Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Marketing goof

There are times when you just have to wonder, “What were they thinking?”

In the current economy, dollar stores are a wonderful resource. These stores take unsold inventory from other retailers and from manufacturers and mark it down to ridiculously low prices. Because the selection at a dollar store is determined by somewhat random factors, it is never certain exactly what will turn up. But we have found some really good deals on occasion, such as a kitchen canister set (13 containers and lids ranging in size from one that holds 20 pounds of cat chow to one just right to store Gerald’s secret blend of barbecue rub) for $2, or a wicker bathroom set (big clothes hamper, small clothes hamper, wastebasket, and more) for $3.

The quality of what one finds in the dollar stores is highly variable. Sometimes, for example, there will be canned goods near their expiration dates, or clothes that have been so shoddily sewn that they’re falling apart on their hangers. At other times, there may be merchandise that has been discontinued; one time, I found a bed-in-a-bag set identical to one I had bought six months earlier at a major department store, for about a third of the price.

And much of what ends up in dollar stores is simply stuff that for some reason didn’t sell. We once picked up several boxes of a major name brand of tissue for a super-bargain price (something like three boxes for $1). These were lovely designer boxes decorated with a wildflower motif: mustard, ragweed, sagebrush, Russian thistle, and so forth. Gee, I wonder why nobody wanted them?



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