Sunday, July 24, 2011
Why Do the Big Box Stores Hate the Poor?
The House of 'Vark has been without a washing machine for two weeks, now. Fear not, we do not smell like the third day of the gaming room at a con, for there is an abundance of decent laundromats, and the Dread Dormomoo has dealt with the necessities at the "Wash and Gossip", though she has foregone the latter. Our Frigidaire front loader uses a control board that had to be first used on Atlantis' final pizza run to the ISS, because it sure isn't here. Maybe they can find one on Ganymede. Our helpful and very good repairman, Jay, is still awaiting delivery. When the D.D. was inquiring as to perhaps getting a used machine to replace our venerable washer, Jay said that he didn't have one, and that they are very hard to get, now.
The devil being in the details, herself asked "Why?". "The big stores offer free pickup of the old machines when a customer buys a new one." came the reply.
The stores then strip 'em, and recycle them, thus removing them from the marketplace. Think "No Cash for Clunkers". This severely reduces the number of second-hand machines around that are repairable and resellable to folks of limited means by guys like Jay. Not a good situation. Our thought: guys like Jay could make a market by advertising, offering $25-$50 for the old machines. "Why give 'em away to Lowes, when we'll pay you for them?" The price of a used machine may go up marginally, but it would be a way to get the experienced washers, dryers and refrigerators back into the marketplace, and a little cash back in the hands of the original owners. I think it could work.