Two years ago, everyone looked at online shopping like a commodity. They didn't care if they bought it from Amazon or Overstock as long as they were getting the best price or paying no tax.
Now things are a bit different. Not every store sells the exact same item for the same price with Free shipping. Not every store has the item in stock and not every store can ship it to you for a reasonable price and in a reasonable time.
Why is everything so messed up? One of the main reasons is that is used to cost about $5000.00 to ship a container of goods from China to the US. Now that container costs $21000 to ship and the goods inside the container will cost an additional 25% in taxes. Se essentially each container costs 25% more and on top of that add another $15000 in shipping.
That is the added cost at the lowered level the production level. When the good arrive to Amazon or Target, they typically need to go through a distributor that needs to make a mark up, there is additional transportation, there are shelf space rental costs and other variable costs. In order to make money on a 50 cent item, it needs to cost $5.00 at the store when it used to cost $1.00.
That might be a slight exxageration but the game is no longer find the toy for the best price. The new game is find the toy. As as a parent I know how hard it is to find hot toys like the baby Yoda and LOL dolls. When I see some at Target I don't really care if they are on sale. I am just happy to get some.
That is the same thing with video game systems. Right now getting a good deal on a system means buying it for the proper price even if you are forced to buy games and controllers in a bundle you might not want. Just even scoring the bundle 7 months after Christmas is considered lucky.
Go try and my an Antminer S19 or go try to buy a Nvidia GTX 3090 to build a mining rig. They just aren't around. So its not a matter of seeing if newegg or amazon has it cheaper than adorama. Right now it just about who has it in stock and can you purchase it before it sells out.
Air Jordans are the same way. They almost always sell out at the drop. Even American Eagle coins are now impossible to get. You used to be able to be coins on drop day any time. Now you have to stalk your computer at 12 est and be logged in and ready to refresh. It sucks. It was so much easier the past 13 years.
Concert posters sell out in seconds. Handbags and watches sell out in seconds. Concert tickets sell out in seconds. The scarcity of basic items is going to cause the black market beyond black markets to rise up and they have. Stubhub and Stock X are the ultimate black market. These websites are where supply and demand are able to fully realize the value of goods. You can always buy the Air Jordan you want but it might cost $1000. You can always buy the concert tickets and seats that you want but it might cost $1000.00.
Until the world is able to create enough supply, certain luxury goods and luxury experiences are going to get really expensive. For instance, did watch makers make watches and did LV make bags this year because of Covid. If the luxury brands took a year off from production, the scarcity and the ammout of people who made it rich during Covid is going to cause all the prices to go up. As an example, go try and buy a Rolex Batman watch. They should be about $10,000 and you can't find a new one that is reliable for less than $18,000.
Rolex is no longer making enough watches and it is causing the resale market to freak out.
Even at Richardson Seating, we don't have enough materials to do everythign that we want. We are short on steel frames for our round seat bar stools and we are short diner chair frames. We have done everything we can to keep orders moving. We even placed a large chair order with our friends Vitro Seating so that we could get the order for the customer without them waiting.
This has been a crazy time for buying steel and wood. Right now, I am not able to ask my vendors to price match. All I can do is call every day and say do you have any steel? Can I get some?