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Brian R.
23rd January 2004, 10:48
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html

Strange story - Judge for yourself

GT98
23rd January 2004, 11:06
Ouch is all I have to say...

UtwigMU
23rd January 2004, 11:42
We have similar case and I heard similar stories about leading retailer here.

Unless something changes this is teh bright futureô.


Just like the pickle jar - local example:

A company A comes to the company B producing conserved vegetables in jars and says: we'll buy that much of your B-production goods to sell under our brand.

Company B has to sign and it increases their volume since the store brand is cheap and store chain is big (big here, among say top 20 in Europe or so). But it canibalizes their other sales since people just buy the cheap store branded products.

Now company A owns company B.


Even though companies survive with such deals, they have to canibalize their profits, brands and they no longer can invest, thus becoming overrun by competition from lower GNP countries.

SitFlyer
23rd January 2004, 11:47
The company I work for has had a bad experience, second-hand, with Wal-Mart.

MultimediaMan
23rd January 2004, 12:01
Another Wal-Mart Basher...OK guys, I'll fess up here, I am a Wal-Mart employee, and I'm proud of it...

The Author's inferences are way off base.

Regarding the Huffy section: The author steadfastly fails to report that ALL of the manufacturer's entry-level bicycles manufacturing has moved out of country; Huffy, Murray and Schwinn, again, all them, have moved manufacturing out of the country. It's because the cost of doing business in general is higher in the U.S., the laws in the U.S. are more of a hassle. The bottom line is that it's MORE EXPENSIVE to manufacture in the U.S., and since entry-level items are, by default, low margin, it's not good business to make low cost items when your base costs are already higher than your competitors: and we have our own lawmakers to blame for it. They tax the stockholders of the companies, the factories, the equipment in the factory, and yes, even the employees in the factory to the point where the owners say "Why Bother?": so they leave and go elsewhere. Elsewhere being a place with little or no taxation or regulation.

None of them blame Wal-Mart for outsourcing: Sears has been importing bicycles from China for over twenty years, and they still manage to show a loss. Outsourcing does not equate to profitability or market dominance.

Look at the Levi's section of the Article very carefully: He's got his facts straight, but he can't bring himself to put in the context that will ultimately make him look foolish:

Levi's stopped making jeans in the U.S. three years before they started doing business with Wal-Mart. (Gee, that doesn't prop up his story, does it?)

Lest anyone forget: Levi's is still in a $2.1 Billion Dollar hole caused because of their "exclusivity". They were nearly doomed by projecting their own vision of retail instead of the reality, we as the consumer, had already dictated.

The consumer "Voted with their feet" as they always do.

Pricing? Look at PCs when they first came out:

We, as consumers, willingly paid $1,500 for a 33MHz computer in 1994., we buy computers nearly 1000 times faster for the same money. Look at DVD players... In 1997 we bought them for $1000, in 2003 we bought them for $50.00, with more features.

In 1980, we paid $40.00 for a pair of Levis. Levi's stopped selling when they hit the $50.00 price point in 1994: Why? Undaunted, right up until 2002, that same series of Levis cost us $60.00 for what amounts to the same material, the same name and the same features. We were being charged for a name. And an old one at that, that offered us nothing new. And we weren't buying it.

We pay for innovation. We pay for newness. We pay for style.

We don't want to pay very much for the old sundries, though: Semi-durable goods and consumables are ever-cheaper to manufacture, because of amortized design costs and improved manufacturing infrastructure. This is an accepted business standard worldwide.

This not a Wal-Mart phenomenon, this is the Global economy, this is how business is now, and the author has a hard time accepting it. He finds Wal-Mart an easy target, because it's such a big one, but in truth, every retailer out there does what Wal-Mart does on some scale.

The PIT
23rd January 2004, 12:09
Well these aren't pointless.

http://www.totallypointless.net/random/

Enjoy.

Brian R.
23rd January 2004, 12:48
MM - Didn't mean to bash Walmart, I shop there periodically. I just found this article and don't know what to make of the allegations.

gt40
23rd January 2004, 13:54
Originally posted by Brian R.
MM - Didn't mean to bash Walmart, I shop there periodically. I just found this article and don't know what to make of the allegations.

Actually they make many points. :D

As for Walmart, They sell what ppl will buy , and that ususally means the cheaper imported stuff. How can you compete with countries where the average pay for a day is the same as the average pay per hour here?
You will see alot of manufacturing going overseas in drastic proportins over the next few years.
In my industry alone, we have see a large shift to overseas suppliers in the last year alone.
Tooling for the automotive industry is being produced in China for 1/3 of what it is here. For a while this wasn't an isssue because of the sub-standard work produced there, but in the last few years the quality has improved dramatically.
Tool and Die shops here are running at less than half capacity. And don't think that it's just the American big three that are going overseas. We used to do a great deal of work for some upper-scale European names who are now also turning to China (Yes Guchi - expect some chinese content in your vehicles).

All of this when I decide to open my own business in the automotive industry. :(

UtwigMU
23rd January 2004, 14:10
It's not Walmart that's at fault for manufacturing moving overseas.

If Walmart wouldn't be squeezing their supliers someone else would, it's just the nature of globalization. Like I pointed out same thing is happening in Europe - you could just insert different companies into that article and it would still apply.

Jon P. Inghram
23rd January 2004, 14:27
The bottom line of any economic discussion is: People suck. :)

gt40
23rd January 2004, 14:31
Nope, not Walmarts fault.
It's all of us.
We are shopping ourselves out of a job.
We don't care where it's made, as long as it's the lowest price.

Dilitante1
23rd January 2004, 15:03
As a former employee of walmart I can say it is a shame the way they handle internal business as well. They are being sued for labor law violations in almost every state for "forcing" managers (dept and asst) to work off the clock or be replaced.
The typical issue is when the 40 hour mark is being approached, a member of the management team comes out to remind the person that they are almost into overtime (BIG NO NO) so the person goes out back, punches out, and returns to work OFF THE CLOCK for fear of losing the job to someone who WILL work off the clock with no issue/complaint.

20/20 did a big scoop on this subject with people all over the country and Walmart's response is "we dont condone that kind of activity"

MY ISSUE:The retirement rules changed in regards to eligibility to gain vestment in the plan. When I was hired you had to work average of 35 hours a week OR "peak-time" being busy times of day evenings and weekends being the norm. I was fulltime (night receiving) 1.5 years and went to weekends only due to working full time elsewhere for better $$$$. At the 5.5 year point with Walmart I have to terminate employment due to burnout (7 days a week for 4+ years)According to "home office" i am only 20% vested in plan as i am part time now. I remind them the conditions for vestment were 35 hours avg OR peak time, they say not any more. I ask when did the change happen? They couldnt tell me and NOONE I worked with here in NH knew about it from my personnel to the district big whigs.

I lost 1200$ by my estimates in the "plan"

I thanked Wally world for the screwing and refuse to shop there anymore.

Wombat
23rd January 2004, 15:59
Wal-Mart is evil for many reasons, especially labor practices and site hazards. I have plenty more links at home.

KvHagedorn
23rd January 2004, 16:03
MMM.. you probably need to be deprogrammed. Seek help. ;) I remember some Wal-Mart manager from a distribution center who was a customer of mine once. My God, the man went on and on about Wal-Mart with a sort of glazed look in his eyes.

