Tag Archives: retail sales

When It’s Raining You Need An Umbrella!

If you’re optimistic that the rain will stop soon, I admire your optimism, but you’re kidding yourself. The financial pain will continue for some time. I would suggest we are barely at the starting line, and it’s not a 100-yard race, but a marathon. When the economy is good, it’s wonderful to live next to an economic powerhouse. However, when the US is the basket case of the world, it will continue to impact us here in Canada. When the President states that his “gut” tells him it’ll be mostly done with by Easter, you know we’re in trouble.

You and me following the rules and take preventative measures that don’t resolve anything when others aren’t. We are at the mercy of the selfish and the stupid: Florida golf courses are packed, as are Florida beaches. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is in full swing and 50,000 people were at Disneyland closing night a week ago that likely infected 500 people, who then infected 2,500, who then infected 12,500 and so on. We’re in this boat together, but around a third of the people are rowing in the opposite direction and that gets us nowhere.

If you’ve read part of the Money Tools book you’re likely to be a lot more ready and prepared than the average person. Here is one more, and we’ll talk about the banks’ offers to help and how that can boomerang back on you next week:

In the last two days most large retailers stopped taking returns. We talked about that last fall that most retailers really want to cut down returns. Whether the corona virus is a valid reason to stop returns or not is for far greater minds than me to decide. But you need to make sure you don’t buy anything that you are not 100% sure you will use and keep. When you pay – you’re an owner. Personally, I will not buy one single thing that isn’t food, coffee, or absolute essential. So in a plummeting economy this will make things worse – so much worse – if people follow that advice. You cannot return that sweater that doesn’t fit your partner no matter what the sale price, the light fixture that falls apart when you open the box, the towels that aren’t a good colour match, the Chinese made toy that doesn’t work, or area rug that doesn’t fit. I found this out first-hand yesterday at Walmart and Lowe’s! Don’t buy don’t buy don’t buy! One store manager admitted it’s great to know what they sell stays sold! As I said, you decide if it’s logical and right or overkill. But it is what it is – we’re in a new retail environment. So be careful out there or the lesser amount of money you have and spend will go towards things you can’t use or don’t work!

When Is A Sale A Deal?

I was wondering the other day when a great deal is really a deal? Is it only when it’s on sale, or when it’s priced right, even without a so-called sale? How conditioned are we that it’s only a deal if it’s advertised at 25, 30 or 40% off?

What got me thinking was trying to buy a TV for my brother at Future Shop. Tuesday two weeks ago, the one I wanted was $319 – I just didn’t have the room in my car. Two days later, when I was a buyer, it was in the flyer and $20 higher! It was now an advertised deal, but at a higher price. When I asked the salesman what the story was, the response he gave me was that “that happens all the time.” There was more to his explanation, but I had already stopped listening.

Chevy in the U.S. has now started something called Total Confidence Pricing. It’s another attempt to get away from rebates and temporary sales such as employee pricing, clearance, or the likes. In Canada GM has tried that two or three times in the last decade or so. How successful will they be this time around when other manufacturers advertise so-called sales? Saturn was based on that concept and never did get much market share with their one price and no haggling and…well, they’re gone.

The giant retailer JC Penny, roughly equivalent to our Bay, last year went to something called everyday value pricing. No more screaming deals for the day or the weekend. They are trying to emulate WalMart-type pricing. As of now, it’s a total failure. Sales were down 19% in the last year and another 21% in the last quarter which just ended. For a retail giant, that’s staggering and frightening. Honest and fair pricing all week and all month isn’t working. Their new CEO is from Apple, but I’m not sure he can turn around a 102 year old company.

We’re not that interested in fair pricing it seems. While the deals at JC Penny, Saturn, and maybe Chevy were fair and good, we want the SALE sign screaming at us. We’re suckers for a sale. As long as it says 40% off, or has a $2,000 rebate, we’re all excited and pull out our credit card, or want to know where we can sign up for the financing. We don’t really know if that’s now a good deal or not, but that sign sure makes us buy.