When I first read Steve's reply, I thought, "man did he get up on the wrong side of the bed". Then I thought about it for a minute. Then I realized, he's right!
I run a pretty large retail furniture store located in an outlet mall. We sell Mercedes to Chevy quality furnishings at guaranteed best prices and offer top quality service to the customer.
But, every day I get a "customer" who has found someone on the internet who sells for a few bucks less. Now they have come in and used our store's beautiful showroom, taken up the time of a salesperson, drunk our free coffee and taken home a handful of color copies. Then they surf the net and find some guy they can't see who's probably working from his kitchen table who's only asset is price.
Too often, the consumer in their rabid quest for the cheapest price forgets the importance of service and a relationship with whom they are doing business. Worst of all is the total lack of understanding that the tech or salesperson is supporting a family and the establishment pays rent, taxes and benefits to their employees.
I love it when someone says "there's alot of markup in your products". Really? Does that mean that at the end of the year you have whatever your gross earnings are in the bank? The answer is, of course not, you have rent,food, utilities, taxes etc., well friends so does the business you are trading with.
If you doubt this is true, just go into a department store. If you're old enough to know what it was like in the 50', 60's and 70's, there is no service today. They have had to cut back on staff to remain competitive.
Getting a good deal is great. Just don't forget the importance of service and long term relationships.
91 300E 120K
90 300SE 275K (sold)
92 BMW 525iM 120K
90 BMW 525iA 175K
85 300D 175K (sold)
84 300SD 245K (sold)