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12 Christmas Gifts Not To Buy Online

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the critical-holiday-analysis dept.

Christmas Cheer 176

nsingapu writes "While online shopping is booming this Christmas, niche products like "two turtle doves" purchased on the Internet are becoming increasingly more expensive then their non e-tailed counterparts. PNC bank has updated their annual tongue-in-cheek economic analysis, based on the cost of goods and services purchased by the True Love in the holiday classic, "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The analysis compares the cost of traditional goods against their cost thoughout the past 20 years and against the price when purchased online. PNC concludes that most items are more expensive to buy over the Internet, primarily due to the cost of shipping, and that the abundance of cheaper labor in countries such as India and China has resulted in pressure on U.S. manufacturers to outsource."

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176 comments

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001409)

PEEPEE DOODY

Firsties (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001413)

Posties


mad props to gnaa

and a frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001414)

in a pear tree!

not fair! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001415)

But I want three French hens, oh, I mean my eight maids a-milking. Ahm.

Google Cache (2, Informative)

amigoro (761348) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001422)

Google Cache here [216.239.63.104]

Moderate this comment
Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

Re:Google Cache (1)

stel (781591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001578)

Ever try buying electronics from suppliers in Europe? I recently paid 100$US more in currency exchange on an item I could have bought from a US supplier and then had shipped to Europe for 1/2 the cost. This is ridiculous. 400$US and 400EU for the same item and your still stuck paying for shipping either way. I wish prices on products were set to reflect currency values. 400$US = 300EU

Re:Google Cache (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001772)

That's because of the exchange rate - the dollar isn't worth squat these days.

OTOH from the european side we have effectively double the spending power to buy US goods at the moment...

What pisses me off though is when companies assume £1=$1 and sell exclusively do closed markets (yes I'm talking to you apple... $600 for a 20gig ipod wouldn't sell in the US.. why does it in the UK?)

Tony

Re:Google Cache (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002086)

$600 for a 20gig ipod wouldn't sell in the US.. why does it in the UK?

Simple: because people are prepared to pay that price. Products generally retail at the price that will bring the most profit, increased prices will reduce the volume, but increase the gross profit. There is a optimum point somewhere and it would appear that for many electronics devices, it is higher in the UK.

There is also the factor that the UK price includes VAT (17%), while the US price does not include tax.

Note to self (4, Funny)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001423)

The internet price of swans appears to be skyrocketing. Must remember to get all of my swan supplies from local swan merchant instead of Swans-R-Us.com.

Re:Note to self (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002021)

Better yet, buy stocks in swans-r-us.com. Who cares if their EPS is -2067.89, it's an ecommerce .com man!

The Internet's Just Mirroring the Real World... (2, Insightful)

mishmash (585101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001424)

Increasingly the internet is mirroring the range of retail offerings that are available in the offline world - and much more.

Saying that online shopping is more expensive than the high street doesn't make sense - one thing's for sure there's a lot more choice online..

Buying gifts?? (3, Funny)

Fr4ncis (763671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001426)

I'm a nerd, I don't buy gifts at all you insensitive clod, I just receive the ones in my (rigorously) ThinkGeek wish list!

Re:Buying gifts?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001432)

> I just receive the ones in my (rigorously) ThinkGeek wish list!

What exactly is the word "rigorously" doing there?

Re:Buying gifts?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001440)

He is masturbating to this article, and was giving himself instructions. Apparently he has once again confused his inner and outer voices.

Re:Buying gifts?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001751)

And you confused mayonnaise with that dude's jism.

Merry Mercantilism. (5, Interesting)

the talented rmg (812831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001431)

Indeed, with the dollar *tanking* like it is, the cost of Christmas can be expected to take a sharp upturn even in terms of currencies like True Love and Monopoly Money.

I'd be a lot more inclined to laugh if this weren't so serious. The financial security of our country is at serious risk given the astonishing rate of decline in the dollar since the election. With the Chinese selling off dollars like hotcakes, costs of toys made in the Orient, such as DVD players, PDAs, and iPods, will be just a little higher this year and the trend will only continue.

I hope everyone can eek out a Merry Christmas this year. It may be your last in while. With the mercantilist economic policies of the Bush Administration only likely to continue and with confidence in US financial institutions at an all time low and dropping, everyone should just make sure this is a Christmas to remember. Next year, you may not be able to give your kids anything more than a hug and an yellow onion.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001456)

The West Coast of the USA has launched a campaign to boycott products made in China [pushback.com] . The Chinese have brutalized Tibetans and continue to do so [phrusa.org] . Your conscience beckons you to join this boycott.

