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Free Enterprise, Competition, and Lower Prices
#1
Is this an example of Free Enterprise actually at work here?

Problem for Bezos: Mall Becoming Cheaper Than Amazon

Personally I have not seen this yet. But I don't frequent the malls, or go shopping very much, other than for groceries, and building materials.

Quote:You might think the biggest challenge for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is figuring out how to make money running a print newspaper, but here is a risk hitting much closer to home: Brick-and-mortar retail stores are becoming cheaper than Amazon.

At least one store, that is. Prices at Bed Bath & Beyond were on
average 6.5% less than at Amazon for a basket of 30 items chosen by analysts at BB&T for one of their periodic pricing studies comparing the retailers.
“We are becoming increasingly concerned Bed Bath & Beyond is sacrificing gross margin in order to drive top-line growth,” BB&T said — that is, increasingly concerned that Bed Bath & Beyond is starting to behave more like Amazon.

One big factor helping Bed Bath & Beyond are the 20% off coupons it regularly sends to its customers. Once you adjust for those, the price gap widens out to 25%.

But even without the coupons, Bed Bath & Beyond is cheaper than Amazon for many items, sometimes considerably so. This shower curtain, for example, is $24.99 at the former and $32.39 at the latter — a 23% difference before any coupons are taken into account.
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Have a Gneiss Day!
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#2
Not sure about the article. There is normally a broad price range on Amazon. If you pick the top of the list, BB&B may beat it, but I rarely get anything except at bargain basement prices. For instance, my leather iPhone holster was under $3 and shipped free. BB&B is normally one of the stores I consider a bit upscale. Kohl's, Target, and Meijiers are the best stores for value shopping.

However, good shopping is good shopping. I found three folding director's chairs at Aldi's for $26 apiece when the cheapest I saw on Amazon was just under $50. Normally shopping at Aldi's is about food on the cheap - who'd a thunk chairs?
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#3
I rarely shopped online at amazon or elsewhere because the prices were not that attractive, not enough to offset the impossibility to see and touch the product before buying it and the stress of waiting a delivery.

However you can consult online price lists and catalogues of almost all the vendors and compare. Real or virtual store, it doesn't make much difference anymore.

I even managed to save 20€ by buying some tool from a store in another town 300 km away and managing and paying for the pick-up and delivery myself, separately. For the manager there it was a surprise but he had a website.

On another instance I looked for the best price/quality for a tool on all the vendor websites and it happened that an online-store had the best offer... just to see it beated by 5€ at a real store.
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