Archive for January, 2013

Dell Gets a Charge Out of Canada

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

My blog is a bit different this time. I decided get on the soap box and talk about something close to my heart. Money.

I use my laptop a lot, especially on my frequent road trips. There’s writing to do, plus business reports and the ever popular emails. Thus my laptop battery, after a couple of hundred charges, is nearing the end of its life.

So I did a search for a replacement battery, starting with Dell, the maker of my laptop. I contacted Dell via a chat line.

The lady was polite, but I expressed a bit of a surprise at the $120.00 price tag. She checked again and came up with a new price for me. $165.00! The reason for this new and improved price was because I live in Canada. This is despite the Canadian dollar (at the time) was higher than the US dollar. The batteries aren’t made in the US; likely China or maybe Korea, so shipping isn’t likely the cause. Maybe greed is.

Let’s see what the profit is. The batteries cost about $40.00 if you were to buy it from a wholesaler (obviously even less for a corporation like Dell).  The formula for Profit Margin is rather simple:  Price – Cost/ Price = Margin x 100%

For the US this is: 120 – 40/120 = 67%    (Or a markup of P-C/C = 200 %)

For Canada this is: 165 – 40/165 = 76%   (Or a markup of P-C/C = 312 %)

What does this tell me? That I should buy stock in Dell Parts Division? Possibly. But definitely that Dell thinks Canada as a place to pad their profits. Although not from me- I bought my replacement battery from a third party. $68.00 Canadian and that included shipping.

So, a pox on companies that cranks up their prices just for Canada.

Not all goods are priced different from the USA to Canada. I was at The Viewpoint, a great bookstore at Lake Louise Village, and their American and Canadian prices are matched. Maybe Dell could learn something from a retailer that does understand what their customers want, and not make it so obvious they want to rip you off.

Okay, off the soap box and back to writing.

Merlot with Science Fiction

Friday, January 4th, 2013

It looks like I have a new date to do a book signing. I initially had one on January 26- a Saturday- at Chapters in West Edmonton Mall.
However, unknown to me, evil forces were at work to disrupt my plans. I was also scheduled to do a wine tasting in Jasper on the same weekend. Wine in Winter is being held in Jasper on January 25. I have to say spending a weekend in the mountains, pouring and sampling wine is a bit more appealing than sitting at a table (dry) in a book store.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Chapters, and buy a lot of books there. In fact I was in there yesterday snooping around at some books. But pouring wine is actually my job, and writing is only something I want to do. Work usually triumphs wants.
Anyway, Kate, the lady responsible for scheduling book signings and host of other duties, was kind enough to give me an alternate date. February 9th is my new book signing date. Make sure you circle it your calendar and come by to say hello. We can talk about my books, writing or even about wine. By the way, I recommend a nice Merlot with science fiction.