As for offshoring, it damages worker's rights and environment in the USA. Chinese companies do not pay the cost of worker's rights and privileges (e.g. disability insurance) and the cost of protecting the environment. Hence, Chinese companies can undercut American companies.

If you see a product that is "Made in China" or "Made in India", simply do not buy it. As investments in Eastern Europe increase, you can find alternative products that are made there. Unlike the Chinese, Eastern Europeans are committed to Western values (e.g. worker's rights and environmental protection). Buy "Made in Poland" or "Made in Slovakia" (like the tail lights on my car).

Offshoring may our way out of Economic Ruin. (2, Interesting)

the talented rmg (812831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001494)

A sharply falling dollar will mean our labor prices will go down compared to those in China and India and eventually manufacturing will start flowing back. In other words, we will be getting that inshoring stuff they always talk about -- that is to say, marginal jobs in manufacturing and low-end computer maintenance.

Still, this will all come at significant costs in terms of standard of living. A lot of our thinkgeek wishlists will fill up, but not empty. No Playstation 3 for little Billy. Indeed, we on a one-way train to becoming the Argentina of North America. Such frills will take a back seat to food and shelter.

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001539)

If you see a product that is "Made in China" or "Made in India", simply do not buy it.

You are aware that China and India are two different countries, right? We're not talking about confusing Nauru or Tuvalu with Vanuatu -- you seem unable to distinguish between the two biggest countries in the world.

Regarding the grandparent's point: I'm concerned about the dollar policy as well but it's worth keeping in mind that "China and India are stealing our jobs!!!!" and "The falling dollar is making imports too expensive! Our lifestyles will be destroyed!!!" are mutually incompatible manifestations of hysteria. You can't have imports and not have imports.

India and China are one? ROFLMAO... (4, Interesting)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001688)

I'll go one further: The Dali Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, fled to India when the Chinese invaded and it was in India that he set up his government-in-exile. And China has invaded India in the past too.

Sorry, but it's this sort of ignorance of the highest magnitude - not realising that China, the world's largest communist country, and India, the world's largest democracy, are two seperate countries - that has people who aren't American rolling their eyes and dismissing Americans as stupid. I mean, have you ever heard of anyone anywhere who assumes that the US and Cuba are the same country? Because that's the closest analogy I can come up with to thinking that China and India are one and the same.

To the original poster who made this dumb assumption I have this advice: it's better to say nothing and have people think you're a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Oh, and read a book too every now and then. Believe me, right now people like you are giving your country a very bad name the world over.

Re:India and China are one? ROFLMAO... (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001722)

Read the grandparent post again. Nobody said that China was India. The poster said not to BUY from either of those countries, but only listed reasons for China. The reasons for india, I assume, are that they are also taking jobs from the US, many tech jobs. India also does not have the same worker and environment protections.

Maybe you should have said "Sorry, but it's this sort of ignorance of the highest magnitude - no RTFA, maing myself look stupid on slashdot"

You are the only one making dumb assumptions here.

Re:India and China are one? ROFLMAO... (4, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001855)

No, he just gave a list of reasons why you shouldn't trade with China, most prominently its occupation of Tibet and its poor treatment of the Tibetan people, then proceeded to say that those were reasons not to trade with China and India.

That's like me making a list of reasons why you shouldn't buy, say, Cuban goods and then concluding that those are good reasons not to buy from Cuba or from the US.

Now, if he had mentioned any reasons why trading with India was bad, such as the loss of tech jobs there (as if that's not the fault of greedy US employers rather than the fault of skilled Indian technicians), then perhaps you might have a point. But he didn't give a single such reason and just tarred India with the broad brush that he'd used to tar China with. And, as I've pointed out, India isn't China and it isn't guilty of brutalising Tibet or any of the other things that the AC did deign to mention, so mentioning India in the same breath as China was entirely inappropriate.

Boy, I bet that the irony of you mentioning Indian worker and environment protections in the same week as the 20th anniversary of Union Carbide's Bhophal disaster, which it still hasn't cleaned up or properly compensated the victims of, just passes over your head.

Re:India and China are one? ROFLMAO... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001728)

The original poster never stated that China and India are the "same". The original poster only alluded to the fact that both China and India do not support workers' rights and do not protect the environment.

Are you Indian? Now, I get it. Bigot.

imports too expensive! (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001701)

You've got to be joking, what's happening is the rest of the world that's been used as a sweat shop for the past 40years is just starting to catch up and probably helped keep the markets high over the last 10ish years.

