Feb 6, 2006

(RANT)When a Buck isn't a Buck

The hot new trend in the scrapbook industry is one dollar items. We all LOVE the Dollar Spot at Target. I love how it changes all the time - you never know what you're going to find there. The Dollar Bins at Michaels are fun, too. I bought some patterned blank cards there last week that are just ITCHING to be embellished. They remind me of the DCWV blank cards. They were $1 per pack of 8.

Now some scrapbook companies have jumped on board the dollar train - Outdoors and More, Magic Scraps, Die Cuts with a View and Memories Complete all have products that retail for just a buck! I've blogged about the dollar stuff before. However, in the industry, these products are specifically marketed as being DOLLAR ITEMS. I think some stores missed that memo, though. Oh, and they certainly didn't pass it on to their customers.

I recently saw the DCWV DOLLAR stickers at a local scrapbook store for $1.19. Not a dollar... I have heard reports from ScrapBiz members that the same stickers are being sold at a large, national craft chain for $1.99! Come on - they're priced to be a DOLLAR and that large, national chain got them for less than I can get them for. Talk about ROBBERY!

I'm going to let you in on a dirty little secret of the scrapbook industry. The large national chains OFTEN have higher prices than your local Scrapbook Store and home-based consultant (not on each product but over-all). That 40% off coupon is often NOT really 40% off. Depending on what you buy, it's usually more like 20% off because the prices are inflated to cover the coupon. I often walk into my local chain craft store and find prices pumped by at least 20%. I know the MSRP on many products and that's NOT what they are selling them at. It's not just a few pennies to cover the cost of shipping (a common practice in the industry), it's a BIG increse for many products. They are literally nickle and diming you to death on the prices.

It honestly bugs me that businesses are not selling what is marketed as a dollar line for a dollar. If they want to up the prices a little on other things to cover the shipping costs of the dollar line, then do it. But, they are missing a great opportunity in their stores by not having a TRUE dollar spot! Instead, they are just putting the dollar stickers in with everything else, upping the price and hoping you won't notice.

1 comment:

Rose said...

KIM,
Can I just say AMEN! Doesn't anyone in the industry want to give the customer a break anymore? I kind of got into this because I wanted to share my passion with everyone and want them to get a break whenever possible. I figure it can only drive more business my way and that the manufactors are trying to work out soomething so that we can compete on some level with some of the big box stores.
ON second though, maybe it's all right if the other stores charge more then a buck for their dollar stuff after all. I'll just keep my dollar items and be know as the store where you get great scrapbooking stuff and some good bargins too!
TTFN!
Rose