It pays to look around.

On my trip to Magfest this weekend, I wanted to look around at rental cars. Everything at BWI was costing $150 or more after all the taxes and stuff. What a bummer. Fortunately, I did some research and managed to get some good discounts which gave me both extra rapid rewards on Southwest and cut the price down to $105. Not too shabby.

Normally I’m not the type to make sure I get absolutely every cent I can on something. I believe in a fair deal – as long as you’re not screwing me around or doing other unsavory things, I’m willing to pay for services. I imagine a lot of the American public is similar, but I have no real evidence to back that up – just my own behavior as well as that of my family and colleagues. For instance, I prefer flying with Southwest even though they may not have the absolutely lowest fare every time because they are upfront with what they provide you, and their base level of service is excellent. JetBlue and Virgin America are also similar, except VX charges for checked bags, which I don’t like. Nevertheless, their level of service in the cabin is in a different level itself, so they are often worth taking for the extra $30 round trip.

This is why things like the Grocery Shrink Ray piss me off so much. They do it under the guise of people not noticing. They say they’re doing you a favor, but their actions are really screwing you over. I want specific quantities of something – a pound of Cheez-Its, a half a gallon of ice cream, et cetera. These reductions of packaging sizes are not sustainable! How far will they go? They’re not giving me, their customer, a fair shake. In those situations, why should I reciprocate with paying full price?

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