Archive for November, 2008

As we move into winter, I’ve started to see more ads for cold and flu medications. Normally, these promise to reduce symptoms so you can feel better faster. Whether or not the products are any good, they’re solving a legitimate problem: people hate feeling sick. However, one ad caught my attention. Though I can’t remember […]

Loaner carts


Living in the city, you quickly realize the harsh tradeoffs involved with volume purchases. If you buy too much, carrying it home will put a serious hurting on you. You learn to adapt by bringing along bags, rolling carts, and other carrying tools. But sometimes you aren’t properly equipped for what you want to buy, […]

Will it freeze?


Since going to the grocery store isn’t exactly a fun task when it’s 12 degrees out, we’ve been stocking up on certain types of food for the winter. With non-perishables, this is pretty easy: just stash them in the pantry, in a closet, etc. But with refrigerated items, it’s much trickier, since many things expire […]

While shopping at Trader Joe’s last weekend, I noticed two things. First, the store doesn’t have any of the usual conveyor belts that pull your groceries towards the cashier. Second, despite this lack of automation, the cashiers are incredibly fast and efficient at ringing up your purchases. This makes me wonder: has the lack of […]

I don’t have many credit cards, so it’s something of a novelty when a card renews and I get a new one in the mail. Recently, I noticed what a lackluster job the credit card issuers do at recognizing the importance of this event. After all, the customer has been with you for at least […]

Time warps


Back in 2005, the US government passed a bill to change the start and end dates for daylight savings time. These changes took effect earlier this year. The original scheme was somehow going to save people money by giving us more hours of natural light, thus reducing electric usage. Or maybe it was the opposite, […]

With retail sales slumping, many retailers have been starting their holiday sales push earlier than ever before. From what I’ve read, this meant putting up Christmas decorations as early as mid-October, well before Halloween. This makes me wonder: does starting the promotion for a given holiday a few weeks earlier actually increase sales for the […]

If you’ve purchased a lot from Amazon, you probably know they do a great job of notifying you when something in your cart changes. For example, say that you place an item in your cart but don’t purchase it. Then, the price of the item changes. When you return to the site a few days […]

I’ve often heard that running periodic sales just trains customers to wait for a sale before buying. Well, that’s very true for one of the online stores that I purchase from regularly. Their shipping charges are substantial, causing me to wait for the free shipping specials that they run every few months. So when I […]

When I receive a really nice bottle of wine as a gift, I tend to keep the cork as a memento. Typically, these corks just have the name of the winery printed on them. But the bottle I uncorked on Saturday took a much smarter approach. Instead of just a brand name, the cork also […]