You can't blame Wal-Mart for being a lion in a chicken coop. The real problem is our government does not do its job in limiting this sort of thing. The differences in communities with a Wal-Mart and without a Wal-Mart is striking. I went to a town without a Wal-Mart.. there were people talking to each other in the town square. There were lots of smaller stores.. lots of competition.. lots of small business owners making a decent living independent of the corporate feudalism companies like Wal-Mart introduce into small towns. In short, the people were still human beings, not serfs without dignity. My aunt lives in a town where no one but Wal-Mart sells thread.. you have to go there. They have driven all those small businessmen out of business, often into bankruptcy. If they want a job now, they have to be a greeter at Wal-Mart for minimum wage. They lower the cost of living a small amount, but greatly lower incomes and personal dignity in the towns they victimize. They also ruin their suppliers by being such a huge customer that they can declare terms. Their prices are not always that great either, especially when they become the ONLY store in town. The only people who profit from all this are the Walton family and other long-time stockholders. Screw Wal-Mart. I never shop there if I can avoid it. Not that this means anything.. there are always plenty of sheep that do.

Jon P. Inghram
23rd January 2004, 16:23
I never liked going to their distribution centers when I drove an 18 wheeler... after delivering two different truck loads of Huffy bikes to Wal-Mart I got the impression that they wern't exactly the most friendly company.

Jammrock
23rd January 2004, 18:34
My wife used to work for a Walmart supplier, which will remain unnamed. Walmart is in fact evil. And they're not as cheap as everyone says.

SUre they'll sell you a $3 gallon jar of pickles, but they jack up the prices on items commonly associated with eating pickles and call them 'every day low prices.' That or they sell you such low-end filth that it's not worth the materials it's made out.

There is a reason a company can sell billions of dollars of products a year and make huge profits. And it's not dumb luck. They are very smart, calculating business people.

Jammrock

MultimediaMan
23rd January 2004, 18:47
Wombat, it is you who have programmed...quoting 20/20 and rags like that who are getting all of their information from Unions.
It's like saying Idi Amin was a benevolent man of the people.

KvH: Are you morally superior for buying a case of Toilet paper for $5.00 rather than $4.00 at Wal-Mart?

Dilletante: Go to a store and have them pull up the Handbook for you..it's all online now.

To all of you: MUST any of you shop at Wal-Mart? No. But many of you CHOOSE to. And that's what this is about.

isochar
23rd January 2004, 18:51
No offense intended MM, but it's quite ironic that you have an Agent Smith avatar and talking about not being programmed and telling everyone they have a choice. :p

Jon P. Inghram
23rd January 2004, 19:08
I'm frightened by you, MM... You work for a megacorporation and actually enjoy it?!? AAAIIEEEE!!!!! ;)

Elie
23rd January 2004, 20:07
I never ever set a foot in the following stores...

1-Walmart
2-Zellers
3-K-mart which is now I believe Walmart

They are unprofessional pathetic chains the plaig that industry with garbage as products!!!!

:mad: :mad:

Sorry, had to vent!

KvHagedorn
23rd January 2004, 20:11
Originally posted by MultimediaMan
KvH: Are you morally superior for buying a case of Toilet paper for $5.00 rather than $4.00 at Wal-Mart?

Like I said, it isn't necessarily cheaper, but yes, I am. I also get in and out more quickly and don't have to wait forever while some 400 lb trailer trash scum waddles her fat ass in front of me or any of the other lowlives who want the cheap crap Wal-Mart sells get in my way and generally pollute my karmic space.


To all of you: MUST any of you shop at Wal-Mart? No. But many of you CHOOSE to. And that's what this is about.

Yes.. some people MUST shop at Wal-Mart or go out of town. As I said in my post, if my aunt wants to buy a spool of thread in her town (pop 15,000) she can't get one anywhere but Wal-Mart. Why? Because the majority of people are sheep and went to Wal-Mart, causing smaller stores to go out of business. Prices weren't even necessarily lower, but the morons who go to Wal-Mart won't check that.. they just believe the hype. Same as the morons who think Bose are the best speakers because that's what their ignorant inbred friends tell them.

Before it closed, I shopped for stuff like paper towels and toilet paper at K-Mart. But a certain unchecked (virtual) monopoly has put them out of business in this city (pop 50,000). Prices immediately went up at Wal-Mart. It was also next to impossible to find everything I was looking for there. I spent three times as long there as I had at K-Mart. I really wish Target would move to town.. at least that would be some kind of alternative.

Brian R.
23rd January 2004, 20:52
That reminds me. I need some shoelaces. I wonder where I can get some...
:)

ZokesPro
23rd January 2004, 22:21
Originally posted by Elie
I never ever set a foot in the following stores...

1-Walmart
2-Zellers
3-K-mart which is now I believe Walmart

They are unprofessional pathetic chains the plaig that industry with garbage as products!!!!

:mad: :mad:

Sorry, had to vent! I hear ya. :up:

Brian Ellis
24th January 2004, 04:04
I agree with UtwigMu that this kind of thing is not unique to the USA. It happens in any country where a given retailer has a major slice of the market (i.e. > 10%), such as Carrefour in France, Tesco in the UK and so on.

My granddaughter is a student but works all day Saturday for Migros, the very major Swiss retailer. The difference with WalMart is that Migros is actually a co-operative and most of the products are sold under Migros' own brands (about 50 of them). I won't say her salary is exactly likely to make her a millionairess, but it is correct for someone with no qualifications: she gets more for one day per week than my grandson who is apprenticed to a surveyor and works 3 days/week plus two days at college. The quality of Migros' products (food or non-food) is very competitive and they treat their customers correctly when they have cause for complaint of any nature. They also have a large social influence within the country. BUT, they do the same as WalMart in the purchasing department. I knew two or three companies which supplied Migros and went to the wall, as a result - and took their suppliers with them, as well. I had one item that interested them; they wanted me to supply them on an exclusive basis and it would have more than decupled our throughput but reduced our profit. I offered them non-exclusivity - they counter-argued with a quantity and price reduction and I then told them to take a long walk on a short pier. If I had accepted their contract, we would have immediately gone into a zero-profit situation and, after a year or so, they would have turned the screws to tip us over the limit.

I hold nothing against Migros - they were trying to do their best according to their needs.

In this country, there isn't a dominant supermarket chain and the three or four main ones (each with just a handful of shops, one in each main city) are all profiteers with high mark-ups, so that the corner mom-and-pop shop is often reasonably competitive - and there are many of them. As just one example, I wanted some pecans the other day. I was in a major fruit shop and two large supermarkets for other reasons and they had them at £5.60, £5.50 and £5.90/kg, a price I baulked at. In the local village shop, I found them at £4.50/kg, and the shopkeeper buys only one 20 kg bag at a time. If anyone blackmails the consumers here, it's the farmers. A couple of years ago, there was a poor potato crop and the farmers banded together and upped the price to £1.50/kg (retail), which made them more expensive than any other local veggie or fruit, including aubergines, courgettes, caulis, carrots, apples oranges etc. Needless to say, the sales plummeted and the farmers suffered most, in the long run, so they sought a subsidy from the government, who gave them short shrift. Actually, my wife found that frozen chips (fries) in the supermarkets were cheaper/kg than the fresh spuds!

