Customers and the Economy

I don’t often write about this subject here, but what the heck.

Since I live in the “retail world” a good portion of my weekly life I get a first-hand look at how shoppers affect our overall economy. It all starts with the packaging of products. For whatever reason, people apparently don’t believe the picture on the box. Maybe it’s a jig saw puzzle syndrome and they just absolutely have to look at the pieces. Or perhaps it’s simply they can’t understand graphics or descriptions, whatever it is many people simply can’t resist opening boxes and looking inside or trying a particular product.

On the surface that may seem as no big deal. However, when you realize that once the box is open – some boxes get opened several times – no one really wants to buy that particular box. So then it get’s relegated to the “damaged and destroy” department where the product is either returned to the vendor or simply thrown out – even though the product itself is still perfectly usable.

The consequence of that – because products are returned for “credit” or simply destroyed, the vendor or manufacturer has to recoup that cost somewhere. Guess where?  Through higher prices.

It’s a simple example I know, but it’s also an infuriating one.

Many shoppers are simply disrespectful human beings. They have little concern for anything except what they want and they will pilfer through as many products as they like until they find the one suitable to them. And once they do – low and behold the product they find, the one they wanted, looks exactly like the picture on the box and fits the description perfectly.  Go figure!

Here’s a story…. I man came into our store and was sending and receiving some faxed material. For one of his return faxes he needed to add a rather lengthy note. What did he do?  He simply went to the pen section, opened a package of pens, took one out, wrote his note, put the pen back in the package and left.  Naturally, since it was now an open package of pens, it went to “D & D”.  Would it have been that difficult for him to simply ask one of us for a pen to write his note?

All of us are customers. We all have an impact on the economy either through what we buy or what we “destroy.”  Perhaps if we were better customers businesses could afford to stay in this country, keep their jobs in this country, and help us keep our economy growing.  I know that’s a rather large conclusion to a seemingly general and insignificant problem, but it all starts somewhere.

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