Why the Consumer Wins When Walmart and Amazon Battle Over Prices

ChessMeme
Source: TheDailyBell.com
March 31, 2017

Walmart and Amazon have surely benefited from government protectionism, but the economy is still free enough to promote competition which ends up benefiting consumers.

Back in 2011 Walmart invested in pricing tools, realizing that Amazon was doing better. Amazon has algorithms which search the internet for the lowest prices, and then set their products to that price. Generally even when the lowest price is for wholesale ($10 for a pack of ten) Amazon will set their price that low even for a single pack of the product ($1 for a pack).

In 2012, the battle between Amazon and Walmart raged over a video game around Christmastime. The price was set around $50 for each retailer, but as a few cents here and there we dropped from the price to gain a tiny edge over competitors, the price of the video game eventually dropped as low as $15.

So that means people were not being overcharged for a game, and it means the companies were not making “obscene” profits on the product. The market corrected the negative aspects of business that would not have been corrected if there was a true monopoly.

Now, the war of prices is a seasoned game of strategy which brings suppliers into the mix. Both Walmart and Amazon reportedly hound product supply companies to lower their prices in order to better compete.

Sometimes, Walmart even encourages suppliers to reorganize their companies so that they can still turn a profit while charging Walmart less. Another tactic employed is to threaten to make their own products which would directly compete with the supplier’s.

Amazon seems to keep their suppliers guessing, using a tactic that The 48 Laws of Power suggests to make sure your opponents cannot entirely gauge your real intentions.

Amazon will even pull products which do not have a large enough profit margin in an attempt to get the price lowered from the suppliers.

Another Amazon tactic is to prohibit some brands from buying ads within the site for a product that Amazon can’t make profitable on a standalone basis. Like paying for prominent placement in a store, a brand can buy ads within Amazon to promote their products. Blocking these ads is another way of burying a product.

“They are playing Jekyll and Hyde,” said an executive at a large grocery goods manufacturer. “At times, it’s all about growth; at times, it’s all about profitability. They keep switching back and forth.”

Everyone loves to complain about Walmart’s profits. Well Amazon accomplished what documentaries, protests, and boycott could not. Walmart’s profits fell 18% last quarter, demonstrating that economic incentives are necessary for change.

Of course there are plenty of other issues; if it is all about price, what about quality? And even if the prices are lower for consumers, what about the workers of these companies, will they suffer?

But the competition among prices proves an economic lesson that will apply to all these scenarios. In the same way that Amazon and Walmart had to lower prices to compete, they will also be forced to compete to attract employees, or to have the best quality products.

Even if Walmart and Amazon are the main players currently, they are still not the only players: there is Target, Overstock, and plenty of other brick and mortar and online retailers. Is it hard for other to compete? Sure, but certainly not impossible, and as Walmart and Amazon are weakened by their fight against each other, third parties will be able to slip in to offer something that neither company does offer.

The Wish App is one example, where you can get crazy good deals if you don’t mind waiting.

The Dollar Shave Club is another example; direct to consumer websites offering products could be on the rise, especially if people tire of dealing with giant retailers.

But the real point is that competition among companies is a good thing for consumers, because it drives costs down. That is what consumers are currently focused on, but consumers could just as easily bring quality up, or improve employee treatment if that were something they felt strongly about.

When businesses react to their customers, they become a reflection of the people. In a sense, Walmart and Amazon offer a democracy where not only do you get to vote with your dollar on how they operate, you can also remove your support entirely by going to a competitor.

Something to Think About

Imagine if government had to compete in this same way, dropping the prices they charge people for their services. And imagine if you could switch back and forth between governments without changing your location. What if government services were simply competitive products delivered by businesses which could attract customers within the same territory, with overlapping jurisdiction?

War would break out! No, it wouldn’t. Pricing wars would, just like now. War is expensive, and only possible in a system where governments plunder their people to fund their violence. No government working on a business model could afford war, and they would do everything possible to avoid violent conflict.

But protection from neighboring warlords would still be an available service, and the government companies vying for your business would compete to deliver what you need, for the lowest cost, just as Walmart and Amazon currently do.

However evil you think corporations are, they are only a product of the governments who protect them, and the people who patronize them. The benefits of competition in the market can be seen even through the government’s smoke and strings. Remove the government from the equation, and consumer choice will only increase.

Read More At: TheDailyBell.com

#MorningMonarchy: 9/11+15 Memes

Source: MediaMonarchy
James Evan Pilatto
September 9, 2016

Asking the right questions and redirecting the outrage in an audio clip from on your #MorningMonarchy for September 9, 2016.