GT98
24th January 2004, 10:09
Originally posted by KvHagedorn
I shopped for stuff like paper towels and toilet paper at K-Mart. But a certain unchecked (virtual) monopoly has put them out of business in this city (pop 50,000). Prices immediately went up at Wal-Mart. It was also next to impossible to find everything I was looking for there. I spent three times as long there as I had at K-Mart. I really wish Target would move to town.. at least that would be some kind of alternative.

Well thats werid thing in my Area, we have several of the Same store type with in a reasonable drive from where I live. I can count 5 Targets with in a 45 minute driving radius and I about 3-4 Walmarts. We still have mom and pop stores here also. I think the reason Walmart gets such a bad rap is that in less denesly populated areas (well thats like 98% of the US when your talking about NJ) is that it drives everyone else out of busniess. I don't care for Walmart myself all that much sinces its dirty and the type of people who shop there (though it does hold a morbid curiosty for me at times to people watch in there) and it doesnt help that I work part time accross the street at Target, where we are anal about keeping everything clean and I get 10% off :p

Jammrock
24th January 2004, 21:30
To all of you: MUST any of you shop at Wal-Mart? No. But many of you CHOOSE to. And that's what this is about.
I avoid going to WalMart at all costs. They're "Everyday Low Prices" aren't really that low. What stuff they do have that is significantly cheaper is more often than not of vastly inferior quality. The stores are all shoddy, poorly kept, bland, filth piles. It takes half an hour just to get through the checkout lines. I find their advertising rather misleading (i.e. their meats and produce are NOT fresh, or cheap, though their ads say otherwise) And knowing people who have supplied to WalMart, I don't find their business practices very ethical.

I go to WalMart ... MAYBE ... twice a year, and then only if their is one or two items that are on exceptional sale, and then only to run in and run out as fast as humanly possible.

If I do have to go to a megastore, I go to Target. Good products and good prices, and you don't have to put up with the WalMart crap.

Jammrock

agallag
25th January 2004, 11:33
I only shop at walmart for things that I know are identical to what is available elsewhere (name brand toiletries, snack foods, etc.) and are significantly cheaper. I don't shop there for any other misc. goods like housewares or clothes, because it all looks so damn cheap. You get what you pay for most of the time.

I couldn't buy clothes there even if I wanted to though, they don't carry anything for anyone above the 90th percentile in height. Concidering I'm in the 99.97th percentile, I'm outta luck. My inseam is 4.5 inches longer than the longest pants they stock.

Kooldino
25th January 2004, 11:47
Mm, cheap pickles.

GNEP
25th January 2004, 12:00
The only effective regulation for large shops ousting "community-building" smaller businesses is in the planning control/permission system. This has, I believe, already been realised by most (local) governments in western Europe. In fact, one of the key determinants on the profitability of petrol retail sites in any country is the local planning laws...

There has to be a balance between maintaining competition by allowing new build, and maintenance of town-centrist local society. The US probably errs on the side of the former, north-west Europe on the side of the latter.

KvHagedorn
25th January 2004, 14:24
Originally posted by GNEP
There has to be a balance between maintaining competition by allowing new build, and maintenance of town-centrist local society. The US probably errs on the side of the former, north-west Europe on the side of the latter.

Well, the character of the new build determines whether competition is enhanced or destroyed. There is also a question if there is a single good shop in town that can survive without any competition because of the town's size. This is the only case in which I can see a "monopoly" being a good thing.

gangster
25th January 2004, 16:14
I'd rather pay a little more and buy from a "mom and pop" shop!

Elie
25th January 2004, 17:12
here here!!!!

Cheers,
Elie

Brian Ellis
27th January 2004, 06:34
Wal-Mart Agrees to Pay Fine, Stop Selling Refrigerants (USA)

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed Thursday to pay a $400,000 penalty and to stop selling refrigerants that contain ozone-depleting substances. The consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City settles violations of the Clean Air Act by various Sam's Club stores, which are owned by Wal-Mart, said Todd P. Graves, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri. A federal complaint cited Wal-Mart for 20 violations of the Clean Air Act, which restricts sales of certain ozone-depleting refrigerants to technicians who are certified to use the substances. According to the complaint, Sam's Club stores in 11 states sold refrigerants used for automobile air conditioners or other refrigeration systems to customers who were not certified to use them. "These chemicals are regulated by the federal government because they contribute to ozone-depleting pollution," Graves said. "Retailers have an obligation to responsibly monitor the sale of these products." The ozone layer protects humans and animals from damaging ultraviolet rays. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause cataracts, skin cancer and other ailments. "This settlement will aid in protecting the ozone layer worldwide by eliminating from the earth's atmosphere harmful refrigerants, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that leak from industrial appliances and have contributed to the depletion of the earth's ozone layer in recent years," said Assistant Attorney General Thomas L. Sansonetti. The consent decree settles violations of the Clean Air Act at stores in Missouri, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West Virginia. The violations in Missouri occurred at Sam's Club stores in Independence, Springfield and Joplin.
Article @ http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news/7772965.htm
Source : The Miami Herald, quoting the Associated Press, 22 January 2004

Brian R.
8th February 2004, 09:49
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22507-2004Feb7.html

These people are squeezable.

K6-III
8th February 2004, 17:25
There's a reason I don't shop at Walmart. (leading importer of chinese-made goods)

It took me 4 days to find europe-made athletic shoes, but damn well I found them.

I don't buy clothes made in China, I don't by technology items made in china, unless there really is no alternative. Same applies for taiwan.

If we put an effort into it, it is possible not to buy Made In China...

schmosef
8th February 2004, 20:45
Wal-Mart is a shining example of the free market system. You canít blame Wal-Mart for being successful at the ďgameĒ. Theyíre simply doing a great job of exploiting the rules to their benefit.

When they do fall out of line, they should be reigned in by the government, a la fines for employing foreign workers and improperly selling regulated merchandise. However, such examples of contravention of the rules are better understood as middle management incompetence (which is inevitable in a company that size) and not indicative of high level strategic planning. At a high level, theyíre simply leveraging the system, as it is, to provide value to their share holders.

I applaud anyone who avoids Wal-Mart or chooses to ďbuy AmericanĒ on principle but the reality is that itís a drop in the bucket. You canít expect Joe six-pack to see beyond his immediate need to feed his family when trying to balance his budget. Itís up to corporations to make deals that maintain and grow the economy. Yet the rules of the current system donít reward long term corporate altruism. If not for government intervention, seatbelts would still be an option--and perhaps only available on high end vehicles (as currently anti-roll systems are on high end SUVs). The Reagan administration lowered vehicle bumper standards in the 80s and the cars we drive today, 20 years later, are still less safe because of it.

It is the governmentís responsibility to see three steps ahead, look at the mess thatís in store, and legislate pre-emptive change. Itís obvious that the rules need to be tweaked to ensure the long term viability of the game.

Now Wal-Mart's lobbying arm has grown so big that it is in a position to influence the rules. This raises red flags and, in my opinion, should be a cornerstone issue of the upcoming election. The current system allows Wal-Mart to be involved at a level that is simply a conflict of interest. What competent board of directors would lobby government to implement new rules that would effectively lower profit? As with the separation of Church and state, there need to be more clear legislation separating Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Bush administration seems to carry the stench of corporate influence in every major policy decision that I can remember: environment, energy, Iraq, the list goes on. And I donít even know if the inference is justified, I just know what I feel about what Iíve read and heard. (And Iím still for the war in Iraq!)

