Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shopping This Fall - Pricing

This is not a direct concern to just mobile warriors but shoppers in general.

In the last few weeks, we've all noted a sharp drop in crude prices and just as much of a drop at the pumps. There are a couple of reasons for this.  Early in the year when gas prices were near $5 in some places (thank goodness we came close in LA but did not cross it), folks started shying away from driving and took up public transportation.

Maybe you also noticed prices at the supermarket has gone up as well.  Well, now that prices are down now, much much lower, people  have gotten used to not having to drive as much.  I love to see $2 a gal prices (after taxes of course) but I don't know if that'll happen.

Now, electronics for this Christmas and Holiday Seasons?  I put this out there because in my industry, we watch crude closely.  We have seen raw materials drop like a big stone.  We're seeing not a snowball effect.  We see big boulders dropping in the last couple of months and may well continue through the first quarter of 2009 if the economy doesn't pick up.

I was talking with a co-worker about our situation and I got think about consumer electronics.

So, back to electronics.  Right now, there may be a lot of computers, laptops, and HDTV made in Asia and shipped to the US when things were expensive.  Now that raw materials are dropping and shipping costs are down, what happens to those electronics with higher costs?

Plus, even with costs dropping, businesses are not picking up orders like before for two reasons I see.  One, we're in the middle of a recession.  At least on Main Street, it feels like it.  Two, costs are still going down and businesses are thinking why order now when it'll be cheaper next month.

Anyway, I think if we pick our timing right, we can still get great deals.  Amazon, Target, Walmart and Best Buy (BB lowered their financial numbers today) still have financial targets to meet and they'll have to compete really hard for shrinking consumer dollars.

A Rasmussen report survey showed 66% of consumers will spend less this year than last year.  Why it doesn't say how much less, it may simply mean consumers are going to be more picky.

Anyway, if you know how we can all collectively stretch our dollar this winter, please share it with us.

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