Costco’s Math Smoke and Mirrors

203435b.jpg (300×300)

Time to come clean. I’m addicted to these.

It started innocently enough in Chengdu, China in 2003. Each week while grocery shopping I was intrigued with all the Chinese women who would gather around the giant pistachio bin and fill their plastic bags with the very best one or two hundred. After spectating for a few weeks, I joined in. This brought furtive glances and embarrassed smiles.

How was I supposed to know real men don’t pistachio shop? Upon returning Stateside (love using that term, makes me feel cosmopolitan), imagine my delight when I learned Costco had picked them out and packaged them for me.

I can be too frugal for my own good. Given that, it’s nice there are at least two products for which I’d spend almost anything—iPads and iPistachios.

This theory has been tested lately as Costco’s California pistachios have skyrocketed in price. $14.99 for 4lbs, who cares, toss em’ in. $15.99, $16.99, $19.99. Yikes, now they’re just taking advantage of a helpless addict. The price increases have probably had little to do with supply and demand. More likely, they’re a Schwarzenegger state budget screw up surtax.

When I glanced and grabbed last week, I did a double-take. What?! $14.99?! Sweet! The last time they were $14.99 the President had stolen the election. Then, a second later, “What the hell, that’s a 3 pounder!”

Here’s how I imagine it going down at Costco headquarters in Issaquah, WA. Executive Meeting. Agenda item: Pricing limits of California pistachios. A suit does a quick PowerPoint presentation showing a precipitous decline in sales of California pistachios at the $19.99 pricepoint. What to do? Discussion ensues. The consensus, instead of selling 4 pounds for $19.99, let’s sell 3 pounds for $14.99, and hope people don’t really notice the math smoke and mirrors. Brilliant. A collective sense of accomplishment descends and the meeting is adjourned.”

It might just work. No, it will work on whomever lacks numeracy. And on addicts like me.

Bonus picture. What a minimalist, who asked for nothing, received for Christmas.

Perfect Christmas

Name Your Price

I’m way too frugal for my own good, but there are a few products I’m willing to pay whatever the seller asks. Take Costco’s California Pistachios for instance. They continue to climb in price but I don’t care because I’m addicted. Just take my wallet and give me back whatever you think is fair. The second is the much rumored Apple Tablet. Hurry up and bring it to market Steve. Here’s my credit card, ring it up for whatever you think is fair.

From MacRumors.com

Foxconn to Manufacture Tablet for Q1 2010 Launch?

Wednesday October 07, 2009 09:18 AM EST
Written by Eric Slivka

Mac Rumors

DigiTimes reports that Foxconn Electronics has been named as Apple’s manufacturing partner for its much-anticipated tablet and that the device is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2010.The device is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2010, with initial shipments from Foxconn being in the 300,000-400,000 range, the sources said.

The device will have a 10.6-inch display, and the sources speculated that perhaps Foxconn could secure panels from its subsidiary Innolux Display.

While a number of rumors have previously pegged the display on Apple’s device in the 7-to-10 inch range, this report of a possibly slightly larger display than previously thought nearly matches recent claims of a 10.7″ screen. Speculation that Innolux may provide screens for the new device conflicts, however, with earlier reports that Wintek had already been tabbed as the display provider.

Finally, the report notes that the device will place an emphasis on e-Book functionality, echoing claims that Apple is aiming to redefine print media with the device. Apple’s extended-life battery technology such as that found in recent MacBook Pro revisions, Internet connectivity, and Apple’s typical attention to user interface detail are all expected to be featured in the new device.