Business, DIY, Home, Marketing, Society

Slow News Days


Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

I haven’t got much to say today so I’ll quickly mention newspapers that seem to be similarly afflicted.

Linda Smith once said on a B-series episode of QI “My favourite ever headline was “Worksop Man Dies Of Natural Causes.”

The internet era equivalent of the Worksop man are the people from across the country who have done some DIY on a budget. The Google News feed on my phone provides me with, at least once a week, a story from a local newspaper site wherein someone has given their kitchen, bathroom or garden a spruce up for less than it should surely cost by doing something novel and amazing – buying things from a cheaper shop. Gasp.

They’re generally along these lines: “Savvy shopper Tracy transformed her home using items from [insert bargain store name here]“, and the article tells us “she got a new look kitchen for just £200.” Sometimes you’ll “never believe how she did it.”

Why is this news? Why is it unbelievable? Why haven’t I got an article written about me? Just last night I had fish, chips and mushy peas for less than the chip shop cost by buying items from Asda and B&M Bargains. Chips shop quality mushy peas too. And I’ve given my living room a makeover using stuff from B&M and Ebay no less.

When there’s a two-hundred foot UFO hovering over the town hall, that’ll be news.

[Glances out the window, just in case.]

Business, Psychology, Tech

Amazon Roulette

English: Amazon warehouse at Glenrothes

English: Amazon warehouse at Glenrothes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to buying things that are non-essential I tend to follow my gut instinct and be patient, waiting for the best deal and usually I get a bargain.  Sometimes this is because I’ve waited for the thing to be replaced by “next year’s model” and is discounted in a local clearance store or on Amazon, but many of these bargains have been through the wonder that is Amazon WarehouseI don’t know if other countries have this but we do in Britain.

I’ve had a slightly dinged Acer Netbook for half-price, £35 worth of ring binders for £2.76 which had only had the box opened it appears and a souvenir London 2012 notebook which only had a slight mark on the spine for a couple of quid.  High-street shops have been selling these “shop-soiled seconds” for decades as many people won’t buy things at full price if the packaging or the product is slightly damaged, or has even been opened.  Amazon’s back-room though is a treasure trove and it’s given me a little game you can play.

The prices of everything on Amazon can vary and you can use “Your Browsing History” to keep track of stuff you want and watch the prices, including the Warehouse prices which come under the “Used” pricing.  Recently I’ve been watching Sony Bluray players and the three models that have built-in iPlayer etc have been up and down like the proverbial yo-yo in the Warehouse for weeks.  First the basic model was cheap, then it shot up for no good reason, then the mid-range did the same, then the best one suddenly dipped below the price the basic one had initially dropped to – less than half-price for one with “slight cosmetic damage”.  I clicked “buy” and deleted them all from my history so I don’t see if they went even lower – if you are of the masochistic or pessimistic nature however you could keep watching.

Bargain spotting, 21st century style.  Just remember, in shopping as in life, patience is everything.