As Iíve said in another post, the Democrats seem poised for a real fight. I think that this is an issue in which they can score a K.O.

KvHagedorn
8th February 2004, 21:32
I agree with most of what you said, schmosef, but don't think the Democrats are any less guilty of sucking corporate dick. As has been noted elsewhere, Kerry is one of the worst when it comes to taking money from special interests, including corporations. Remember Democrat Fritz Hollings and Disney?

The whole system is rotten to the core. We need another Teddy Roosevelt who isn't afraid to take on big business interests. The main problem is that institutionalized bribery is just that.. institutionalized. Giving money to politicians 100 years ago, well everyone knew it was criminal, plain and simple. Now it's just business as usual.

schmosef
8th February 2004, 21:50
I agree that both parties are rife with corrupting elements. Donít confuse me for a Democrat or Republican.

Iím Canadian. And donít get me started on corruption in Canadian PoliticsÖ Our retarded government overspent on a gun registry database by a BILLION DOLLARS! And no one was made to account for it! Theyíve managed to placate the population here by feeding us lines like ďAt least weíre smarter and more respected than the AmericansĒ and ďOur social services are among the best in the worldĒ. Meanwhile, weíve become the forgotten uncle of international diplomacy and people are waiting in ridiculously long lines for even the most basic of medical services.

I just think that the Donkies are in a better position to make an issue out of the evils of corporate influence during this upcoming US election.

Beyond that, I think itís really up to the people of America to force the politicians to do whatís right.

KvHagedorn
8th February 2004, 21:55
The worst thing about Wal-Mart is that it destroys opportunity by working from the wrong end. People need to be able to afford necessities like a home and health insurance, not enticed by some megamarketer into buying a lot of cheap junk to fill the emptiness of their trailer-park existence. Wal-Mart is like a drug pusher, selling cheap fixes to people addicted to consumerism.

What people buy at Wal-Mart could be bought anywhere else if Wal-Mart wasn't there, and it would be a better quality product because Wal-Mart had not squeezed the manufacturer to cheapen it in order to survive. There would be more competition, so the price would still be reasonable, but people would not over-consume. The example of the Vlassic Gallon jug of pickles is perfect. What happens is people buy the gallon and 3/4 of it rots and has to be tossed out. They would still pay less to buy a quart in the grocery store, and get the same utility. But the Vlassic company decided it has to crawl to Wal-Mart and provide them with cheap gallon jugs because Wal-Mart wants them (this too is a mistake.. if I were a manufacturer, I would refuse to sell to those people.) Vlassic makes less money, the farmers make less money, everyone but the Waltons makes less money. This goes further to concentrate wealth in the hands of the richest people and turn everyone else into minimum wage serfs. Don't let Wal-Mart off the hook by saying they are just doing what anyone with good business sense does. They are predators.. predators out of control, and they are killing off the middle class because our government is too corrupt to stop them.

Jon P. Inghram
8th February 2004, 22:00
You people are just paranoid. Show me any information, even if only works of fiction, that would imply that a world ran by corporations would be a bad thing.


;)

KvHagedorn
8th February 2004, 22:04
Gee I hope you are being sarcastic.. how about Rollerball?

Jon P. Inghram
8th February 2004, 22:35
Yep, that'd be why I put a winking smilely in the post. The way things are going right now I really wonder what the country (ignoring external events like terrorists) will be like in 20 years.

MultimediaMan
8th February 2004, 22:45
You know KvH... people like you are called "Closet Aristocrats". You have this arrogant sense of superiority and riteousness that stinks up the forum. You have no idea what you are talking about.

You obviously don't care about saving money or giving everyone their fair shake.

This whole "discussion" started with a half-assed article about how Wal-Mart does business that every other retailer in the U.S. does at some level or another. Including the mom and pop shop that sells Chinese-made portable Radios. When was last time you were able to BUY a U.S.-Built Portable Radio?

Bueller.....?

Bueller..........?

Is that Wal-Mart's fault? We weren't even a player in the top 100 when the last pocket Radio was made in the U.S.

Every retailer does it, and Wal-Mart gets singled out because we are the biggest. Mom and Pop are still the biggest overall, read on to find out why...

Retailers who see a Wal-Mart move in know they either have to compete or offer something Wal-Mart doesn't. And that's not hard to do. Since direct competition is not an option for most the retailers who have any business sense at all (Read: 99.9% of them.) know that they must change their business to the better alternative/higher-end (and higher markup) items that Wal-Mart doesn't offer, and change their business to tending to service-related needs for goods purchased at Wal-Mart: Computers, Mowers, TV, Microwave ovens, you name it. And for those customers wanting more than their Local Wal-Mart has to offer, these retailers are more than happy to satisfy that need.

These "Table Scraps", as you will no doubt call them, amount to billions of dollars in profit to small businesses.

You can't blame Wal-Mart for growing...even as big as we are we constitute less than 10% of all retail sales in the U.S.; even though we are the countries largest Grocer, we still sell less than 8% of all Groceries. Retailers that don't grow, die. Look at K-Mart, JCPenney, and Sears. Guess who constitutes the bulk of Retail? Mom and Pop. And don't tell me Mom and Pop shops start their people at $7.50 an hour part-time, or offers benefits...or stock ownership.

Ever think about the people Wal-Mart employs? 1.413 Million of them, every one of them gets paid more than the "average" wage in their area. Personally, I was able to PURCHASE a new house and still have enough left over to cover my families needs, now and into the future. I am an hourly associate (though hopefully not for much longer: I'm itching for a salaried position).

Now, to set the Record straight, regarding the Illegal Immigrant Contractor Issue, please note that we were cooperating with a Government investigation since 1998 that asked us to use these contractors as part of an ongoing investigation. The U.S. Attorney's Office has been very quiet lately about that issue, hasn't it? They screwed up, big time, and we know it.

schmosef
9th February 2004, 00:08
MultimediaMan makes my point. You can't blame Wal-Mart for working the system so successfully.

The fault lies with regulation and the regulators.

What Wal-Mart does is take the system to its logical extreme. Actually, I think that the real extreme (if you believe the proposition that Wal-Mart destroys its suppliers) would have Wal-Mart chewing up and spitting out every available supplier in any given category and then be forced to accept the whims of whomever stepped up to fill the void. In any case, the only solution is to change the laws. Wal-Mart is not going to change its business practices otherwise.

Personally, I envision something along the lines of: if youíre an American company selling to other American companies or to American consumers, a certain percentage of your product has to be sourced / manufactured in the USA. And if youíre a foreign company trying to sell in America, you should pay a surcharge to the US government in the form of an import tariff.

Wal-Mart would have to ensure that all itís suppliers conformed to the rules, and each tier 1 supplier would have to keep their tier 2s, 3s, etc. in line.

I realise that this is overly simplistic and I can already envision a few flaws, but I offer it as a working model for change. Something also has to be worked in to factor the working conditions of off shore labour.

Lastly, I have to say that I totally disagree with KvHís little rant. KvH, you speak like someone with high ideals, altruistic vision, and no real-world experience. Thatís not the way the world works. You remind me of this coloured girl I knew who HATED Koreans because they owned all the liquor stores in Harlem. First, she was generalising. Second, she wasnít laying blame where blame was / is due. Listen this is not a flame, instead of trying to flame me back, try explaining the viability of a retail business model that involves a company preaching to consumers "you don't want to buy something today, best keep your money in the bank so you can buy something from someone else tomorrow".

