I mean, I don't know how else do you expect this to work? That all companies and individuals should be obliged to give us the lowest price they will ever accept, just because?
I do my grocery shopping at one grocery store. I know I'm paying a bit more for some items (and much more for a few), but it's worth it to me because it means I don't have to make extra trips to Target and Trader Joe's, plus I don't have to remember what the prices are at all three stores so that I buy the right items at the right store. The vast majority of my spending falls into this category.
In fact, car and salary are the only two things I can think of that I actually negotiate at all. Even my house I didn't really negotiate. I made an offer slightly below asking and accepted the sellers counter in the middle.
As a non-FAANG software engineer in the bay area, I definitely don't consider myself super rich. (NB: I didn't buy a house in the bay area, but where I plan to eventually retire. For now it's just a vacation home. I'll never make enough to afford a house in the bay.)
I take your point that only the big things are worth sweating, but I feel like local comparison shopping is the sort of thing technology should make easy, and it still seems really hard. User uploaded systems, like GasBuddy, probably wouldn't work on so many items, unless uploading the price data could be automated somehow.
If we could kill paper receipts and instead get per-item sales data pumped to our feed of choice (Mint? Email?), then it'd be much easier to build a system on top of that that would run weekly local price comparisons. If you really wanted only one trip, maybe it could compare your total shopping list.
I know a lot of stores offer emailed receipts as an option now, it'd be a little more seamless if your payment system communicated your receipt preferences automatically, and if Mint or something like it was ready to catch that data.
Also, all of the examples about cars, salaries, &c are no where near the frequency of groceries or monthly subscriptions and probably don't happen simultaneously.
The constant cognitive overload of doing it for everything in our lives is the issue, not that we can't do it for unique circumstances.
First off, the stores are not fungible. Secondly, most people are trading off a convenient option for a much more inconvenient option or two, not 30s more driving. So say a extra 1/2 hour to your trip, or more.
Why aren’t they fungible? Because they don’t carry the same products. There is an overlap of commodity products (cans of coke, big name cleaners etc.) There are product a more bargain store won’t carry at all, and then there are products that are superficially commodity (cheese, meats, dairy, produce) but really aren’t.
Of course marketing makes this all more complicated if you want to think of “rational shopping” but it’s still true that the mid and high cost stores know I would probably be happier to pay more for truly commodity products there, than make a separate trip for them. For the most part, for most people, that’s true - although cf CostCo and the like for specific counter examples based on less frequent trips to “stock up”
It would be even a nice and simple "Homo economicus" behavior if the amount was context-free. But people are partially rational beings, so they will putting a lot of effort searching for a house even if they don't wait an hour on the phone to get a $2 discount on some service.
Example: If you're earning enough, it might make sense to eat out every single meal. The time you'd spend doing groceries and cooking, plus their associated costs, can be lower than what you'd earn working an extra few hours per week and eating out every meal. (If you actually enjoy cooking it's of course a different story. And I do too. But people who eat out constantly are a thing.)
>I mean, I don't know how else do you expect this to work? That all companies and individuals should be obliged to give us the lowest price they will ever accept, just because?
Yes. Preferably with huge penalties whenever they do differently, the kind that shut down a company as opposed to slaps on the wrist.
It's called transparent pricing, and not treating your customers like shit for price differentiation reasons.
The following one-liner converts their audiofile format to a equivalent mp4. Consider this a public service, and a way to make content you legally purchased yours.
ffmpeg -activation_bytes 1CEB00DA -i test.aax -vn -c:a copy output.mp4
If your identity is tied up with your affinity cards, you have a problem.
There's a whole industry out there trying to convince you that what brand you buy is important, beyond what value you get from the product itself. This is a promoted delusion. The classic paper is "Brands as symbolic resources for the construction of identity", out of Oxford.
It's makes me feel like a rodent in a maze responding to some twisted experiment.
And whenever I overhear people discuss the tricks they've come up with to save 2$/year on their transit pass or cable bill or whatever, I have to walk away.
I find those kinds of discussions tedious to the point that it makes me angry.
I think we have a deep need to be rewarded for loyalty.
Tactics include: seeding “secret” coupons, discount rules that are more lenient than advertised, price matching against yourself, selling items that are more expensive but ship free, allowing them to contact customer service for better discounts, and so on.
I mean really, $10/yr over 10 years is $100. Congrats, you can now afford a fraction of a plane ticket after a decade?
Let's all realize that corporations are the best manipulators in history.
It is essentially impossible for a person to take advantage of a corporation in an ethical/non-criminal way; their structure explicitly minimizes that. So, then, realize that they have formed themselves not to be exploited, but to exploit you. This is their raison d'être.
How much time have you spent analyzing your decisions to ensure that you are never being taken advantage of? I guarantee every corporation you deal with on a daily basis has spent orders of magnitude more time thinking about it, and more, analyzing how best to take advantage of others.
If a person exhibits the traits common to corporations, they would be considered narcissistic sociopaths.
I'm not suggesting shunning corporations from your life is a practical answer to this issue, but you should certainly be aware of it.
It's an unfortunate consequence of how copyright exherts their influence: they do not want to end up like musicians on Spotify.
This isn't even the shittiest thing Audible does! It will delete audiobooks from your library and not even tell you.
Despite all that I'm a loyal audible member. I'm on the 24 credits/yr plan, and that's the best deal for audiobooks I have seen. Audible customer service is awesome, and it is easy to return any book you don't like. I don't love the credit model either, but you're basically choosing between expensive books on apple or cheap + deal w the credits on audible. To take an extreme example, I recently listened to The Path to Power which cost me $9 on audible. It would have been $34.99 on itunes.
It seems like HN wants the best of both worlds, i.e. $9 per audiobook and no dealing with credits. But that's just not an option.
This is why so many retail investors will double down on a losing stock position. Any day trader will tell you that this is a complete fallacy. Even if you don’t sell your shares that are losing money, you still have taken the loss, the only one who hasn’t admitted it is yourself.
Better to cut the cord and leave instead of trying to dump more money in and “right” an losing situation.