Posted by : Wendy B Friday, 25 November 2011

Why has it taken you this long to figure out this whole Black Friday business?

You complain about us heading south to shop in the US this weekend, but some how, the logic fails you. There's a reason why Canadians are willing to travel for hours, spend money on gas, customs and perhaps lodgings and tolerate border crossings. Not to mention risking the crazy people.

You keep complaining that you can't drop your prices as low as the US stores, but, if you think about it, the math really isn't that hard. Even if you can't quite match their prices, we can do the math: saving the money on gas, customs etc makes up for the difference.

Also, it's so my nicer here.  “Obviously, no one has been pepper sprayed or shot yet. It’s our version of Black Friday,” Toronto shopper Kaitie Rosen said.

Come to think of it, this whole lower price business has been an issue for some time. A few years ago, when our dollar vastly improved, I was book shopping and asked why I was still expected to pay 50% more for books. I was told that it was because the books were purchased before the dollar improvement. Years later, what's the excuse now? Oh I know that there are import issues and I don't deny that things should cost a bit more here because other countries like trading with the US more than they do Canada, but that doesn't mean you have to give us a ridiculous mark up. I'm not great at math, but if you sell more things at a lower mark up, versus one or two things at a much higher mark up with the remaining product gathering dust on the shelf ... well, option one just seems to make more sense to me. But who am I to judge.

Oh right. I'm the consumer.

And while I'm here, I might as well go on a bit about customer service. Despite what I've said above about lowering prices, I'll actually happily pay more if you give me good customer service instead of taking me for granted. Would it kill you to train your staff a little and encourage them to do more than punch in numbers and stock shelves? Even if they aren't working on commission, they can still be personable.

Take IKEA for example. IKEA seems to get it. Okay so their products aren't the greatest quality, but they do the job and they fit into any budgets (including rich people's budgets. Oh yeah. I've seen you folks shopping there!). They also feed us for a good low price and all they ask is that we clean up our own dishes. On top of the prices, they have nice things like play areas for my kids. You know what that does? It keeps my kids from nagging me while I shop so that, instead of getting frustrated and leaving, I end up buying more.

WHAT IS THIS?

This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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