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Consumerism

The data mining behind loyalty cards shows just how devious they can be

This interesting article about data mining shows just how devious they can be. For example, a casino: The system collects data each time a gambler uses their casino loyalty card – be it for gambling, purchasing food in the restaurant or paying for snacks from their room minibar – to create a pattern of their […]

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Bentleigh Consumerism

Coin deposit reduces dumped shopping trolleys – why don’t they all do it?

Since Woolworths introduced gold coin deposits for trolleys at Bentleigh, you almost never see their trolleys abandoned in the streets. The same can’t be said for Coles Bentleigh, who appear to have some trolleys requiring a coin, and some not — I don’t understand the logic of this. On a walk last night, we passed […]

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Consumerism

Coles vs Woolworths… Why pay $10 when you can pay… $9.88?!

The supermarket war of Coles versus Safeway/Woolworths has heated up, with roast chicken. First, Coles went to $10. …then Safeway/Woolworths struck back with… $9.88. These posters were prominently displayed en masse around the Bentleigh Woolworths last night. “Why pay $10” “Only $9.88”? TWELVE CENTS DIFFERENCE? Or to put it in percentage terms, Woolies are 1.2% […]

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Consumerism

Coupons

I’ve mentioned it before, but Joel Spolsky wrote a great article a few years ago about pricing, and noted that companies would ideally like everybody to pay as much as they are willing to for their products. In economist jargon, capitalists want to capture the consumer surplus. Let’s do this. Instead of charging $220, let’s […]

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Consumerism

Never pay retail

Costco at Docklands in Melbourne opens today at 8am. I’ll be very interested to hear how it goes, but I’m not going to be rushing in to cough up my $60 to join up and start doing my shopping there. For one thing I’ve realised that if one is prepared to be brand-agnostic, keep an […]