Expect things to start costing a lot more in the future.

The UK's done really well on this one, we don't product any food, most of our manufacturings offsured etc.. This has helped keep inflation down (cheap imports) with the added benifit of reducing local CO2 and CH4 emmissions.

Other great plans included the steady reduction of taxes over the past 20years, resulting in no-one having a pension, poor dental care and housing being almost unaffordable (that's where the pension money went then!).

Re:imports too expensive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002247)

imports too expensive!...You've got to be joking

I wasn't making any claim as to whether imports are too expensive or too cheap -- just that they can't simultaneously be both!

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (1)

Peaceful_Patriot (658116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002055)

While attempting to install a (defective) Netgear router, I spent quite a while on the phone with tech support. The call center was obviously in India, judging by the accent of the operator and the voices of those in the backgound. I wonder how much time might have been saved if I hadn't had to repeat simple things over and over (like the spelling of come common American-English terms) or how much time I spent saying, "Excuse me..could you repeat that?". It seems a shame that a company based out of a city not 200 miles from me, sends my questions half way around the world to be answered. Outsourcing may be cheaper for the company, but not necessarily more efficient.

It also occured to me that these guys doing tech support for Netgear (and other computer hardware companies) must get a lot of calls from geeks here in America whose jobs they have taken. I wonder how much shit they have to take from these guys.

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002234)

Perhaps, but this has nothing to do with any of the issues raised by the person to whom I was responding.

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001588)

How am I meant to boycott Chinese products? Politcs aside, the quality is consistantly utterly attrocious and inferior to products any other country produces now or has in history, and that's enough reason to avoid Made-In-China for me.
But I can go to the shops and see asle after asle of tens of thousands of items and not find a single one that isn't in China. Even if I can't find a single shirt not made in China anymore, I couldn't make my own as all the fabric comes from China too.
If you don't want to buy Made-In-China, be prepared to go without:
* clothes
* computers
* television
* toys
* onions

This situation is only going to become worse.

(I'm not in America btw).

Look and You will Find "Made Outside of China" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001644)

I live in the USA, and I am able to find products, in almost all categories, which are not "Made in China". Over the years, doing so has become increasingly difficult, but the task is not impossible. The Chinese population is only 1 billion; the rest of the world is 5 billion.

Let's deal with the categories that you propose, and I'll show you how to buy "Made Outside of China".

* clothes -- Plenty are made in Sri Lanka. Go to "Old Navy" or "Mervyns", and you will find plenty of Polo shirts that are made in South Asia.

* computers -- Stick with Sony. Many of its laptops are assembled in the USA.

* television -- Try Magnavox.

* toys -- tough one. I'll get back to you.

* onions -- easy one. Shop at Whole Foods Market. It is one of the few groceries that explicitly identify country of origin.

The situation will not become worse as we start to import more and more from Eastern Europe. Safeway branded apple juice mostly comes from Eastern Europe.

Oh. One more thing that is "Made Outside of China" is my 45 Magnum. I plan to use it "Within China". (just kidding)

Re:Look and You will Find "Made Outside of China" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002047)

* clothes -- some are made in Israel (see Sears, now pwn3d by Kmart) and Bangladesh.
* computers -- While Sony may be domestically assembled, most parts still are made abroad (Taiwan, Germany, etc.)
* tv -- don't know; i have used only hand-me-downs over the last 20 years
* toys -- mine had real metal and wood parts; now you can get only cheap-ass plastic with very unsophisticated designs
* onions -- organic is best but somewhat less affordable.

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001863)

But I can go to the shops and see asle after asle of tens of thousands of items and not find a single one that isn't in China.

Here's a hint for you: driving down the street to the other three wal-marts does not count.

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002019)

Maybe the reason you've been getting inferior Chinese products is just because you're buying cheap and inferior products.

I've plenty of products (iPod, assorted computer nick-nacks) from China and they seem fine to me.

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001678)

" The Chinese have brutalized Tibetans and continue to do so. Your conscience beckons you to join this boycott."

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Let's boycott coca cola then?

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (0, Offtopic)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001786)

Buy "Made in Poland" or "Made in Slovakia"
"Soviet Russia made YOU"?

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002000)

Are you saying that buying "Made in China" and "Made in India" hurts the American economy? The same USA that has bombed the hell out of several Middle-Eastern countries, tortured and brutalized untold number of people, and has an immigration policy based on nothing more than racism? The same USA that makes the lovely Iraqi woman who serves me delicious falafels break down and cry every other day? Hell, from now on, I'm buying nothing but Chinese and Indian!

