Okay time for a rant. I hate, not dislike, or even just loathe, I HATE these mail firm companies that offer the poor unsuspecting pidgeon their product for what seems to be a reasonable price. Then not only do they offer you the product but since they claim they are your "friend" and since you are so nice, they are generously are going to send you a second unit of the product asbsolutely FREE!! Yeah real free alright, in reality in small print you are still on the hook for ONLY additional shipping and handling. WOW what good guys they are! Then you rush to your phone to get that order in before someone buys the last one(Two?). Or you jump into the internet to buy it on line yeah! Up clicks the flashy display page showing the item in full living color, and you are chomping at the bit to buy! There is the holy grail button (also known as the submit button) and up pops the information page. After filling out the important info, you put in the credit card number and you are now about to launch into the proud ownership of the product in duplicate! Then the reality check drops on your head like the Green Giant stomping a helpless bug. The total for the order is TWICE or THREE times what you originally thought. WHAT is going on here? Scanning down these pompous charges you discover that the small shipping and handling fee is a couple of pennies short of the USA debt load! The item cost you $9.99 with a shipping and handling fee is $9.99 more. When they add in the second FREE item with shipping /handling charge , suddenly the entire order is $29.97. That means you are paying $9.99 for the 2 items (of course one is FREE) and $19.98 for shipping /handling. I refuse to be connived into spending twice as much for shipping and item(s) than the original cost of the item. I have been in the mailing business for over 20 years, and I can say I am a bit of an expert on shipping values. A 4 ounce items (X 2 = 8 ounces) does not cost a company almost $20 to ship. Even if you factor in the handling? charge, any idiot should know that if you pack an order with the same 2 items, it does not take twice as much time, the items should theoretically be in the same place and it is a simple job just to pick up 2 of them and pack them in the same box. I propose that we all band together and protest with our wallets. Refuse to buy these knuckleheads products, and eventually even the thick headed marketers will come to the realization that they are doing something wrong. They probably will think up some new scam to lay on the masses. Anyway that is how I see it.
It is reported in a story in the December 2010 Missouri Soybean Farmer Magazine, that the Humane Society of the United States (not necessarily affiliated with local Humane Societies) have taken in enormous amounts of cash donations and have spent little if any of this money to help maintain any shelters, or for the direct benefit of any animals. The Humane Society of the United States are reported to have regional offices in 33 states, and are affiliated with a confusing web of corporations, subsidiaries, and organizations of which some are non profit, tax exempt, and for profit organizations. In essence they hide behind these groups to help conceal the fact that of approximately 97 million dollars in donations last year, 22.3 million was spent on fund raising. This means for every 1 dollar they accepted in donations, 23 cents of that was spent to raise more money. What really rears it's ugly head in this article is that the CEO Wayne Pacelle has an annual compensation package of 2.59 million dollars and further adding insult to injury, an additional total of 35.8 million was spent on salaries and benefits for 29 of 629 employees. One more nail in the coffin, is an additional approximately 2.6 million was paid into executive pension plans. This leaves only approximately 33.7 million for all other expenses including the other 600 employees salaries, day to day operating expenses, excess cash on hand at the end of the year (to a tune of 24.8 million) assets of approximately 160.5 million, and finally on the tail end money to help benefit the very creatures supposedly they are working to benefit (not much left at that). This is patently obscene at best, and criminal at the very least. They put out TV commercials showing sad eyed animals (generally dogs, and cats) in woeful conditions, and imply that they are working to alleviate these horrendous situations, but in reality they are simply creating a money machine to line their own pockets. The article is actually aimed at how this organization has been funneling money into State laws to benefit themselves, through enacting laws such as the Proposition B recently barely passed in Missouri. Again these actions are not really helping the animals but rather hurting the small farmer. What this boils down to is where is the real money going which you donated to help the animals? Is it really do any good for those wide eyed sad puppies or just satisfying the greed of a small group of overpaid money hungry corporate animals?
There are a large number of ways to find that special collectible item. One of the best ways is to peruse your local papers for auctions, yard sales, garage sales, and shows. When deciding to go to sales, remember that the early bird truly gets the worm. If possible find out when the sale starts, and be there when they open it up. Most of the best items are sold within the first hour of a yard or garage sale. Getting to auctions early is also beneficial. You will be able to park closer to the sale, and thus save yourself some steps when bringing items you get back to your vehicles. Another benefit for early arrival to an auction is that you have plenty of time to look over all of the items selling , noting any damage, missing parts, or incorrectly labeled items. You can then decide how much the item is worth to you and establish what you want to bid up to for an item. It is best to write down the items you want, how much you are willing to pay, and then when it comes time to bid stick with your maximum bid. Do not get carried away and bid once more because you think the other bidders are done. This is one of the biggest mistakes at auctions, is regretting yourself because you over bid. Sometimes auctions will include family members who will bid up an item either to get a better end price, or simply because it holds a dear memory that is more important than the cost of the item. At garage and yard sales look over all your purchases before you buy! Generally these kind of sales, every item is sold as is, no refunds of any kind. Sometimes you will find a seller who is less than completely honest, and will hide a crack or chip under a price tag, or place damaged items in darkened areas of the sale to make it harder to see the flaws. Again buyer beware! Most people are generally honest and if they think of it, will point out flaws to the buyer, but some either forget, do not know, or simply want it sold. I will be posting other tips on buying things in the near future, Happy Hunting!