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User Info Walmart Spikes, Is Amazon Doomed? in forum [Market-Ticker]
Kareninca
Posts: 234
Incept: 2011-08-23

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I do check Walmarts prices before (sometimes) buying on Amazon. For what I buy, Amazon is still almost always cheaper - but the difference keeps narrowing (and thats not taking into account the cost of Prime membership). The great bargains on Amazon seem to be disappearing; I think it is because they are pushing out a lot of their independent sellers (I know two who have been pushed out, which does not endear Amazon to me to put it mildly).

But for me, returning stuff in a Walmart store would not be a plus at all. Our local Walmart store (which is the only one in reasonable driving distance) is horrible to shop in. It is huge, and it has a huge parking lot, but the lot is always nearly full, and the store is always absolutely mobbed (its Mountain View, CA). It is so bad that I save up a long list and go once every four months. The lines for checking out are really long; there are not enough cashiers. And the lines for returning things are very long as well. The one time in 21 years that I returned something there, it was not a pleasant experience. I often glance over to the return area and the line is always ridiculous. Also, the Mountain View store is also often out of stock of lots of items; the glucose-testing item shelves are always nearly bare; they have stopped carrying A1c tests. So it would never be a frequent stop for me, or a desirable place to return things, unless a lot changed.

The Walmart where my parents live (eastern CT) is dirty and disorganized; they rarely shop there. It is most definitely not snobbery; it really is pretty bad. Also, by using coupons and flyers, they are able to get better prices at local stores (they rarely use Amazon). The Walmart where my in-laws lived (eastern PA) is very nice; clean and well-stocked and not crowded. So the appeal of the stores as a place to stop will vary.

Goforbroke
Posts: 7089
Incept: 2007-11-30
A True American Patriot!
Drain the Swamp!
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Yup. For either Amazon or Walmart or whoever tries to enter this space.

And as other financial commitments (healthcare cough cough) become more significant, people won't be able to spend on anything.

I'm seeing it around here. Won't go into details, but as a result of the husband having a coronary arrest, a friend's family faces tens of thousands of hospital bills (with insurance), loss of the second income, and have stopped cable TV, internet, and are facing a huge financial burden from which they have no clue how they will emerge.

Most everyone I see has planned their lives around things being at (or beyond) perfection.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson
Dtlgc
Posts: 1048
Incept: 2007-11-26

Texas
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Walmart is making a big push to get sellers to use their platform, personally I detest the Amazon platform - why would I want another headache.....bah, pass...
Dennisglover
Posts: 812
Incept: 2012-12-05

Huntsville, AL
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I've been taking propranolol (Inderal) 80mg ER for about twenty years now to treat what was diagnosed as a "benign familial intention tremor" by my GP way back then. Under various "insurance" (Cigna, BC/BS, etc.) the normal monthly cost has been $15-$20, sometimes as much as $45, whether for 30 or 60 doses.

I ran out a few days ago, and decided to forego the final refill issued by my now utterly fired internist. Since propranolol is described by at least one source as a "psychoactive beta-blocker", I wasn't entirely surprised that after 3 days without it my driving was less than confident.

So I had looked at goodrx (dot) com on October 9, and they said the cost for 30 capsules of 80mg LA/ER was $12.50 or so. I printed their "coupon" and read all the text outside the coupon boundary--"Will work at other pharmacies (price may vary)", "This coupon price may be lower than your health insurance co-pay, but it cannot be used to lower your co-pay", "The final price is determined by your local pharmacy".

I asked the local pharmacy (Mom-n-Pop store thing), who I've been doing business with for 20+ years) about the coupon, and they said they didn't use or accept it. But then the pharmacy assistant said, "You have insurance, so you can use that." My reply: "No, I do not have insurance, not since August 31." Then she said that they use a "card" for people who don't have this kind of insurance, and offered to give me the price after they checked it. (Now, maybe it ought to be noted that last month, after insurance ended, the pharmacist guy told me it would cost about $65, and I accepted that.)

So I was waiting for someone to call my name from behind the counter, and Sandra did that. The bottle was already filled. So I asked, "What's the price?" She said, "It's $59.70." [Uh-huh--differential pricing, etc.] I told her about the goodrx-quoted price, and she asked if I wanted the prescription to be transferred to Wally World. I told her to do it, giving her the location of the one nearest to my home.

Okay, I got to Wally World, found the pharmacy pretty easily, and sized up the situation. This was about an hour after I had left the Mom-n-Pop place, but no-one admitted they had ever heard of me from anyone. The two pharmacists on duty were busy talking about their boyfriends, and were just utterly useless on account of their intensity toward that topic, but eventually (within 10 minutes) an assistant admitted they were taking my information from the other pharmacy.