Bueller.....?

MultimediaMan
9th February 2004, 01:07
Off Shore labor is a fact of life in the global economy, and many in Wal-Mart don't like it one bit.

However, we sell what sells. Some people have blithely gone on to say we define what sells. But from my above post, we know Wal-Mart has less than 10% market share, so that cannot possibly be true.

However, many items are priced so competitively that they have to be made offshore. When you're a discount retailer, this is really important. The final price is very important. We cut costs in far more ways than having our suppliers cut their costs. We analyze and critique our business constantly. By doing this we identify what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong. We look to new ways of controlling costs: our biggest "secret" is controlling our costs from within, and figuring out new ways of controlling costs. We share our knowledge on how we do this with our vendors, and we expect them to improve as we improve. And we do improve, every year.

Most of you would freak to know exactly how many people we have in my department as compared to some of our competitors. I'm not certain I can say a definite number or percentage with my NDA, so I will refrain from saying until I can talk to my Director about it.

I can say we do it with fewer people than our competitors.

However, I can say we have deployed and maintain over one million pieces of equipment, the vast majority of which are IP addressable or otherwise connected to our networks.

This is more than our competitors, again I cannot say how much more.

Why I'm mentioning this is important. We never wanted to be the biggest. We want to be the best.

Best (http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/superlative) is a superlative to an adjective, and thus it can mean many things on many levels. Profit is one thing, but there are several other things we are after.

We have a motto: "Today is the worst we will ever be, we can only get better".

KvHagedorn
9th February 2004, 01:40
Originally posted by MultimediaMan
You know KvH... people like you are called "Closet Aristocrats". You have this arrogant sense of superiority and riteousness that stinks up the forum. You have no idea what you are talking about.

Right, whatever. Being in Bentonville, you're probably just not used to people who think for themselves. I can understand that. Just remember I'm attacking your employer, not yourself or a family member.. maybe you need to get those implants removed before they utterly detroy your individuality. ;)

You obviously don't care about saving money or giving everyone their fair shake.

Oh. Wal-Mart cares about saving people money? Really? How cynical of me to think this is not their real driving force. :rolleyes: How odd that it cost me more to buy the same items at the local superwalmart than it had cost at the (now gone due to Wal-Mart's ruthless marketing) local KMart. Not only that, but it took forever to find them, too, since the damn place is so big and laid out in such an ungainly fashion. Furthermore, I had to buy Hefty bags, which cost quite a bit more, because there were no generic garbage bags to be found.

This whole "discussion" started with a half-assed article about how Wal-Mart does business that every other retailer in the U.S. does at some level or another. Including the mom and pop shop that sells Chinese-made portable Radios. When was last time you were able to BUY a U.S.-Built Portable Radio?

Bueller.....?

Bueller..........?

Is that Wal-Mart's fault? We weren't even a player in the top 100 when the last pocket Radio was made in the U.S.

Every retailer does it, and Wal-Mart gets singled out because we are the biggest. Mom and Pop are still the biggest overall, read on to find out why...

Does anyone even buy pocket radios anymore?

Stop talking about Mom and Pop like it's one unified entity that owns a whole town with little embassies representing its suppliers, whose ambassadors are there to be told what prices they are going to sell their wares for. Every other retailer does not do this. Why don't you pop your head out of Bentonville and see? That is, if that explosive collar will let you get that far away.. ;)

Retailers who see a Wal-Mart move in know they either have to compete or offer something Wal-Mart doesn't. And that's not hard to do. Since direct competition is not an option for most the retailers who have any business sense at all (Read: 99.9% of them.) know that they must change their business to the better alternative/higher-end (and higher markup) items that Wal-Mart doesn't offer, and change their business to tending to service-related needs for goods purchased at Wal-Mart: Computers, Mowers, TV, Microwave ovens, you name it. And for those customers wanting more than their Local Wal-Mart has to offer, these retailers are more than happy to satisfy that need.

These "Table Scraps", as you will no doubt call them, amount to billions of dollars in profit to small businesses.

Being in the real world that is the other side of this story, I can tell you that if there were not two large hospitals in this town, it would be 99% poor folks who could not afford high end anything, and there would be very few stores left other than grocery stores and cheesy restaurants. And if you honestly think anyone can make a decent living fixing all the crap you sell at Wal-Mart, you are living in a dream world.

You can't blame Wal-Mart for growing...even as big as we are we constitute less than 10% of all retail sales in the U.S.; even though we are the countries largest Grocer, we still sell less than 8% of all Groceries. Retailers that don't grow, die. Look at K-Mart, JCPenney, and Sears. Guess who constitutes the bulk of Retail? Mom and Pop. And don't tell me Mom and Pop shops start their people at $7.50 an hour part-time, or offers benefits...or stock ownership.

Again, who is this "Mom and Pop" corporation? They must be quite formidable if they constitute the "bulk of retail." Why don't you quote a real source that will confirm to me that sole proprietorships and limited partnerships actually do more than 50% of all retail sales in this country? I double dare you to find one.

Let me tell you something about the "Mom and Pop" shops you are talking about. These small businesses are (were) independent of corporate shenanigans.. ass-kissing and mind-numbing conformity is not the only way small business owners have of prospering and moving up in the world. The many of these who are dying out are (were) members of the middle class, and the average wage, if you include these owners, is (or has been) much higher than it is at Wal-Mart. Why? If you have several small shops in a smallish town which sell toys, fabrics, office supplies, groceries, pharmacy products, furniture, etc., and each of those has an independent owner, you have a good base of people who are comfortably within the middle class. When they all go out of business due to high-powered marketing from big corporations like Wal-Mart, There are maybe three or four people now (all managers at Wal-Mart) who are in the middle class in that town (and usually lower middle class.) Everyone else has to work hourly at Wal-Mart or find something else to do, if they can. The real money goes out of the town, into the pockets of the Waltons and those who got in on the ground floor of this pyramid scheme. It's so sad to walk into a Wal-Mart and see the elderly "greeters" who once had a real job, and who now just watch the door and have to pretend to be positive about life. God, the total denial the bulk of humanity in this country has to be in to live life as corporate serfs. :(

I remember a better time.. there were actually local drug stores and news dealers and toy stores when I was a child. People knew the owners.. went to church with them.. they were able to respect each other and be respected as independent businessmen. Now that world, that community, is gone. You have to be a corporate suck-up to get along in life, and nobody respects a suck-up, especially themselves.

You say retailers that don't grow, die? Perhaps cancer-like megacorp retailers that have to employ lots of marketing people and buy national television commercials and pay their CEO $17,690,000.00 per year have to grow.. let's see.. how do they do this? Well, they tell their stockholders that revenues are up, etc., so their stock price keeps climbing (WHY are they up? Because they have opened 60 new locations that year, and they have a CFO- making only a modest 7 figure salary- who's a damn good juggler.) We've noticed this in almost every big corporate retailer.. they keep opening locations until the capital runs out, and then they just implode or stagnate because they have run out of ideas, unless they can do the dance and cook the books like so many do.. it's easy when you're that big. On the other side of reality, I knew a couple of small town pharmacists who just kept running their one store until they got old and retired. They didn't have those huge expenses, just a local network of folks who knew who they were and went to them. They were people who maintained their dignity, too, because they never had to kiss corporate ass to remain employed.

