There is one company called ‘zoverstocks’ who have been really annoying me on Amazon as I try to sell a few unwanted CD’s.
Lets do a practical example shall we?
Last week I decided I wanted to sell my Declan O’Rourke CD, ‘Since Kyabram’ and being the only one offering a used copy of this CD I put it up for sale at £11.50 (which was slightly less than a new one). Perhaps that was too expensive and I was being a bit greedy, but it was still cheaper than a new one and just wanted to see if anyone would take it.
The next day I discovered that I wasn’t the only one offering a used Declan O’Rourke CD, a selller called zoverstocks was as well and they had priced the CD at £11.49.
This annoyed me.
So I then decided that I would price mine at £11.48 and checked the price of some of the other CD’s I had listed and had put the lowest price on.
It was same story – zoverstocks had undercut them by 1p.
And within a few hours they had undercut my £11.48 on Declan O’Rourke to £11.47.
Today, about 5 days later they are offering the CD at £2.98 while I have moved mine back up to £11.50.
As I’ve watched them over the last few days and realised that they must have a computer program or small trained chip who has the sole purpose of undercutting the lowest price by 1p it has given me an interesting lesson in fair trading, power being accumulated unfairly, etc.
Not that I have fleshed it all out yet but can the same thing be applied to small farmers and the way we shop.
‘The Food Programme’ on Radio 4 yesterday was about supermarkets and bananas. It says
‘Over the past few months Supermarket price wars have halved the cost of one of Britain’s best loved fruits – the banana. Even though retailers say they aren’t passing cuts down to growers Sheila Dillon asks, whether our appetite for cheap fruit is having an impact on workers at the other end of the supply chain. We travel to Ecuador, one of the world’s leading banana exporters, to explore the reaction on a plantation’
The Amazon experience and Food Programme brings it all back that there is a need to be fair in all aspects of our business.
There should be a fair price to farmers in The Windward Islands, but closer to home in the way we shop on the internet I suppose.
Perhaps we need to ask questions like is it right to buy our books off Amazon if it puts the small independent bookshop in our town (which it probably has already) out of business?
Or is it right for me to be feeding Amazon more and more by selling my stuff on it?
And where on earth have we got this notion that if something is cheap, its automatically good? This seems to be a value that we hold dear and forgo any sense of ethics about.
It seems to be ingrained in our heads that cheap is good and a noble value.
You will hear every spokesman from a supermarket who is brought on the TV using cheap prices to justify whatever morally questionable actions they may be up to.
And the sad thing is, it often works…