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (1)

zalle (637380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002093)

As for offshoring, it damages worker's rights and environment in the USA. Chinese companies do not pay the cost of worker's rights and privileges (e.g. disability insurance) and the cost of protecting the environment. Hence, Chinese companies can undercut American companies.

Umm, sure, but what business of yours is it what the Chinese or Indians do with their environment? If they want to ruin it and so gain an advantage, that's their choice, not yours (at least in the case where they aren't emitting CO2 or something). Or is that somehow "unfair"? Not to mention the fact that whether people in the US belong to unions or agree to work for a lower standard isn't your business either, so why should somebody elses? Maybe they should have all the same standards as you do, so they have no way to compete with you? Seriously, just how selfish and deceptive can you be?

This isn't somebody being "noble", it's just some fool trying to make sure he doesn't have to compete and lose.

Re:Offshoring & Boycotting Chinese Products (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002172)

Umm, sure, but what business of yours is it what the Chinese or Indians do with their environment?


Mainly it's our business because it's also our environment -- we do all live on the same planet, you know. Of course, this argument works both ways, and so it's a difficult argument for the US to make these days, given the Bush Administration's "fuck you" posture on Kyoto, global warming, mercury emissions, etc.

Re:Merry Mercantilism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001483)

Merry Xmas from the rest of the western world, we celebrate your decline and hope for a resolution to your troubles.

The price of that offshore DVD player... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001562)

...went from 40.00 dollars to 42.00 dollars. DVDs are cheaper than ever even with the dollar. I didn't vote for that stammering yutz, but your tired old progressive musings are staler than a fruitcake. I hope you don't think your're going to win back the red states with that tired old progressive song and dance.

Re:The price of that offshore DVD player... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001585)

...and what about the increasing percentage (of the American workforce) who lack health insurance because jobs today do not pay enough money.

You get cheaper DVDs, but you die from a rabies bite from a squirrel because you cannot afford to see a doctor.

Better yet, do you like the idea of indirectly supporting the torture of Tibetans at the hands of the Chinese [phrusa.org] ?

Re:Merry Mercantilism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001595)

We Brits aren't complaining too much.

$2 per pound? Here we come! Woo-hoo!

Re:Merry Mercantilism. (1)

CheersFromNY (700689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001797)

The parent message was brought to you by your friends at the DNC. What a load of crap. We WANT the dollar to decrease in value globally to make our goods more cost competitive with other nations. Amazing how just that is happening now as exports for our country are hitting record highs. Our cost of living has barely moved and our wages continue to rise. I guess Greenspan and W have some kind of clue as to what they are up to. Your post REEKS of Chicken Little Syndrome. Perhaps you should seek professional help?

I meant to do that! (2, Interesting)

the talented rmg (812831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001910)

I suppose you also "meant to do that" when Iraq turned out to be the disaster anticipated.

W isn't up to anything and Greenspan is actually worried about this state of affairs. Perhaps he should also seek professional help. W is a political idiot and an economic one too. He's running the country into the ground the same way he did his oil companies. The falling dollar is a symptom of his fiscal incompetence and it will have serious implications for the American worker in the next few years.

Of course, corporations and rich investors will be able to move their holdings into Euros and Yen so they will dodge much of the inflationary and devaluing effect of a quickly dropping currency. That's good news for bourgeois sycophants like yourself: Your boys in the ownership class will get off scott-free after taking the country for all it's worth.

Meanwhile, you'll have an especially Merry Christmas knowing you won't have any homosexual marriages in your state this season. Enjoy!

Re:I meant to do that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001984)

You must be a real blast at all the Christmas parties, Chicken Little.

Re:Merry Mercantilism. (2, Insightful)

imuffin (196159) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001899)

I'd be a lot more inclined to laugh if this weren't so serious. The financial security of our country is at serious risk given the astonishing rate of decline in the dollar since the election. With the Chinese selling off dollars like hotcakes, costs of toys made in the Orient, such as DVD players, PDAs, and iPods, will be just a little higher this year and the trend will only continue.

Wow, that would be great. All the crap Americans buy from China would be expensive. Over time, this would make manufacturing our goods in China look less profitable. Factories would move back to the USA. Joe Factoryworker could go back to work making the ipods his friends buy their children. Once again the American blue-collar worker would have a chance!
Oh, wait. I forgot, China's Yuan is directly linked to the US Dollar [x-rates.com] and doesn't fluctuate relative to our currency. So the dollar can tank as much as it wants, and Chinese goods remain a bargain. Damn.

