Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Redundant Why?

Why do prices keep going up? With the notable exception of gasoline and oil products, prices keep rising every time I look around. But salaries aren't going up, so in reality, we all have less money to spend on these more expensive items. It's a vicious circle and I'm not happy about it.

This story was from mid-2014. I guarantee the prices are
even higher today. Just one very small product example. 

For example - the Post Office. I'm quite ready to admit that they do an amazing job, sorting and delivering the mail in excellent time across the country and overseas. I ship all packages to my mail order customers using their Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and merchandise is delivered quickly and in one piece. But the latest rate increase that they sneaked through really sucks. Small envelope rate went from $5.05 to $6.45 and the small box rate went from $5.20 to $6.80. Thus, the two methods I use most frequently went up $1.40 and $1.60 respectively, increases that are HUGE for my mail order sales. OUCH!

The US Post Office provides mail boxes and envelopes for
Priority Mail shipments at no charge. That's nice, but
with an increase like this, I'd almost rather pay for the
damned box. 

Of course, asking "Why?" in a case such as this is shouting to someone on the far side of the Grand Canyon - i.e., useless. The Post Office is mired in red tape and red ink - a losing proposition even though they must be saving tons on their gas costs right now. Still, it's my customers who will end up paying for this ridiculous raise in fees and I'm disappointed in the huge jump in the rates I have to charge them. When added to the costs of mandated health insurance, food cost increases, and general across-the-board cost of living increases, it's a wonder anyone can afford to put food on their tables.

Everywhere you look, stores are offering sales. Fast food
is dropping their prices too - to some of the lowest I've
seen in years. So does this mean that services are increasing
while products are decreasing in price? Not across the board - no. 

Are we getting better quality for the money? Are we getting more variety? More competent service or sales people? Are we feeling like we're getting more for our hard-earned money? No? Yeah - I hear you and I feel your pain. Every time we have a price increase from a manufacturer, we weigh whether we increase our prices to our customers, and often we leave it alone and eat the smaller profit. How long can we do that? It's anyone's guess.

Here's hoping you have an excellent Wednesday. I'll be spending money buying higher priced groceries after my swim. I wonder what my lettuce will cost today? ...

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