Ever think about the people Wal-Mart employs? 1.413 Million of them, every one of them gets paid more than the "average" wage in their area. Personally, I was able to PURCHASE a new house and still have enough left over to cover my families needs, now and into the future. I am an hourly associate (though hopefully not for much longer: I'm itching for a salaried position).

If $7.50 an hour is more than the average wage, you just proved my point, bud. Wal-Mart "employs" 1.413 million SERFS! (Alright, perhaps only 1.4 million are serfs, the rest are managers who have proven themselves worthy as such by completely negating their own individuality and personality in order to toe the company line, and think in the way the corporation deems acceptable.. meaning not very much.) :devious: And to think that many of their parents and grandparents were able to be free from this kind of fascist system ruling their lives and livlihood. In that context, it is easy to see how we were such a strong country before around 1965. Now it amazes me that people can actually get out of bed in the morning.

As to your own position, MMM.. you work at corporate headquarters, do you not? I guess you aren't a checker in Hicksville, Tennessee who will never have much hope of being anything more, are you?

Now, to set the Record straight, regarding the Illegal Immigrant Contractor Issue, please note that we were cooperating with a Government investigation since 1998 that asked us to use these contractors as part of an ongoing investigation. The U.S. Attorney's Office has been very quiet lately about that issue, hasn't it? They screwed up, big time, and we know it.

Just goes to show that all the clueless crooks don't work in the corporate sector :p

KvHagedorn
9th February 2004, 02:04
Originally posted by schmosef
MultimediaMan makes my point. You can't blame Wal-Mart for working the system so successfully.

The fault lies with regulation and the regulators.

What Wal-Mart does is take the system to its logical extreme. Actually, I think that the real extreme (if you believe the proposition that Wal-Mart destroys its suppliers) would have Wal-Mart chewing up and spitting out every available supplier in any given category and then be forced to accept the whims of whomever stepped up to fill the void. In any case, the only solution is to change the laws. Wal-Mart is not going to change its business practices otherwise.

Personally, I envision something along the lines of: if youíre an American company selling to other American companies or to American consumers, a certain percentage of your product has to be sourced / manufactured in the USA. And if youíre a foreign company trying to sell in America, you should pay a surcharge to the US government in the form of an import tariff.

Wal-Mart would have to ensure that all itís suppliers conformed to the rules, and each tier 1 supplier would have to keep their tier 2s, 3s, etc. in line.

I realise that this is overly simplistic and I can already envision a few flaws, but I offer it as a working model for change. Something also has to be worked in to factor the working conditions of off shore labour.

Lastly, I have to say that I totally disagree with KvHís little rant. KvH, you speak like someone with high ideals, altruistic vision, and no real-world experience. Thatís not the way the world works. You remind me of this coloured girl I knew who HATED Koreans because they owned all the liquor stores in Harlem. First, she was generalising. Second, she wasnít laying blame where blame was / is due. Listen this is not a flame, instead of trying to flame me back, try explaining the viability of a retail business model that involves a company preaching to consumers "you don't want to buy something today, best keep your money in the bank so you can buy something from someone else tomorrow".

Bueller.....?

And what is your real-world experience, might I ask, that you offer this tidy economic thumbnail to cure all our ills? Mine comes from living in a town dominated by Wal-Mart, even though there are several other big corporate retailers here, and working as one of four (including the owner) people in a small retail business, as well as having worked for big corporations (and hating it thoroughly.) I also studied economics in college, so I am not a total ignoramus about the workings of such things.

I agree that the fault lies with the regulators, but it's a very difficult net to weave to make all parts of the economy work properly if we are just now going to start regulating it. It isn't a matter of just writing laws and enforcing them, it's implementing them at the right time and in the right way, and convincing people they are the right thing to do, while avoiding having the bill rewritten to the point where this delicate net is distorted out of all usefulness. In other words, it ain't happening, folks.. not the way things are set up in Washington right now, at least.

Lastly, why don't you explain the viability of that business model, since you (and not I) put forth the concept?

Bueller.....?

Bueller.....?

Bueller.....?

(I added the "Bueller"s, since you seemed to think it was so very clever, and somehow lent credibility to your point of view. :p )

MultimediaMan
9th February 2004, 03:09
Stop Lamenting the Past: there are a lot of things that were commonplace in 1965 that don't happen now. Like Lynchings, for instance. Not all that was, was pure and good. Then, as now, there are things that are wrong.

As far as thinking for myself, I've done so for 36 years, and will continue the practice for the rest of my days. Thinking and Reasoning are two different things KvH... you seem to be doing more of one than the other.

Things change, for good or bad, you can't blame the world for changing. You either adapt to the change or become extinct.

It's true not many people buy Pocket Radios anymore..they are buying MP3 Players with FM Radios built in; in droves, I might add ...and where are those made? Does it matter they were first invented in Taiwan? It does now!

See? Times change, but some things stay the same.

But you haven't figured that out have you? You can work for a big company and earn promotions and you can maintain your dignity doing it. How? Be yourself, and know yourself.

Cynics like you brood about things they think they understand, and project things as the way they think they should be rather than learning the way things truly are. Who's fooling whom here?

Working at Wal-Mart: What is wrong or demeaning about that? What is demeaning about earning a good living? What is wrong with making profit? What is wrong with bettering yourself? What is wrong with success?

Every town has garbage collectors, are you going to complain that they are exploited because they have a dirty job? What about ditchdiggers? They work, too, are they any less dignified because of it? What would the world be without them?

Working is not always fun, and if you work just to get paid, there's something wrong with you. You have to have the drive to excel. You must distinguish yourself, be it through innovation, brilliance or reliability in service. Some paths are faster than others. Some people are smarter than others, too.

In business as in life, you rise to the level of your own incompetence. You're about as high as you can go with that mindset.

And whether or not people are satisfied with their job is none of your damn business! And certainly not a measure by which to judge anyone, and yet you presume to think for all of them! It is one thing to consider another's position, but to judge someone by the places where they work and choose to do business!?

You see now why I called you a "Closet Aristocrat"? You think you're better. You think you're smarter. You've got it all figured out, don't you?

Damn you and your petulant ignorance!

Until you grow up and accept things as they are, you won't be able to change a thing. Right now you are about as powerless as powerless can be, and you don't even know it.

You think I agree with every decision my employer makes? Why do you think I want a promotion? I want to make a difference, sometimes those differences are worlds apart, sometimes they are infinitesimally small. Sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong. I can live with that, I also learn from that. Sometimes I change my position, and sometimes my employer changes theirs. But I participate, and I'm better for it.

So sit there in you comfort zone, KvH. For every negative story you care to pull from the headlines, I can counter it with facts or 100 success stories. But that would be lost on you, and I would simply be wasting my time. I've got better things to do.

I am finished with this thread, and I shall be adding you, KvH, as the sole person on my ignore list on any of the dozen or so Forums I browse and participate in daily. It is plain you and I have nothing more to talk about in your present state of mind.

schmosef
9th February 2004, 09:27
Originally posted by KvHagedorn
And what is your real-world experience, might I ask, that you offer this tidy economic thumbnail to cure all our ills? Mine comes from living in a town dominated by Wal-Mart, even though there are several other big corporate retailers here, and working as one of four (including the owner) people in a small retail business, as well as having worked for big corporations (and hating it thoroughly.) I also studied economics in college, so I am not a total ignoramus about the workings of such things.

