Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Weekly Roundup 11: Flexible Pricing

Last week, I welcomed spring, and this week, winter returned. Temperatures are cold here, and we've had more snow. But it's easier to handle knowing that the worst of the weather is behind us for the year, and spring will come in earnest one of these days.

A lot has been made recently of the flexible pricing model that is the latest ploy to nickel and dime us to death. (Well, maybe it's a tie between that and the ubiquitous requests for a tip). 

I think we all grew up with at least a passing knowledge of supply and demand. If you want an apple, say, and there aren't many apples to be had, you will pay more for the apple. But having that concept applied in real time through flexible pricing takes it to a whole other level.

Let's use Amazon as an example. Thanks to the astounding amount of data Amazon collects, it is able to change prices 2.5 million times a day (as reported by Business Insider, in an excerpt from the book Swipe to Unlock.). That means a product's price can change every ten minutes.

Fast food chain Wendy's got a lot of pushback when they announced plans to test "dynamic pricing," but lots of restaurants are already using it. As are ride-shares, airlines, hotels, movie theaters, et cetera. (For the record, the dynamic pricing model means prices can go up or down, but surge pricing means you'll pay more during times of high demand.)
All this makes me feel cynical and exhausted. But in this world where we're constantly being upsold and manipulated, let me offer a consolation: public libraries, where you can still borrow print resources, electronic resources, music, movies, and even items such as specialty cake pans and ukuleles... 

All. For. Free. 

Granted, you can't get food. But you can get food for thought :-) 

(And, yes, I know libraries have to be funded, because few things in life are actually free. But all things considered, libraries offer a lot for comparatively little.)

Have a great week! Go check out a book!

No comments:

Post a Comment