Dodgy practice

28 06 2007

For unknown reasons the black market money rates have actually dropped back from the hysterical levels of last week. This had obviously not filtered through to the farmer from whom I purchased 400 bags of used peat moss. Last Thursday I phoned up his clerk, found out the price to be $200 000 a bag and ordered 200 bags. I then changed my mind and thought I might as well get a lot while I could and added money for an additional 200 bags and did the electronic transfer. Yesterday the clerk phoned me back and said that yes, I could collect the first 200 bags but the price of the additional 200 had gone up.  What? No, I should speak to the manager (he sounded distinctly uncomfortable). I phoned the manager to be informed that prices had gone up so the second lot was now 75% more expensive. I must admit I was confused as I had paid all in one lot. No, but prices were going up so that was the deal. Bizarre – I give customers a discount for bulk orders, I don’t charge them more. Unfortunately I was between a rock and a hard place as the usual suppliers of pine bark were unable to meet orders (maybe something to do with the owner going drinking at lunchtime, but don’t quote me) and I think this guy knew it. Fighting a desperate urge to tell this character what I thought of him I instead said that I’d get back to him today – which would allow me time to cool down and give it some rational thought. So today after mumbling a pathetic “I cannot afford it” excuse, I cancelled the additional 200 bags and decided to put the money into the transport or another asset.

Apparently the price police are out in town, preventing outlets from raising prices and in some cases forcing retailers to reduce prices. I always know when something is afoot as my regular baker stops baking the standard loaves of bread (which are theoretically price controlled) and switches to the uncontrolled round ones!

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