Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Impulse Not Buying

I wrote in an earlier post that we paid off a credit card bill and a college loan rather than buying Solstice presents for each other at home.

Well, ... Retailers report disappointing December sales
NEW YORK (AP) - An already disappointing holiday shopping season turned out to be even worse than expected for many of the nation's retailers, who Thursday reported tepid sales gains for December.

Speaking of not buying presents . . . If you are committed to reducing your debt and simplifying your life, I found The Compact quite interesting. (Though maybe too extreme for me.)

Here's the blurb from their Yahoo Group.

Welcome to The Compact.
We are a group of individuals committed to a 12-month flight from the consumer grid (calendar year 2007).

The Compact has several aims (more or less prioritized below):
  • To go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of disposable consumer culture and to support local businesses, farms, etc. -- a step that, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact.
  • To reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er).
  • To simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

We've agreed to follow two principles (see exceptions etc. on our blog).

#1 Don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)

#2 Borrow, barter, or buy used.

And this from another source:

New members, who sign up on the group's Yahoo Web site, include seniors on fixed incomes, farmers in Alabama and self-proclaimed shopaholics who say they have a problem and need help. (Read the full article in the San Francisco Chronicle .)

And this from Wikipedia

Retail pricing
The pricing technique used by most retailers is cost-plus pricing. This involves adding a markup amount (or percentage) to the retailers cost.

So, think about what your throwing your money away on and to whom you are throwing it. Are you getting your money's worth? Where is your paycheck going?

Will not buying anything new for a year hurt the economy? Doubtful.

There will always be a demand for things that are new, because things wear out.

There will always be an abundance of folks who MUST HAVE that purse to match their shoes - ALL OF THEIR SHOES.

However, if retailers price what the market will bear, (how much you're willing to spend for an item) we can send a message (even though it may fall on deaf ears) that their pricing is becoming unbearable.

It's a thought.


Anonymous said...

OK, I think reducing your debt & simplifying your life is a worthwhile idea. But I don't understand the problem people have with retailers using "cost-plus pricing." How else are they going to make a profit? Say you were in business for yourself, and you could produce something for $5. Pricing it at cost to the consumer would mean you sell it for $5. But if you do that, how are you going to survive?
You have to set a price high enough so that you'll have a profit, because you've got bills too!

Doesn't the same principle apply in the theater? Don't the producers back a play in hopes of making a profit? If all they're doing is covering their expenses, they'd better hope they have another form of income....


Just-Chuck said...

I totally understand the cost plus idea. After all, it business.

THEY want something for nothing too.

It's a war between consumer and provider. And the provider will cost plus it as much as the market will bear.

How much is something worth? As much as someone is willing to pay for it. If one (with many) says loud enough "we're not going to take it anymore" then something will have to give.

Let's keep this conversation going.