I agree that the fault lies with the regulators, but it's a very difficult net to weave to make all parts of the economy work properly if we are just now going to start regulating it. It isn't a matter of just writing laws and enforcing them, it's implementing them at the right time and in the right way, and convincing people they are the right thing to do, while avoiding having the bill rewritten to the point where this delicate net is distorted out of all usefulness. In other words, it ain't happening, folks.. not the way things are set up in Washington right now, at least.

Lastly, why don't you explain the viability of that business model, since you (and not I) put forth the concept?

Bueller.....?

Bueller.....?

Bueller.....?

(I added the "Bueller"s, since you seemed to think it was so very clever, and somehow lent credibility to your point of view. :p )

KvH, now youíre just being silly.

You agree that the solution is changing the regulationÖ but donít think it can happen because it would be too ďdifficultĒ?

So you expect Wal-Mart to change the way it operates, just because?

I think maybe you should ask for a refund on those economics classes.

Umfriend
9th February 2004, 09:58
I wonder which economic classes would teach that regulations, restrictions rather, on trade are good? :confused:

schmosef
9th February 2004, 10:29
Hey I agree that freer trade is better trade. But have you seen how thick the NAFTA agreement is? And thatís just an example. Trade is already HEAVILY regulated. But the form of regulation needs to change to better serve the American people.

The reality is that American factories cannot compete with off shore factories where the standard of living is so much lower.

Hereís a little anecdoteÖ A few years ago one of my customers moved manufacturing of a certain product from one of their Mexican factories to one in Canada. At a corporate level, the deal looked good on paper because of the difference in shipping costs from Canada versus Mexico. Everyone in the Canadian plant was excited about the # of jobs that would be created in the struggling Canadian plant. The Mexican factory had maintained really high quality standards and it was imperative that this not change after the move. A Canadian team of process engineers was sent down to Mexico to plan the migration and found that the Mexican line was running with roughly 5 times the amount of labour that they were supposed to. But it didnít matter because they were paying the Mexican workers pennies on the dollar that they would have to pay Canadians or Americans. Further, the Mexicans had invested almost nothing in automation or safety so they didnít have to amortize any expenses into the piece price. To compete, the Canadians had to bring in robots. To pay for (and justify) the robots, they had to cut the amount of jobs on the line by two thirds. And thatís based on how many people should have been on the line, not how many were there in Mexico. In the end, it took years for the Canadians to see actual profit, and only at a margin much less than what was already attainable in Mexico.

The playing field needs to be levelled. Iím not saying it would be easy. But if the Americans donít do something, everyone is going to lose. Including the Mexican workers who will never otherwise see their standard of living improve.

Umfriend
10th February 2004, 06:26
OK, I don't know anything about wal-mart or moms-and-pop shops (what are those??), but when it comes to regulating international trade, especially "protecting" domestic producers against cheap foreign labour often portrayed as producing lower quality goods, I'd like to say this:

Free international trade is good. It is good for everybody. There may be some caveats, like not using child-labour, but most can be easily solved and it is often quesitonable whether the cure is worse than the sickness.

Let me give you an anecdote... WHen I grew up, my mother was raising us on welfare. That means different standards of living in different countries, but relatively, we were poor. We had food on the table almost always and a roof, but a lot of things we lacked. In those days (say late 70's) durable goods were very expensive. I'm talking bycilces, tv's, refrigirators etc. Back then, almost all of it was produced either domestically or in rather equally rich, or high wage, countries. Back then there was no choice of picking cheap chinese brands from a supermarket over buying a decent Dutch made bike from the local bike store. There were no cheap chinese bikes.

Now, I'll buy a decent bike over a C-brand one, but now I'm rich. The fact that "poor" people can afford cheap durable goods produced in low wage countries adds to their welfare considerable. Moreover, it adds to the wealth of the labourers in those low wage countries as well. In those days, a DVD player would ALWAYS have been a lot of money for rich people. I can now buy either a Denon DVD-2900 at euro 1,100, which is a shitload of money, or I can buy one for as little as euro 100. Class D brand, lesser quality and likely less durable? Sure. But the option is there. In fact, we should, and I am, grateful for the competition that causes prices to decline. It's not about how much I make, it's about what I can afford with whatever I make that counts. Tell me, why would I have to be forced to buy expensive produce due to high wages when others are begging to work for me for a fraction of it? How is it justifiable that we exclude someone from making a living in his own country when he does it for less, including shipping even?

Your anecdote shows what exactly? That your company did not know their ****ole form their ellbow? They were ignorant on the way they themselves ran their production in Mexico, made wrong assumptions as a result of that and found they could not compete in Canada? Tuff shit, they'll die (economically speaking).


Including the Mexican workers who will never otherwise see their standard of living improve.Right. So either we force low wage countries to pay wages on par with ours or we limit trade? That is bound to increase their standard of living, right.

Trade is heavily regulated indeed. It's becoming less so very very slowly, and NAFTA is a good example. It allows for MORE trade, even though the agreement has shitloads of rules. Sound contradictory? One simple rule "Though shall not trade internationally" stops all and thus is the most restrictive, not allowing, even if the rule book becomes way way thinner.

I'll tell ya, opening trade will raise standard of living in poor countries pretty fast. We just need to sit out the ride until they join us. In the meantime, we might as well look at the distribution of income we do make, lots to be gained there.

Umfriend
14th February 2004, 08:31
Imagining this pertains to big chains vs small local stores debate: A local store here is offering the Denon DVD-2900 at euro 1,379. Aside from a brief chat of about 15 minutes, I needed no service from them (not that the answers I got were really good anyway). I called him the next day that I was going to buy one, but that his price was just not competitive enough.

I know I can't expect him to be as cheap as any online-shop, and I did not want that. But here is what I did after the guy basically gave me the finger in a unpleasant way:
I ordered the Denon DVD-2900 AND a Denon TU-1500RD which including shiping sets me back euro 1,265.

That's euro 114 and a Tuner difference.....good gracious!

KvHagedorn
14th February 2004, 08:48
Originally posted by Umfriend
Imagining this pertains to big chains vs small local stores debate: A local store here is offering the Denon DVD-2900 at euro 1,379. Aside from a brief chat of about 15 minutes, I needed no service from them (not that the answers I got were really good anyway). I called him the next day that I was going to buy one, but that his price was just not competitive enough.

I know I can't expect him to be as cheap as any online-shop, and I did not want that. But here is what I did after the guy basically gave me the finger in a unpleasant way:
I ordered the Denon DVD-2900 AND a Denon TU-1500RD which including shiping sets me back euro 1,265.

That's euro 114 and a Tuner difference.....good gracious!

and maybe no warranty.

And if you ever need service from that local shop I'm sure they will be ever so eager to provide it for you. :devious:

I would have made you a deal, but I doubt it would have been anything approaching the online "deal." Most people who entertain the idea of shopping online for such things expect nothing less than a 1 for 1 price match, and if they DO buy it online, those people aren't out even that 15 minutes of advice either way. Some yokel in a warehouse gets a ship order and off it goes.. that is, if they actually HAVE the piece advertised. Most of these online people don't have everything they advertise, and will try to get what you order from one of their shady dealers.

