Last week my wife bought our dog Haley a new pet bed. She went to Petco and picked one up for $20. It was too small, so we took it back and found a bigger one for the same price at Farm & Home. We were at Ross, dress for less, look like a mess and they have pet beds for half the price. In fact they had quite a few pet items that were much cheaper. Haley likes to chew pig’s hooves and they cost two bucks a piece at Petco. Susan found two attached to a rope (a fantastic dog toy) at Big Lots for a buck fifty.

When it comes to finding the best price for any consumer good – from apples to zinc – how could anyone possibly find the best bargain?

Dovetail this thought with the idea that was in the forefront of my consciousness this morning – the notion of community. Literally, a community is a group of people with a common interest and a common geographic location. Of course, the internet has changed the idea of community, removing geographic bonds in many instances. Relating to purchasing everyday consumer goods, community is still geographically bound. ie. the Big Lots on Appleway in Coeur d’Alene has pig’s hooves on a rope for a buck fifty and the Big Lots near you might not. Wouldn’t it be great if you could check with a community of shoppers who have taken the time to identify the best bargain on a particular item? Of course it would and I could create an online community but I fear I would be the only one uploading anything. There would be no shortage of people searching for the best price but I imagine very few people would be willing to take the time to upload their found bargains. I might be wrong about this. Facebook seems an example of community where people are willing to upload their information, rather than just search for others input. But even at that, people are really interested in navel gazing. It’s a community of ego stroking, time passing, game playing, Jesus is this day going to ever end, kind of activity. Facebook is perhaps one step above apathy.

Is anything meaningful being uploaded to the internet? Or is it all really just one giant advertisement?

Since I have this platform for random ranting, and since I already posted on Facebook this morning, I’ll continue. What I’d really like to see is a site that has a simple premise. Enter your city and search for an item that you want to buy. Everyone enters the location and price of items that they’ve purchased. I don’t have time to drive to every possible store to check out the price on any given item. I can check online prices but there’s discounts all over the place – moving sales, liquidations, or just plain stale merchandise a store wants to get rid of. Besides, I don’t want to wait 3 weeks for the dog’s chew toy and maybe that’s a bad example, perhaps it’s a television or a BBQ – whatever. I want to drive right to the store, know what the price is, know that it’s the best price in town and blamo, I buy it and feel good about it instead of finding out later that I overpaid like a sucker.

Who likes feeling duped when it comes to consumer goods?

I know what I’d like to see and I’m sure there are others who would like the same. Maybe this already exists and I just don’t know it. If you know, would you throw me a bone? I’m done for now. Must get some work done, post on Facebook, check some emails and figure out how the hell to get through this day.