wal*Mart. It was just last night, as I was reading newspaper ad inserts, that I commented to my wife that one of the big problems with that particular chain is much of the various products (not all mind you) are actually nothing more that cheap s**t. Of course the converse side of that issue is that there are so many, MANY people who are more than happy to own cheap s**t. When I think about it I don’t blame Wal*Mart for all the problems everyone seems to want to attribute to their methods of running a business. It’s more the fault of anyone who willingly shops there. In other words – you broke it, you fix it.

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About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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One Response to always cheap sh…umm, low prices

  1. sidelobe says:

    You and I must read the same quote feed. That quote caught my eye, but for a different context. Mine has to do with government contracts that are constrained to buy the cheapest solution, regardless of merit, so long as it meets basic requirement. This is counter-productive in so many cases, but I guess it works. I also work for a big company that seems to not understand that sometimes it’s worthwhile to pay for quality. Not always, but when it’s your bread-and-butter, it’s worth spending a little extra.
    I think that one complaint about Wal*Mart is that they drive the prices down by forcing the supplier to reduce their prices according to a schedule. This forces the manufacturer to reduce their prices, generally reducing quality. Pretty soon, the manufacturer can’t make it any cheaper. They’ve put all of their eggs in the Wal*Mart basket, and can’t afford to lose that contract, and just fail.
    Yeah, it’s poor management on the part of the supplier. But passing blame is always preferable to doing the job right.

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