Why don't you check out this link (http://www.usa.denon.com/support/).. and hope you never have a problem with the unit.

Umfriend
14th February 2004, 08:59
Thx for the link, I'll be sure to check out warranty (althoug the e-store sates that I will enjoy valid factory guarantee).

I'm prepared to pay for service, but this is too much. To make that thing region-free they wanted euro 90,- ???!?

When I asked if I could bring my amp and speakers (explicitly not on a saturday) so I could lsiten in Stereo set-up, the guy went whining he'd have to change all the settings on these DVD players...... I TOLD him I would be 2.0 only, so why would I want to listen to HIS 5.1 setup?

Anyway, almost 400 euro's on a 1400 machine goed a long way in covering risks of e-purchase IMO.

KvHagedorn
14th February 2004, 09:15
You are a financial advisor, are you not? Would you sit down with someone for even 15 minutes and offer financial advice for free, knowing that they will just go home and trade via their online account? If you would not do this, why not? It's exactly what you expect from that audio retailer.

KvHagedorn
14th February 2004, 09:58
Originally posted by Umfriend
Thx for the link, I'll be sure to check out warranty (althoug the e-store sates that I will enjoy valid factory guarantee).

Of course they do. And where will they be when you actually need service? If they still exist, you will have to send the thing in and fight with the service people yourself.

I'm prepared to pay for service, but this is too much. To make that thing region-free they wanted euro 90,- ???!?

Do you even know what this entails on that piece of equipment? (Not being in Europe, this never comes up here.) The guy would probably have to do it himself on his own time, and you just robbed him of his commission for selling it.

When I asked if I could bring my amp and speakers (explicitly not on a saturday) so I could lsiten in Stereo set-up, the guy went whining he'd have to change all the settings on these DVD players...... I TOLD him I would be 2.0 only, so why would I want to listen to HIS 5.1 setup?

Why on Earth do you feel the need to do this? I would find any excuse to keep you from coming in and wasting my whole day on this pointless maneuver myself. I would tell you to take it home and try it out. I might even come out and help you set it up if you were not being such a penis over the price, as rich as you admittedly are.

Anyway, almost 400 euro's on a 1400 machine goed a long way in covering risks of e-purchase IMO.

Being in this business as long as I have been, I could see myself wanting to be rid of you after 5 minutes, much less 15. Knowing you, you probably stood there arguing with the guy about every sort of little pointless thing, as though he was actually there for the "intellectual stimulation" of your inane babble. Then you want to waste his whole day setting up your own amp and speakers and then match some e-tailer price? I would have thrown you out too.

Umfriend
14th February 2004, 11:17
Of course they do. And where will they be when you actually need service? If they still exist, you will have to send the thing in and fight with the service people yourself.All true. Not sure the local store will be around by then either, who knows? I know it's more likely, but still.

Do you even know what this entails on that piece of equipment? (Not being in Europe, this never comes up here.) The guy would probably have to do it himself on his own time, and you just robbed him of his commission for selling it.Apparantly, and I found out after I told the guy goodbye today over the phone, it takes:
1. Downlaod a firmware file
2.Write it to CD
3. Insert CD-rom, turn the DVD player off, insert CD_rom and you are there. Morover, the guy did not volunteer I could easily do it myself. This is US$110 man! Yeah, he'd do it in his own time and avoid taxes as well. Assuming he sold this device a couple of times already, he may have the CD in place already or else it'd sure make it easy for him to advertise this to future customers.


Why on Earth do you feel the need to do this?At that time I was still in doubt on whether I would buy a modded-Phiplips 963SA or one of the Denon line, 2200 or 2900, why? Because there was a big difference in price and I'd like to have the idea that I can make a decent decision, in this cause on sound vs price.
I would find any excuse to keep you from coming in and wasting my whole day on this pointless maneuver myself. I would tell you to take it home and try it out. I might even come out and help you set it up if you were not being such a penis over the price, as rich as you admittedly are.Oh man, if ONLY he told me yesterday when I was at his shop: "Don't bother. Take two models with you, pay for them now and play with them for a week. Whichever suits best you keep and the other you get a refund". It would have saved him a "whole day", it would have saved ME a lot of trouble. No such offer was volunteerd AT ALL. I once suggested in a similar local shop something like this exacly. No way, they expect you to listen over there in the shop with their equipment, buy something (anything) and sod off!

When I was in his shop, I knew I could get it better priced. I never mentioned price during my visit ever. Had the guy made the same offer as you suggested, he'd have sold it to me at his price, no question asked. Instead, listening at his place was a heavy burden apparantly already.

Yeah, I then did wonder, if I should not take the gamble and buy it online. That savings put it halfway his price on the 2900 and the 2200. I looked around a bit more and found it cheaper still. Reviews were raving on both the modded Philips and the Denon, but with the Denon being quite a bit more expensive, especially in this shop, I gethered it would simply outclass the Philips. I will never know whether the difference is worth the money, but as the difference is only 300 euro now instead of 650, I'll take the bet.

Penis? Rich? Yeah tell me, how rich exactly am I? How rich should one be to simply spend US$ 500 extra on a US$1,250 machine huh? , I consider myself rich indeed. I need to work for a living though and 400 (that is US$ 500 nowadays) goes a long way....

Y'a know? It could be this is a case of a bad shop as well or the guy having a bad day. I don't have to put up with that just like that.

DOn't get judgemental on me like this, it's unbecoming. I don't deserve it. I don't feel like defending my behaviour against accusations of someone who does not know what went on. You don't know how rich I am, how much I do or should care about $500 for a $1,250 device or what took 15 minutes to discuss.

KvHagedorn
14th February 2004, 12:37
You're right, I don't know what went on. That guy might have been a dick, and I'm sorry I jumped to conclusions. Most internet-savvy younger people I have met in my store tend to not care too much about anything BUT price, though, so all I am saying is look, there's a difference between maintaining a shop where you can come in and listen to stuff or take it home and bring it back, have a guy come out to your house if need be, take time helping you choose your component, etc. and a web page where you enter the number "1" and buy. Why would anyone provide these services if they go unappreciated? Just remember, I am most definitely NOT rich, and I am on the other side of this story from you. The only thing that tells me that you are rich is what you wrote elsewhere here that I remember reading. I also thought I remembered you saying you were in financial services, so did that analogy shed any light on the matter?

Sorry I called you a penis, though. :p

Umfriend
14th February 2004, 13:08
Thx KvH, we're clear on this now. You got me all upset like as in "Shit, KvH thinks I'm an a$$hole" :)

I agree there is a difference. I did not need the guy to come down all the way just for that reason. He could have sold it to me at quite a bit more (1,250 was my target) when the lowest I had found was 1,079. And when I made the call today, I told him I would forego a listening excersize before I started hagling.

I am positively sure you would have had a sell with me.

BTW, thx again for the Denon link. I checked with my supplier and although they do stuff with serial no's on some brands, they told me they did not do that with Denon. Thx again. Too bad you don;t live in communist Netherlands, you'd have a sell and I'd be happy.

ZokesPro
14th February 2004, 13:52
Toy makers sending fewer hot toys to Wal-Mart (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0213Toy-Wars-ON.html)