Re:Merry Mercantilism. (2, Interesting)

say (191220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002342)

China's Yuan is directly linked to the US Dollar

Actually, most Chinese commentators (and some american and european) seem to think that China will revaluate (now that's not a common word) the Yuan sometime in 2005. The direct link to US Dollar is rather much of a liability these days...

Re:Merry Mercantilism. (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002107)

One interesting thing: Inflation is higher than it seems in the US.

Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are actually causing many governmental indexes of inflation to appear lower than they are. So while the cheap junk that Wal-Mart sells is still cheap... Everything else has gone up around it.

It would be interesting to see an inflation index compiled that didn't include the Wal-Mart numbers, for comparision.

The second part of this is that in general when inflation hits, salary inflation needs to follow to keep customer buying power at the level and the economy stable. Wal-Mart's suppliers are pressured to cut things tight to be able to provide goods at the prices they do, which has the double effect of tending to lower average salaries, offset by the beneficial effect of increasing efficiency of suppliers.

So we need to be very careful. Walmart is definitely a double edged sword. It gives to us by keeping aggregate inflation low, and incresing efficiency at suppliers, but we need to be aware of the impact such a powerful retailer has on the economy.

Re:Merry Mercantilism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002236)

You are aware that the Chinese Yuan is set at a fixed rate to the dollar, aren't you? The dollar losing value will affect your purchases from Japan and Europe, but it is irrelevant to anything made in China. The value of the dollar is down because the US is one of the only economies that is growing and taking in all the imported goods. We are not saving enough as a percent of GDP due to low interest rates. The dollar declining is an expected correction in the market.

"Core" Index? (1)

mothlos (832302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001434)

Why does the "Core" index exclude the swans?

Re:"Core" Index? (1)

Fragglebabe (820889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001525)

I think it might be because swans cost so much more than the other birds ($3500 compared with $396, which is the next highest price, for the calling birds), but don't quote me on it.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Re:"Core" Index? (4, Informative)

jhobbs (659809) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001586)

Over the years the broadest swings have been in the swans which apparently are somewhat difficult to breed. Some years there are huge shortages other years gluts in availability. Excluding the swans from the core index allows for a more stable and truthful economic indicator that is not tied to supply-demand related swings in swan pricing.

Internet more expensive? (4, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001435)

The sad thing is that some people are going to read this tongue-in-cheek analysis and really think that the Internet is more expensive because of shipping. From an economic perspective, purchasing commodity items on the Internet is more efficient than slogging around from store to store to find the cheaper price. On the Internet, you have nearly infinite choices. I guess if you compare purchasing an item in Best Buy to purchasing an item on bestbuy.com, you might come to the conclusion that purchasing things in the store is cheaper because of shipping costs. But if you compare the cost of purchasing an item in Best Buy to the cheapest listed cost of buying the same item on pricegrabber.com, pricewatch.com or any of the other thousands of sites that show the cheapest price, provide coupons for purchasing on the Internet, etc... The Internet will win every time.

Re:Internet more expensive? (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001491)

It's more expensive to buy a full-grown pear tree on the Internet, because you have to have it shipped to you, rather than getting one locally. Do you know how much it costs to ship a 50 foot tall tree?

You've got it backwards. (2, Funny)

Eevee (535658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001537)

The pear tree online is only $2 more than buying it locally. (Which is well worth it to avoid having to haul it home yourself.) It's the live birds that are expensive to ship--$15 local versus $67.50 over the internet for the partridge.

Re:Internet more expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001911)

If the product is in stores and on the internet, it's to the distributor's advantage to ensure that the product doesn't cost much less when ordered through the internet. If it did, then very few would go and buy it from the stores (only when in a hurry), the stores would get upset and would stop carrying the product. So products that are, and stay, available both in stores and on the internet will cost relatively the same when bought through either method.

The advantage of stores is that you can go and buy many items at the same time. Geeks are a minority, normal people don't jump in the car, drive to the store, buy one thing, come back home, jump in the car again, drive to the store, buy one thing, ... The advantage of the internet is that you can buy things even if they're not available in a nearby store, or you're buying the product from someone far away so you'd need to pay for shipping anyway.

Time and transportation are free? (5, Interesting)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001437)

Online shoping is attractive mostly because of the time that it saves. Another factor is transportation cost, which AAA calculates to be 56.2 cents per mile [csaa.com] , which it appears PNC did not account for in its calculations. And from their cost breakdown [ouraaa.com] , it doesn't look like AAA is even taking into account medical costs, which is why I personally try to minimize the number of miles I drive (fear of injury or death).

