Do you think that the Economy is playing a factor in fewer great deals lately? I do

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In the past few years we have seen a number of retailers have some serious problems

TigerDirect went out and they were always good for some deals...
Before Tiger bought CompUSA you could get really great deals at compusa

BestBuy went through some tough times with the founder trying to buy back all the stock.
I will tell you what.. since compusa and tiger went out and bestbuy having its own problems
Our local BestBuy just has not been the same.. stock is really different and not as good anymore
the feeling of the store has changed when you go in...

The war between Amazon and WalMart..
WalMart has even shut down stores
But Amazon is doing something not very smart they are buying empty Barns & Nobel's to start book stores...
More money then you know what to do with maybe ... not sure.. or maybe trying to keep books in people's hands instead of PDF's or websites... doubt that will work well.

Then you have the OfficeMax Office Depot thing.... and Staples..

Staples shutting down stores.... Kmart Shutting down stores..

HarborFreight going from free item coupons and 25% off to Free with Purchase and 20% off... but they are still not doing so bad.

It seems much worse out there than I want to even admit...

Seems we will never see actual free things anymore.. well maybe a tube of toothpaste if you buy a paper for a coupon and stack a refund that comes on the next visit...

What do you think?

I see a lot of bargains today that are just product that they cant sell

Major computer companies selling technology that is 5 year old.. and selling it as New
5TB drives that have remained the same price for over 2 years now..
Ram that doesn't come down in price

I even see some new tower systems with 500gb drives..
where are they getting these 500gb drives are they still being made?

I don't know but I would like to hear what you guys think about the economy and shopping and deals.
 

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Don't quit your day job.

Economic analysis clearly not your strong suit.

zippythechicken said:   In the past few years we have seen a number of retailers have some serious problems

TigerDirect went out and they were always good for some deals...
Before Tiger bought CompUSA you could get really great deals at compusa

BestBuy went through some tough times with the founder trying to buy back all the stock.
I will tell you what.. since compusa and tiger went out and bestbuy having its own problems
Our local BestBuy just has not been the same.. stock is really different and not as good anymore
the feeling of the store has changed when you go in...

The war between Amazon and WalMart. .
WalMart has even shut down stores
But Amazon is doing something not very smart they are buying empty Barns & Nobel's to start book stores...
More money then you know what to do with maybe ... not sure.. or maybe trying to keep books in people's hands instead of PDF's or websites... doubt that will work well.

Then you have the OfficeMax Office Depot thing.... and Staples. .

Staples shutting down stores.... Kmart Shutting down stores..

HarborFreight going from free item coupons and 25% off to Free with Purchase and 20% off... but they are still not doing so bad.

It seems much worse out there than I want to even admit...

Seems we will never see actual free things anymore.. well maybe a tube of toothpaste if you buy a paper for a coupon and stack a refund that comes on the next visit...

What do you think?

I see a lot of bargains today that are just product that they cant sell

Major computer companies selling technology that is 5 year old.. and selling it as New
5TB drives that have remained the same price for over 2 years now..
Ram that doesn't come down in price

I even see some new tower systems with 500gb drives..
where are they getting these 500gb drives are they still being made?

I don't know but I would like to hear what you guys think about the economy and shopping and deals.

  
No.  

I'm surprised no one has agreed with you.

Over the last year there have been a lot of mergers and acquisitions because there isn't a lot of organic growth and a merger can be a way to buy sales and prop up a balance sheet that isn't moving up otherwise. To me, I think the biggest negative hit that has come out recently is that productivity decreased. You be the judge of why productivity has gone down... Shortly before that it was how minimum wage now is lower than the 1950's when comparing the time value of money. Lots of people say that the jobs numbers are great, but both of these things point towards the opposite. Look at the wishy-washy FED over the last few years.

There are some parts of the country that have really been struggling, and it is reflected in companies that have a large presence in these same areas. You may have heard that apparently credit card use is on the rise, which is usually a good sign, but those same reports came with the warning that people are using credit just to buy necessities to live, which is a bad sign.

This is my opinion, but overall I think that there is a lot of anxiety, but also a lot of hope. The market swings daily on whatever is the flavor of the day. The elections certainly don't help any of this. Opinions here will greatly rely on where people live and what they see unless they actively try to get a feeling for the entire US. You can argue both ways, but I see another financial crisis taking root unless people start spending more money, but they need it first. These people probably probably aren't deal seekers though, and they are probably the ones that aren't spending.

If you really can't find deals on FW, try other sources. Many deals make it here late if at all.

Can you suggest a few sites? Thanks.

remmymom said:   Can you suggest a few sites? Thanks.
  
So you want someone to post links to other deal finding sites.....on a deal finding site  ?   Good luck with that. 

Retailers have better data and better analytics these days, so they can make decisions more quickly and more accurately about curtailing unprofitable activities (e.g. by not relying so much on "deals", closing down unprofitable stores) and competing in other ways to maximize profitability. Do you think it's a coincidence that the companies you mentioned that had lots of "good deals" are no longer in business?

Specialty retailers that don't offer a clear competitive advantage will go out of business. That's how the economy is supposed to work.

