Thursday, December 14, 2006

I want to be like the guy who invented handling charges only a lot less of a prick.

See, like that sentence above. I'm certain most of everyone that reads that knows what I mean, but yet I will expound.

Nobody knows the guy who invented the premise of handling charges but yet there are likely very few people in the entire civilized world that he hasn't screwed over.

I don't want to screw the world over but I think it's kind of cool that some guy was sitting around one day thinking about how he could make an extra buck and ended up changing the world.

The conversation creating it went something like this, I think:

"It an okay product. We can get people to want it enough to pay us a profit. And we even have them pay for the postage for us to send it to them and not just the postage but the box and any packing material, and the label and packing tape as well. It's not a bad life," he would say to his co-worker.

"Yeah, that's rich that we get to charge our foolish faithful customers for all that postage stuff on top of our price. I can't believe there was a time when people didn't charge for shipping; it's so easy to rationalize - "We're in the manufacturing business not in the mailing business." Suckers. Too bad there wasn't someway we could charge them for sticking the damn thing into the box as well, but nobody is going to pay for that."

Then some evil grin was grinned, "Not unless you call it 'handling'".

It was a simple stroke of evil genius that everyone jumped on board with, business people and consumers alike.

The dude's grandkids would have bragged about him.

"Yeah, my grandfather invented a multibillion dollar facet of business just by labeling an everyday cost-of-doing-business task as something that could be assigned an arbitrary dollar value to. It like charging a fee to something that you picked up at a retail store just because it was available the day you walked in. "Yes sir, that coat is seventy eight dollars but it has been sitting on that coat hanger for three weeks, so there is an availability fee. It costs us a lot to make these items, that you want, available to you. The rent for this place doesn't pay itself you know. So, with the availability fee, the total is eighty six dollars.""

"Yeah, that's cool. I wish my grandfather invented the restocking fee on returns or something like that," the listener would say.

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