Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I hate being ripped off.

Okay I went to a CERAC study club last night and I am not happy. Fridays blog is going to be on my opinion of CERAC.

It is going to take me a couple of days to calm down and I don't want to say things I might regret (that is growth, baby). I also want to write about this, today's topic, because I was hot about it on Monday and I have sinced calmed down enough to write about it.

Today's topic is about getting ripped off.

You know if you go to a place of business, it can be anything, like a mechanic, a specialty store, Disney? Have you ever left a store and really felt a pit in your stomach because you just think you have been ripped off in the highest degree.

Like, (not the same but I am setting the stage for my story) if you went to the mechanic. This is kind of different for me because I don't know anything about cars. They would say you need a new sphitzer valve (Fletch reference) and I look and he says see here you need to replace that. Then he looks up the part in the book and it says $50 and then he looks up how long the book says it will take, 1 hour, that is $150. So your bill is $200 to change the sphitzer valve. Now this doesn't tick me off that much because I don't know what the heck they are doing. I don't know a thing about cars. So I trust my guy and pay his bill. Even though I wish it wasn't so much.
Or (again, not the same but I am getting there) if you go to Disney with the family. It is 110 degrees and you can't wait any longer (you put it off as long as you can because you know what is coming) because you are starting to get dizzy. You go to the counter and your worst fears have come true...5 drink, $35 dollars. Ouch. I again don't blame Disney. It is not really price gauging. You get this awesome Dumbo cup that can sit in your cabinet for 5 years. But Disney has other stuff mixed in with the drink. They have the cart, they have cups, they have characters walking around while you are drinking your drink, it is part of the whole drinking experience.
I understand I am going to get it...I take it like a man and move on.

Now the thing that gets me is my local pool store. I have an automatic pool sweeper. (One thing that gets me is that the material the pool sweep is made of breaks down in pool water, figure that. I pay almost $600 for this thing and he tells me I will probably get three years out of it. What!!?!). This things drives around the pool and cleans up all the leaves at the bottom of the pool. Now every 4 minutes or so the thing automatically backs up. The reason for this is that if it gets stuck on a step it is not stuck there until the end of the day. So it has a valve on it that kicks it back. Pretty cool huh?
The valve I have has a hole in it. It needs to be replaced, no problem. Let me just run up to the Pool store and buy a replacement valve. My wife was out so I called her to go and get it.
She came home with it and said, "you know this thing was $65 don't you?" I said, "WHAT?!"
So I went on eBay and looked it up. $32 dollars BUY NOW and $5 dollars shipping. That is $65 compared to $37.

Now this makes my blood boil.
Now I am not talking about buying something that has service attached to it.
I am not talking trusting this guy more than I trust someone else. I am buying a product, not a service.
Now I am also not talking about, I could get it online for $25 and he sells it for $29. Of course I understand what it cost to own a shop, I understand what it cost to run a business. I don't understand sticking it to your loyal customers.
That is 100% more. That is highway robbery. Now if I didn't go to eBay and find this out, I would of never known he was ripping me off.
Am I being a baby? Do you say, "this is a capitalist society, and he can do what he wants"?

I have a small business and recognize that I have the trust of my patients. Are things expensive? Yes. Are they fair? Yes. If my service and products are better than the average guy can't I be a little more expensive? If I choose to have more staff than the next person in order to have a better experience for my patient isn't it okay if I charge more? If I choose to have better equipment more technology to serve the patient better, isn't it okay to be a little bit more expensive than the next?

But when it comes to someone buying a product here, it is different. (We don't make it a habit of selling products here, like Sonicares or whitening products, it is not a huge part of our practice)
When we do sell them products, we sell it to them for LESS than they can buy it at the store. We buy a Sonicare toothbrush for lets say $75 (because I don't really know) and the store sells it for $140, I sell it to my patients for about $99. I mean we pay the tax and may make $5 on the deal, which is enough for our troubles. This is not a money making thing. We sell the bleaching material at cost. I mean we have already made the money off of them for the bleaching.

I hate getting ripped off. I don't know why it rubs me so much but it does. Sometimes when you are buying a product you are not comparing two of the same things. This time I am comparing an apple to an apple. One apple was $65 and one apple was $37.
It wrong, just wrong.


YOUTH said...

yeah. well it's like when I bought a medicated shampoo for my dog for $20 at my vet/groomers, and then my husband found it online for $6.

We got our next bottle from amazon, dang it!!

Anonymous said...

Dear John,

An educated consumer is the best customer. I agree in seperating service from product. The widgets that are mass produced one after the other are no different from one store to the other. You just better know how to use the widget!

gatordmd said...

When I went to return the $65 item to this shop. I told them I got the SAME EXACT item on line for $32. He blew me off and said we can't compete with internet prices. I said why not? He said because they don't carry an inventory. He said when you order they order it from the company and there is no store time.
I looked on their shelf and there was one. So he is going to rip people off because he has to keep a $20 item on his shelf. I am blown away. I will never buy something again without checking the internet first.


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