Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I had a New York City reality check the other day. I was in the city for an appointment and noticed that my watch battery had died. I happened to be walking near Bloomingdales, the up-scale department store in Manhattan.

I went in and found the watch repair department. I took off my watch and gave it to the clerk saying it needed a new battery. She looked at it. It wasn't one of those multi-thousand dollar watches. I think I paid less than a hundred dollars for it several years ago.

She took it show some unseen watch technician in a small doorway out of sight of the customers. Coming back she said it will cost you forty one dollars including tax.

I was astounded. "That's about half the value of the watch," I said. "That's the price," she replied.

I left with a still dead watch battery.

I don't know if it's greed or if Bloomingdales has to charge outragous prices to cover their financial nut in New York City. I suspect it's both. Perhaps a lot more greed than need.

Leaving the store, I remembered a few years ago when I was again in Manhattan and I needed a new tie. I went to Bloomies, as the locals call the store and went to the men's department. I found a tie I liked among dozens of others and then looked at the price!

Whoa! One-hundred and twenty-five dollars. This tie didn't have gold stitching or diamonds sown into the fabric. It was a nice common red striped tie. I walked out of the store then too.

Somethings belie understanding; so do some merchants. Bloomingdales is one of them. I won't be back.

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