The Shopping Challenge

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The Shopping Challenge

Post by TheWhiteShadow on Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:51 am

I was involved in a competition against one other person. There was someone with me who was concerned that I win. Maybe not "concerned," but more like they were hoping that I'd win. They knew that I had a lot of knowledge that would help in this "game," so they were just interested in whether the other person knew less than I, or didn't know all the tricks...if that makes sense. It wasn't so much that I didn't have what it would take, but whether the other person was equally skilled.

The game was this: We were each given the same amount of money to spend in a store, like a Target or Walmart, although I don't believe it was either one. Our object was to spend the money on items that were overly marked up...where the cost of the item was nowhere near the amount that they were selling it. It wasn't even about the number of items that we were buying. If it worked, I could have bought a single item with the money that was given to me - only that the item needed to have a hugely inflated selling price in order to win. To judge it, they'd add up the costs of the items and then compare it to the total amount that we spent. So, what's interesting about this competition is that it relied on my knowledge about markups/profitability of any given item (basically from my retail days), and I had to look at everything through that "lens" of what it was actually worth...

The competition started, and I quickly saw a section of merchandise to target. It was one of those character-themed areas with different stuff all related to that character. In particular, it was like a "Hello, Kitty" section. You know, all those little girl cutesy items, like keychains, notebooks, pens, makeup, etc...all with that character on them. I knew that they were way overpriced. I saw a couple items that were over $100.00 (I think that we actually had $100 to spend), and some single items that were $80 and $90. I reasoned that buying single items was not the way for me to go, as the margin on these would still be good, but not as inflated as lower-priced items. I actually began to take a bunch of little notebooks and such, nothing more than $10.00, and pretty much in the $5 or so range. I knew that these things were, at the most, a dollar or so for cost, so the margins on them were very high.

There was no final outcome for the dream, only that I felt confident in my plan - especially since my rival wasn't working where I was. I figured that I had found one of the best places in the store for this competition, and if they weren't by me then they were someplace less successful. In real life, I do not feel that I am in competition with anyone in any area of my life at this time.

Any thoughts are appreciated,
-Mark

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Re: The Shopping Challenge

Post by Deborah on Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:04 pm

The parallel isn't really clear, but this was the verse that came to my mind when I read your post:

Matthew 13:44


44 The kingdom of heaven is like something precious buried in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.

In your dream you are trying to find items that are the most over-priced, in other words, items that would bring the merchant the most bang for the buck, so to speak. So from the merchant's perspective, you were looking "something precious" that is "buried" because it isn't obvious to most consumers. So perhaps this dream is just about you seeking the kingdom of heaven....

Another thought is maybe this dream represents an aversion you have for price gouging. Where I live there are a lot of greedy landlords and merchants and I know I get angry with them for jacking up prices so so high and hurting good honest people.

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Re: The Shopping Challenge

Post by TheWhiteShadow on Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:43 pm

Deborah wrote:In your dream you are trying to find items that are the most over-priced, in other words, items that would bring the merchant the most bang for the buck, so to speak. So from the merchant's perspective, you were looking "something precious" that is "buried" because it isn't obvious to most consumers. So perhaps this dream is just about you seeking the kingdom of heaven....

I've been having quite a few literal dreams lately, so I was on the lookout for something in my daily life where I could say, "Ah, that's this dream." Yet, I kept thinking that it was along the same lines as what you shared. So, thank you for the confirmation. :)

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Re: The Shopping Challenge

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