AAA's estimates aren't marginal... (2, Informative)

stomv (80392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001891)

Your point about the value of time (and implicitly, not dealing with Christmas shoppers up close and personal) is great.

But in fairness, AAA's cost estimation used annual depreciation and insurance rates -- two things that aren't really "marginal" in cost.

If you own a car, whether or not you take that one trip to the local strip mall, your depreciation and insurance costs won't change. Therefore, the marginal cost isn't 56 cents a mile, it's far lower. Petrol, actual wear and tear, oil and air filters, fluids, etc must be accounted for. Even the probability of an accident and it's accompanying costs should be considered.

Depreciation? No way. Insurance? Nope. You were going to pay those costs if you bought that TV at Fry's or at priceline.com .

Re:Some background on water and U.S. law (1)

davidgay (569650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001965)

Though it's a bit more complicated if online shopping allows (makes it easier, whatever) you to do without a car at all...

Re:Time and transportation are free? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001945)

Try taking public transportation, it not only minimizes your costs (assuming you're not some dick who thinks every second of your life is money), is better for the environment (since you save on burning energy for your car or the delivery van), and is better for your health (since you need to walk to and from the bus stops).

Actually, for the above reasons, ordering through the internet is worse for the environment and your health.

This is all actually true if you're buying smaller items, tongue-in-cheek if you're buying an antique armoir or a 78" tv.

That means... (3, Funny)

mishmash (585101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001438)

Somewhere online one can buy Swans and Milkmaids??

Re:That means... (1)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001580)

Milkmaids are probably just maids, i would guess the cost of a maid for a year.

Whether they'd be a-milking is a different story altogether.

Re:That means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001651)

I believe the question is *what* they'd be a-milking. ;)

kb9vcr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001441)

Where exactly is the cheapest source of 'Lords a leaping'? Somewhere in the British isles or can we import some cheap Lords from India?

Offshoring & Chinese Boycott (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001442)

The West Coast of the USA has launched a campaign to boycott products made in China [pushback.com] . The Chinese have brutalized Tibetans and continue to do so [phrusa.org] . Your conscience beckons you to join this boycott.

As for offshoring, it damages worker's rights and environment in the USA. Chinese companies do not pay the cost of worker's rights and privileges (e.g. disability insurance) and the cost of protecting the environment. Hence, Chinese companies can undercut American companies.

If you see a product that is "Made in China" or "Made in India", simply do not buy it. As investments in Eastern Europe increase, you can find alternative products that are made there. Unlike the Chinese, Eastern Europeans are committed to Western values (e.g. worker's rights and environmental protection). Buy "Made in Poland" or "Made in Slovakia" (like the tail lights on my car).

Amazon.com (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001443)

Drumming Drummer (12 pack)

Customers who bought this item also bought these items:
Golden Rings (5-pack)
Turtle Doves (2-pack)
Pear Tree with Partridge

Geeky Christmas (3, Funny)

Peaceful_Patriot (658116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002284)

From Geek.com [geek.com]

On the twelfth day of Geekmas my True Geek gave to me ...
12 O'Reilly handbooks.
11 cups of caffeine. 10 Help Desk persons screaming.
9 Linux distributions.
8 viral virii.
7 routers routing.
6 Geeks a coding.
5 Handsprings!
4 SDRAM chips.
3 PS2s.
2 Xboxes.
and
a real working Bluetooth device.

Things not to buy for your loved one: (2, Funny)

__int64 (811345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001446)

A license to SCO unix...

Is it still... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001455)

...3 French hens, or has that been changed to 3 Freedom Hens?

Re:Is it still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002294)

Only after they're cooked.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Song (0, Redundant)

amigoro (761348) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001457)


The Twelve Days of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.
On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.
...Four calling birds...
...Five golden rings...
...Six geese a-laying...
...Seven swans a-swimming...
...Eight maids a-milking...
...Nine ladies dancing...
...Ten lords a-leaping...
...Eleven pipers piping...
...Twelve drummers drumming...

Moderate this comment
Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

Re:The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001510)

Twelve twats-a-twitching Eleven leaping lebians Tens tons-o-titty Nine gnawed-off nipples Eight aching assholes Seven sucking sisters Six sixty-niners Five blowjobs Four calling-girls Three French whores Two shithouse doors And a handjob in an MG

Here's one hint (5, Funny)

scotay (195240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001458)

I've found that bleached pigeons work just as well as doves. It's a good thing.

