Thursday, August 16, 2012's a jungle

It's funny how big box retailers continue to get raked over the coals while major online retailers still seem immune to the vitriol often aimed at their brick and mortar counterparts. Memes like the one below catch fire easily on social media, but somehow people equate this to Wal-mart and not Amazon

But Amazon are the good guys, right? I mean, any store can list their products on Amazon, so what a great avenue for being able to sell your product!

What most people don't realize is that for most product categories a retailer pays 15% of their sale back to Amazon. Now, if you retail most products these days, that's likely most or all of your profits. Given the number of retailers using Amazon, and the fact that as a smaller "mom and pop" online retailer you don't do nearly the volume of the same brick and mortar big box stores everyone hates (which also sell on Amazon) there's almost no way to make money anymore as a little guy.

Just something to think about the next time you talk smack about Target or Wal-mart and then go buy an Amazon gift card. As with anything these days, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Birthdays, Music and Such

Sunday Morning

As time marches on, I've found that my children's birthdays and my wedding anniversaries make me feel quite a bit older than do my own birthdays. This in mind, I feel older today than I did on Saturday. Why?

Because Child 1 had a birthday on Sunday, that's why. He turned 13 at about 2:00 that morning, an annual event that magnifies my own oldness quite a bit more sharply than does that of his sister, Child 2. He had a couple of friends spend the night on Saturday, one of whom had moved out of town several months ago. They had a jolly good time, staying up too late and generally making an awful racket.

Not that awful, though.

On Sunday, the weather was beautiful. Children 1 and 2 spent nearly the entire day outside, leaving me and the wife with the house more or less to ourselves. We listened to music and played Scrabble and Cribbage, we cooked - actually, she cooked while I tried to keep out of her way - we talked, and generally we just enjoyed each other's company. We also- I'll just leave it at that, but note once again that we had the house more or less to ourselves.