Cheers for Price Fixing

Sale, sale sale!

This is what I see everywhere I look. I feel cheated. Not only whenever buying something for the normal price.
Especially in the internet, everything is extremely cheap. A lot cheaper than in the department store or specialized shop.

And you always find someone who sells at even less. As soon as you bought something, you will see the very same article selling for less next week.

Everybody knows you must not buy the newest models, anyway. Only four weeks later, they will cost half as much.

In twitter, too, you can buy discount coupons for printers, laptops and computers. You get a code, and then you can buy a certain article for 100 or more UDS less than advertised. This business side of twitter is called “corporate twitter”. It is how the great concerns try to get rid of their shelf warmers and meet their quarterly quota.

In former times, we had list prices and fair margins. And controlled prices.

Until there came a day when the mail order business undercut the otherwise stable prices of, for instance, model railroads (by up to 20%). The articles were clearly specified (for example in the Märklin catalogue). The customer knew exactly what he wanted.

Regardless of the discount and the resulting lower margin, the mail order business shop made a higher profit. The toy shop in the inner city was not able to compete. The nice display windows you could dream in front of and the competent saleslady cost a lot more than the mail order business had to pay for its small adverts in the model railroad magazine.

When a producer refused to deliver to mail order businessmen, he was taken to court for braking laws of competition. And later, the controlled prices were totally abandoned.

Instead, we got the recommended sales (moon) price. And today we have the dilemma of never knowing if we have not fallen victim to some fraud, after all.

And in the inner cities, the special shops disappear and the department stores go bankrupt. In my mind, the good old controlled price was the better idea. At least, I believe there are two sides to every coin.

(Translated by EG)

When I went shopping before going to the theatre last Saturday, I tried a Regent suit for 1,800.- Euros (with 50 % off), but it did not quite fit. Later, I bought a suit in the same size at Dressler for the regular price of 548.- Euros. Luck or misfortune?

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