Re:Here's one hint (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001617)

...you've bleached pigeons? Or... can you get them pre-bleached?

Re:Here's one hint (1)

Jin Wicked (317953) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002176)

Technically, pidgeons are rock doves, I believe, so you should be in the clear.

Re:Here's one hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002329)

'Technically, pidgeons are rock doves'

Until you pull the heads off and roast them, then they become "squab".

Just like every where else, you have to shop smart (2, Insightful)

usurper_ii (306966) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001460)

Whether it is at SAMS club, where everything isn't always a good deal, or online, you just have to be smart about what you buy. And as far as shipping, it is even possible to avoid that. For instance, if I want something from Amazon.com that cost 15.00, with their free shipping for orders over 25.00, you can pick something else out that costs 10.00...and get free shipping. I was able to get a couple of DVDs from Amazon for about the same price I could have gotten them at Wal-Mart...with the exception that Wal-Mart has a limited selection of DVDs and Amazon has a huge selection.

I do agree though, even ordering stuff off of Ebay, some people really try and stick it to you on shipping.

Usurper_ii

Re:Just like every where else, you have to shop sm (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001536)

You should live up here in Canada and try to get a decent shipping rate from the US! Media mail (i.e. a DVD or game) from the US to Canada is something like $2 USD, but sellers try to charge you $7-10 because it's "overseas" (one US seller said this, I kid you not). Even Amazon.com charges $6 USD for shipping up here.

You're right about low prices online, tho - I haven't purchased anything major in a B&M store for years. Free shipping and no sales tax (provincial) is your friend!

Re:Just like every where else, you have to shop sm (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002054)

Shipping is a pain but the worst thing is when you get caught for import duty.

I bought a camera from a pretty good US company (Cameta I think), and it was about 250 euro cheaper than buying it here in Ireland.

Unfortunately when I went to collect from the mail-room, I found out that they wouldn't let me have it unless I paid then around 100 euro import duty or something like that (it was a while ago).

it still worked out cheaper overall though.

Where were they bought (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001475)

They didn't say where the items were bought.
Prices flucuate from town to town and state to state.

If services were more expensive, perahps you could just buy your true love a trip to another country and give her some of the gifts there. In China, they'd probably cook the turtle doves for you and you wouldn't have to take them home.

Eight maids-a-milking (3, Funny)

ndogg (158021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001484)

I'm not sure I even want to comment on this one. Let's just say that I could find this on the internet for way cheaper than even $41...

Re:Eight maids-a-milking (1)

christowang (590054) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001569)

Russian Mail Order Maids-a-milking are way cheaper. Though, you would have to marry all 8 of them.

Internet is Cheaper (2, Funny)

Almost_anonymous_cow (671896) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001486)

You see you just got to start dealing in bulk goods
Notice how once you start buying in bulk in 11 and 12 the internet is cheaper. I have always wanted my own marching band and better get them now price seems to be increasing.

Internet and Store Best Combo (2, Interesting)

gmplague (412185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001487)

If you combine the best prices from the Internet and "Traditional" shopping, you'd spend $13,717.91

Specifically, the cost of 12 Drummers Drumming and 11 Pipers Piping is significantly cheaper on the internet, and you can obtain five gold rings for $15 less on the internet than traditionally.

Although, I wonder exactly what comes with "11 Pipers Piping"...

Re:Internet and Store Best Combo (1)

theIntraweb (830360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001506)

depends on where you get the pipers from... inner city homeless pipers == crack kentucky pipers == weed mid-eastern pipers == some form of opiate

Many offer free shipping (2, Informative)

Kerhop (652872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001498)

"most items are more expensive to buy over the Internet, primarily due to the cost of shipping"

Most items are, however if you're willing to try smaller stores (reviewed by Reseller Ratings [resellerratings.com] , Epinion [epinions.com] or another neutral place) several are offering free shipping so you save on both shipping and sales tax (if applicable in your area). Not to mention several of the smaller stores allow promotional coupons [google.com] which are usually only for first-time customers but since when do us geeks show loyalty? :)

Then again, some do have spam;del;del;del;del;mailing lists to receive more coupons codes for future purchases.

Re:Many offer free shipping (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001579)

I find generally that the cost of shipping is offset by the lack of sales tax, when choosing merchants carefully. (Oh, yes, of course, I do pay the use tax at the end of the year for things I buy out of state. Doesn't everybody?)

Re:Many offer free shipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11002318)

"I do pay the use tax at the end of the year for things I buy out of state."