Notes/Links:

#MorningMonarchy: September 9, 2016
http://bit.ly/2chFaqB

Mattress company’s ‘Twin Tower sale’ commercial sparks national outrage (Audio)
http://bit.ly/2cdyKci

Walmart, Coca-Cola slammed for disrespectful 9/11 tribute in Florida
http://bit.ly/2chEVvp

Couple wears 9/11 costume to Dragon Con, stirs controversy
http://bit.ly/2ccAyn3

Video: Portland Group Burns ‘9/11 Commission Report’ at Anniversary Gathering (Sep. 11, 2009)
http://bit.ly/1TNIiwG

9/11 Suspects: Ralph Eberhart
http://bit.ly/2c03hOV

Saturday, 9/10/16, 1pm PST @mediamonarchy on #TheBridgewithKira on @Freedom_Slips Studio A
http://bit.ly/2cqjhub

#GoodNewsNextWeek: West Virginia Comes Together After Historic Floods

Source: MediaMonarchy.com
James Evan Pilato
June 28, 2016

This week on #GoodNewsNextWeek: Stop the presses! Going outside is good for your mind and body; West Virginia gets outpouring of support after deadly floods; and we’re lovin’ it as McDonald’s closing 500 more locations. Notes/Links:

Long Visits To Nature Linked to Improved Mental Health
http://bit.ly/296qOvd

Death Toll Lowered To 23 After Deadly #WestVirginia Floods
http://bit.ly/28WVB9I

Fayette County Sheriff’s Department: “If the residents of this area catch you first, you may not make it to jail.”
http://bit.ly/2921Rl1

Not Lovin’ It: McDonald’s To Close Over 500 Restaurants Worldwide To Stay Afloat
http://bit.ly/29a16ED

Activists Rescue 1,000 Dogs From China’s Controversial Dog Meat Festival
http://bit.ly/28Zo1QM

Outdoor Library Season Begins In Slovenia
http://bit.ly/290D02t

Peace Breaking Out? Colombia Agrees To Peace With FARC, Ending 50 Years Of War
http://bit.ly/290CCkG

Brisbane’s Orange Sky Laundry Still Helping Homeless
http://bit.ly/290CC4d

Real Brexit “Catastrophe”: World’s 400 Richest Lose $127 Billion
http://bit.ly/296B6wW

Phoenix Seniors Find Healing With The Power Of Music
http://bit.ly/296qPiG

Running Releases Proteins That Help Boost Brain’s Ability To Remember
http://bit.ly/28Ys7sP

Supreme Court Rules Warrantless Forced Blood Draws for DUI Unconstitutional
http://bit.ly/296rCjq

“Pinot Meow” Wine Made With Catnip Lets You Get Drunk With Your Cat
http://bit.ly/290CMbR

Lawfully-Armed Portland Woman Shoots, Kills Home Intruder
http://bit.ly/293q5uq

Oregon Cowboy Lassos Would-Be Thief In Wal-Mart Parking Lot
http://bit.ly/28ZFObh

Demand for Organics Shows *No Sign of Slowing* After Double Digit Growth

money crop field growth arrow 735x350
Source: NaturalSociety.com
Christina Sarich
February 24, 2016

Monsanto isn’t cheering the news that U.S. organic food sales have approached $37 billion annually, up 12% from just a year ago, but the trend shows no sign of slowing. This double-digit growth is expected well into the future, suggests a Nutrition Business Journal report. [1]

Due to pressure from individuals, the annual growth of organic food sales for the nation has exceeded 10% since American economy took a downturn in 2008. That means that while almost every other industry has had to tighten its belt, organic food growers are watching demand absolutely explode.

Top food retailers in the US, including Costco, Kroger, Walmart and Target, have expanded their organic food offerings in recent years due to the forecasted growth of organics, and many companies have announced initiatives that could not only support existing demand, but boost sales even higher.

Starting from just a small base, organic sales have grown to account for nearly 5% of the ENTIRE food market, according to the Organic Trade Association’s estimates.

It Isn’t Just Organic Arugula that’s in High Demand

When you add organic personal care products like shampoo, lotion, lip balms, etc., as well as organic linens and other non-food items exceeding $3 billion in sales alone, there is no question that the demand for organic, non-GMO food will just keep growing.

Certified organic farmland has also expanded, and though it has a way to go before catching up with organic food demand, we’ll be needing that extra acreage to make sure we can keep up with demand for nutritious, pesticide-free food and personal care products. People are tired of paying top dollar for processed, toxic food and other products, and they are voting with their wallets.

article organic food demand

Are you wondering which organic foods are best sellers? Organic fruits and vegetables top the list with organic dairy coming in second. Sales of other organic foods are also shooting to all-time highs, including sales of organic bread, meat, poultry, packaged foods and even organic condiments.

People Purchasing Straight from the Farm

Another big change is for people to purchase their organic products straight from the farm, so to speak. Huge grocery store chains are offering more organic products, but many people are opting to cut out the middle man and go straight to the organic farmer for milk, dairy, eggs, produce, and hand-crafted items.

It seems people want to know exactly where their food is coming from, and to be able to trust that what they are purchasing is indeed organic. This is an understandable market trend, given that companies have been caught touting their products as organic when they were not – Kellogg’s promotion of Kashi, for example.

field-wheat-crops-735-275

 Individuals are also participating in co-ops, also known as cooperatives, where they can buy a ‘share’ of an organic farm, and be guaranteed a certain amount of organic produce, milk, eggs, or even certified organic honey from local growers.

This new trend supports the small farmer like never before, and stresses the importance of eating local, further eliminating food transportation costs, and damage to the environment resulting from moving billions of tons of food across the country every year.

People Willing to Pay Top Dollar for Organics

Much of the population is even making it clear that it is willing to pay for organic products. New producers of organic products can now enter a market eager to accept novel new products that support sustainable growing, and pesticide-free, GMO-free, environment-loving trade.

Continue Reading At: NaturalSociety.com