Now I've got 20 minutes invested in this thing, so it's time to press gamely forward. I go back to the "Turn In" window and one of the pharmacists is there manning a computer she clearly does not understand. She takes information from the coupon and somehow manages to enter all the codes, etc., properly, and announces, "We can do this." (How wonderful is that!?)

I ask her, "Okay, what's it going to cost?", and received the answer I expected: "I can't tell you until we call it in." As I said, I expected it, so why was it still a "WTF?" moment? I said that was okay, just get it done, because by that time I had been there about 30 minutes. (Not to mention that no other customer presented during all of that time, and I got there about 1650, just about the beginning of the rush-hour scrum passing there every day.)

With my somewhat defective feet I didn't care to stroll around Wally World and see all the cheap Chinese crap they were selling, so I just stayed within about 8 meters of the pharmacy counter, just hoping to hear my name. I got to look at a whole lot of products, many of them "Equate" brands, telling me on the package to compare it with another brand. (I use Opti-Free brands for my contact lens cleaning and artificial tears requirements. Funny, they did have the disinfectant/rinse formula from Opti-Free, but not the artificial tears; in "tears" they certainly had the Equate brand.)

Then I walked over to the sign that said "Diabetic Supplies" or something like that. Well, let's see. Protein powders and drinks, all with preposterous sugar content. "Sugar-Free" cookies, brownies, and such, all with very high "sugar alcohol" (mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, etc.) content. "Raw-Shelled Hemp Seeds" with 3g of sugar and 0g of dietary fiber out of 3g of carbohydrate per serving. (The brand I bought at Who[r|l]e (Paycheck) Foods has 0g sugar and 3g of dietary fiber per 3g of carbohydrate per serving!)

I was thinking, "They're actively trying to kill people very slowly while they drain 'insurance' as dry as possible."

About 50 minutes into this little ordeal the assistant calls my name, only to tell me the price: $25.70. I asked why that would be, when the thing I saw online 3 days ago said it was about half that; I was not expecting, and did not get, an answer. I just told her to go ahead and fill the thing.

It took another 20 minutes, but during that time there was one customer who came to the "Pick Up" window. It was impossible not to hear her, after a couple of minutes, say to the pharmacy assistant (who was walking away from her), "Why are you giving me attitude? Don't you walk away from me! Get me your manager! Now, bitch!" (I thought it might be time to go look at certain sporting goods or something, but stayed there looking at the "Diabetic Supplies".)

I then heard a lot of crosstalk between these two women, and have no idea how it was resolved, but the customer walked away and I saw her run into a woman holding a toddler's hand in each of her hands, at which point the former customer started going on about how precious and beautiful the kids were. (True enough, I suppose, if "morbidly obese at age three" is anything other than what it is.)

Finally, about 70 minutes in, my name gets called (from the list of precisely one (1) customers present, that being little old me). I paid for my purchase, went to the mens' room (which I needed somewhat at that point), and left the store.

By the time I got to my car I thought I might just need a "psychoactive beta-blocker"! So I took one; getting home was less intense than the previous two hours or so had been.

Cheers!!!!

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TANSTAAFL
Brandonhv
Posts: 1470
Incept: 2007-10-22

Mass
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I live in MA...Why do they have to go down further south before coming back up north.

Maybe because I'm not a PRIME member?
Inline
Tickerguy
Posts: 150044
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Oh, USPS does that sort of thing all the time.

When I got my Pc Engines unit it actually traveled Miami->Nola->Miami AGAIN before it was delivered to me. Yes, the package's travel path was that stupid, and it wasn't misaddressed either.

Of course this is the USPS, which is known as a model of efficiency. smiley

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Winding it down.
Whitehat
Posts: 130
Incept: 2017-06-27

New York City
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i will go down rent any day to save money on something that is needed. will even do so for money if a good opportunity.

what is really amazing is how blind to cost the denizens of metro areas can be. they do not come to terms with the fact that all they do is work and see their residences in the dark. all of this is due to their unbelievable cost of living. some of them get into bargain hunting as a way of feeling better, but in many cases they are economically inefficient in gross.

most people do not realize how expensive it is to live in their community until they are away from it since they do not see the costs all around them such as things that need to be replaced more often, higher insurance costs, higher service costs, taxes, higher recreation costs, more driving, whatever. and everyone passing their higher costs on to everyone else.

what they do lose is time, that quantity that cannot be replenished. they are too busy working to pay for convenience.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
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