I am not convinced I owe any such tax, and no such tax has ever been demanded of me. I will not accept this liability until specifically ordered by a court.

Nine Ladies Dancing (3, Funny)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001508)

Wow, these guys don't know where to shop. I can get a lot more than nine ladies dancing for only $19.95 per month on certain sites... and dancing's not all they do... heh heh.

Why People Buy Online (3, Interesting)

jgartin (177959) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001573)

When I shop online it isn't necessarily because I can find a better price (although you usually can when shopping for computer parts). It's because whatever I want isn't availalbe locally.

Re:Why People Buy Online (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002074)

I think this is where the true value of Internet shopping is found.

I buy most of my games online since the 5 or 6 shops here in town seem to all sell the same console and PC titles.

9 ladies dancing (3, Funny)

magarity (164372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001606)

cheaper labor in countries such as India and China has resulted in pressure on U.S. manufacturers to outsource

That's cool with me; 9 American girls bopping to synth-pop aren't nearly as hot as 9 Indian girls gyrating to their respective traditional music. And if the 9 Chinese girls are in those long form-fitting Chinese dresses with the slits up the side... whoa momma!

Re:9 ladies dancing (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002097)

It's not easier trying to drink a beer when you're laughing out loud yet being strangely aroused after reading that post.

Actually informative (1)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001626)

I'm always surprised at how useful simple things like this can be. Look at how, over the years, the breakdown of the costs has changed from the goods being expensive, to the services being expensive. Mind you, I'm not convinced this is entirely due to cheap outsourcing to china, since most of the goods aren't manufactured, but are agricultural produce.

Interesting too to see how other factors play such a part; the pear tree is more expensive not because of pears per se but because of increased diesel costs. And the gold rings are cheaper, despite gold prices rising, because they are unfashionable and so retailers are dropping prices ot stimulate demand.

Re:Actually informative (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001771)

Another example a friend of mine (who works in the textile industry) told me is that when you buy garments, the higher/lower price stores ask for larger/smaller sizes is a sham, because the major factor that affects clothing prices is the time it takes to stitch/sew something together.

A child version of a jacket is going to take almost as much time to stitch as the adult size, and the difference in cost of the fabric is negligible since the manufacturer buys in bulk, and the textile not used in smaller sizes is compensated into larger sizes.

Re:Actually informative (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002114)

I'm not sure how this works elsewhere but in the UK, I think there is a tax difference.

Children's shoes aren't subject to tax so once you go above a certain size, the price jumps. I could be wrong about this though.

The Canadian version (4, Funny)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001850)

The Canadian version would be quite a bit cheaper, and not just due to the dollar.

8 comic books
7 packs of smokes
6 packs of two-four
5 golden touques
4 pounds of back bacon
3 french toasts
2 turtlenecks
and a beer... in a tree.

Of course you will notice 12 - 10 are missing due to time constraints, but we know at least one of those should be donuts.

My experience with a Greek bookstore online (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11001859)

I live in New Jersey. I ordered four books from Protoporia [protoporia.gr] a Greek online bookstore. The four books I ordered only cost a total of 26.24 Euros, which compared to the price of books in America is decent. One of the books Thanos Vlekas(in Greek) only cost me an amazingly low price of 2.81 Euros, [protoporia.gr] while the English translation of the same title cost $17.95 [amazon.com] at Amazon. The problem is that shipping from Greece cost me 17.20 Euros and took 10 days. There is no alternative for Greek books though, there is no real Greek bookstore in the entire United States. Some stores in Astoria have a few Greek books but they are not bookstores, and it costs over $12 dollars alone to pay for tolls to drive there. All in all in this case though the shipping price is very high, there is no alternative, even driving to New York for books because of tolls would cost almost as much, something to keep in mind about online shipping, even driving out of your area can cost alot with tolls, gas, etc.

Wow, who knew? (1)

slaad (589282) | more than 9 years ago | (#11001912)

...the abundance of cheaper labor in countries such as India and China has resulted in pressure on U.S. manufacturers to outsource.

No way? Cheap labor is why companies outsource? I always thought it was the highly skilled workers, the high level of quality, or maybe even their great location relative to their customers. Good thing this analysis found this or else we'd have been left in the dark here!

PNC? (1)

concordeonetwo (644570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002067)

Doesn't PNC own parking garages in Downtown Portland, OR?

Lords (2, Funny)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11002136)

What I want to know is, what exactly are "Lords a-leaping", and where can I buy them on line?
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