Friday, October 4, 2013

Jennifer Love Hewitt's incredibly expensive boobs

Before I get Jennifer Love Hewitt's attorneys on my case -- after all, I'm led to believe her spectacular knockers are real -- I should explain what I mean by the subject of this blog post.

For starters, though, a little preamble.

I haven't yet figured out the pricing logic behind most things in Australia. One grocery store sells a 3 liter bottle of 1% milk for $5.95. Another grocery store, of exactly the same prominence and cleanliness level, sells it for $3. I don't know why, but it's true.

Most things, of course, cost more than they do in the states, and that's certainly true of DVDs. It wouldn't be strange to find a new release DVD go for nearly $30, which is $5 to $10 more than even the BluRay would be in the U.S. Then again, there are also stores, like Target -- or like K-Mart, which out-Targets Target in a lot of ways -- that sell older DVDs for only $5, like you'll see in the U.S. It's just hard to know.

I'm not in the market to buy anything now, but I do have a habit of checking the prices of things on the shelves. I can't help it. It's pure instinct.

Today I saw something that even the illogical Australia pricing structure couldn't account for, so far out of the bounds of the ordinary was it.

It was a display rack in a Coles supermarket that had about five or six rows of three or four movies each. They should have been priced to sell, considering that they were displayed in such a way as to encourage an impulse purchase. At the very least you'd expect the prices of the DVDs to be more or less of a piece, seeing as how they were all being displayed together on this one rack. But no. Some movies were cheap, around $7, while others were a bit more expensive. The Little Mermaid was $28 for the DVD, which is definitely high, but high-quality children's entertainment tends to get priced higher, as I discussed here.

In fact, all the movies were more or less in an expected price range, based on age and perceived popularity, except one:

Heartbreakers, which was selling for $37.28.

This was not even the BluRay, mind you. It was the DVD.


Was the guy with the price gun drunk that day?

It boggled my mind. It wasn't just the excessively high price of a movie that's over a dozen years old, that wasn't much more than a modest hit when it came out. It was also the odd specificity of the price. One wonders why anything in Australia is priced on anything other than a multiple of five cents, since they no longer circulate one cent coins here, and just round up or down every purchase. Something that costs $37.28 actually costs $37.30 or $37.25 -- I can't remember if the rounding rule always benefits the buyer, or if the seller can squeeze an extra two cents out of you under the right circumstances. (I should say that the sales tax is already factored in here, which I must say that I like.)

$37.28? Really?

It's not even close to the next dollar up, a common tactic used by retailers to convince you the product in question costs less than it really does. So even $36.98 or $37.98 would make more sense than $37.28.

Instead of shaking my head in aghast disbelief, I should probably consider the likelihood that it really was a mistake of some sort, drunk price gunner or otherwise.

But it's a lot more fun to imagine that Heartbreakers' precise combination of elements resulted in some kind of pricing algorithm making the determination that its fair market value -- a value the consumer would be only too glad to pay -- would be $37.28. Like, maybe Sigourney Weaver + comedy + Jennifer Love Hewitt's boobs = $37.28.

To get some clarity on the topic, at the possible risk of ruining my own fun, I googled "Coles" and "Heartbreakers" and "$37.28" and came up with nothing.

Sometimes the best mysteries are those that are never solved.

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