I'm also puzzled by your comment on 500GB drives. There are still a lot of mainstream PC users who are just fine with a 500GB drive (or even less), why do you think they should no longer be offered?

jayK said:   ...
I'm also puzzled by your comment on 500GB drives. There are still a lot of mainstream PC users who are just fine with a 500GB drive (or even less), why do you think they should no longer be offered?

  Yup.  I only recently upgraded my 120GB SSD to a 480GB SSD.  By recently I mean in July.  (I do back up to multiple 1TB external drives, but those are only connected during backups).

Closest Staples is closing Saturday. Dirty store, jammed with merchandise.

I owned Staples stock for years, finally sold it. Poorly run.

OP, a lot of things are contributing to the lack of deals. First is that innovation is on the wane, so items are taking longer to become obsolete. This slower cycle means less clearance pressure. No doubt the race to the bottom has taken out competitors and lack of competition means less loss leaders. I also think that price matching has tempered price wars. It's kind of like price fixing in that it creates a 'bottom'.

Finally, the relentless day-to-day competition dilutes the impact of specials. These days, Black Friday starts in September. First we have the post-start-of-school-clearance then we have Black Friday sneak peaks. Everything is on sale every day. If you think I'm kidding, compare everyday prices to BF ads from a couple years ago. I ordered my 60" plasma a week before the Superbowl.

These ARE good times. Enjoy them.

The safest way to hedge against market crashes is to stay the course.

The internet market is much more efficient today.

We used to take advantage of inefficiencies: price mistakes, coupons that weren't supposed to be available to everyone, rebates that weren't supposed to be redeemed by everyone, etc.

That's all. There are no bigger economic implications.

I'm confused by the reasoning in the OP. Apparently it's a bad sign for the economy that WalMart, Office Depot, etc are closing stores, but it's also a bad sign for the economy that Amazon is opening stores.

You also seem to think that it's a bad sign that companies which are seeking to make money are no longer giving away items for free? If anything, I'd argue that this is a good sign for the economy, in that there's more of a focus on profitability and companies aren't feeling the need to have a bunch of loss leaders in order to get business (I don't think a lack of loss leaders is due to a lack of competition).

As others have pointed out above, the internet's made many (but not all) retailers more efficient and able to Target offers & promos much better.

Something else to bear in mind is that there's much less need for B&M stores now - not just because of internet retailers but also the move from physical to digital. In the past you'd have stores selling books, CDs & DVDs; nowadays you have the Kindle, Spotify & Netflix. Where Best Buy might once have sold a ton of portable hard drives, you now have Dropbox. Instead of Microsoft Office 2007, you have Office365 or Google Docs. Instead of newspapers and magazines, you have all that information and more online.

Another example of efficiency - where businesses would have once bought loads of tower units, monitors, keyboards, mice, mousepads, etc, many now have staff working from home on laptops.

There are always going to be retailers who have serious problems as there will always be new competitors who do things cheaper and/or better. 10 or 20 years ago, everyone was bemoaning how Borders and Barnes & Noble were killing bookstores. Then everyone was bemoaning how Amazon was killing Borders and Barnes & Noble. People also complained how it was bad for the economy that all these new WalMart stores were opening up, now they're complaining that a handful of WalMart stores are closing down.

Ultimately, things are getting much better. Yes, there will be recessions but we're all (on average) still getting much richer, whether that's through monetary means or simply an improvement in our quality of life.

madcowdisease said:   Don't quit your day job.

Economic analysis clearly not your strong suit.

Peter Lynch used the same reasoning as ZippyTheChicken did and beat the vast majority of other funds.  He described it in his book One Up On Wall Street.  

It is the end of retailers as we once knew them.

Not only is Amazon destroying them directly, but companies and brands now want to sell directly to the consumer, taking out the middle man.  They want that direct relationship with the consumer and no longer need the retailers to make the connection and sale.  This is better for the consumer in lower prices (no distributor or retailer markup) and better for the companies with more profits.  

In 20 years, most of the retailers that we know will be gone as retailing becomes commoditized.  

OP this is the age of deals. So much so I feel the only way to go is down or kaput. And yes, I still think we have a shaky economy, which is reflected by the deals on offer.

The deals you want are mainly loss leaders and price mistakes. My feeling is that someone in marketing has realized that those deals are not cost effective.

Examples of today's crazy deals:
Gift cards. Everything is at least 5% off, even high demand things like gas and air travel. (This probably has to do with both the drop in oil prices and potential reduction in demand.)

Gift cards for discretionary items (like eating out and designer clothes) are greater than 20% off. That's trouble for those companies.

It seems external website referral bonuses (e.g. fatcash/ebates) are on the retreat as companies are now better equipped to offer their own coupons/deals.

The problem is that there is always a deal to be had (using gift cards, coupons, website referrals, pricematching). You just have to know where to look, otherwise you will pay fool price without knowing you're being taken advantage of.

I agree that in some consumer facing markets competition has reduced and as a result we are seeing fewer deals. The movie/entertainment industry comes to mind. High speed internet too. I wouldn't be surprised if Comcast and AT&T have agreed to fix their prices.



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