Single Price Stores

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

One of the growing trends nowadays in malls are the opening of those so called dollar stores where every thing has the same cheap price, regardless of what it is, sometimes including whatever the cashier brought to work for lunch. I am assuming that this concept was invented by the laziest accountant in the world.

The goddless communist-styled pricing scheme is supposed to make you feel everything is cheaper, because normally expensive goods are given the same price as items that consumers would term as "pieces of shit". And it actually works. The only problem is that it works both directions, as you tend to forget that some items are worth much less than the fixed price and you buy them anyway. I assume that that's the whole point of it all, a dark, nefarious scheme to cheat me into buying an expensive 85 peso plastic cup while walking away thinking I just bought myself the holy grail for less than 100 pesos.

Last weekend I was able to drop by Saizen by Daiso, a fixed price shop that sold mostly bits imported from Japan. How can that idea fail? Imported goods for the price of a blowjob in Pasay?  Now I'd like to say that one unique thing about fixed price shops is that the only common theme they have is the price of the items. So what happens is that in their bid of gathering as much of similar priced items as possible, they end up with an array of goods that are not in anyway related to each other. For example, here's what you'd find in one aisle:

- Stereo headphones
- Hand sanitizer
- Umbrella
- Foldable plastic cup
- Inflatable breasts*

The whole point is, because there's no real rhyme or reason to what you're going to see inside. It's not like the grocery where you walk in knowing at least some of the items that you need and you know they're going to be there. You don't know what's inside so, for budget shops, the main idea when you walk in is "maybe I'll find something interesting for 85 bucks".

Because of that, you end up considering buying shit that you normally don't contemplate on buying, just because it looks cheap, and because you're already there. If ever there's a shop that successfuly mimics the feeding behaviour of a carnivorous Pitcher Plant, Saizen has got to be it. By the end of my visit, I bought the following items:

- Hydrometer
- Hanayama Devil Metal Puzzle
- Hand sanitizer
- Candy

I had no idea I'd be buying these items, and outside a budget store, I'd probably have not bought any of those things. But I did anyway. The whole concept of single pricing the whole store somehow drives even normally logical shoppers insane. Or maybe they have strong psychoactive substances venting out of the air conditioning.

Maybe the whole merchandise industry should follow that concept. You'd enter a restaurant without having to decide if you already want something because, fuck it, they're all priced the same, "maybe I'll find something interesting for 85 bucks". We'd be governed my a steady state of randomness. It'll be awesome.

I'm just not sure if hand sanitizer will make an awesome ulam.

*I shit you not

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