Wal-Mart deserve to be exploited

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by deathfisaro, Sep 13, 2008.

Sep 13, 2008
  1. deathfisaro
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    Member deathfisaro Narcistic Deathfisaro Fan

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    As they exploit third world country workers.

    It depends on your view whether the exploited are workers or us, the customers.


    Let's just pick a generic item from Wal-Mart that sells for $5, and takes an hour to make.
    Now the worker who made that item gets paid less than a buck an hour. By less than a buck, I'm talking about somewhere close to a quarter.

    After transportation, storage, wage for cashier in North America, it's still gonna be like a buck, maybe less.

    The remaining $4 goes to Wal-Mart's fat belly.


    As conscious consumers, we don't want to contribute to Wal-Mart's extortion in third world countries.

    Boycotting is not an effective solution, you want to stop Wal-Mart without having a negative effect on your wallet or anything actually.

    What should you do? Exploit their return policy. Do whatever you can within your boundaries of morality. You doing returns make them hire more workers which is far more expensive than their actual merchandise (well, a lot of them)


    Now come to think of it, their price is competitive enough to attract people but each item sold creates several hundred percent profit. That could be viewed as exploiting customers. It's like microeconomics gone bad.


    P.S. 12:30 a.m. here, don't expect me to know what I'm talking about [​IMG]
     
  2. Urza

    Member Urza hi

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    Exploiting customers is the definition of good business.

    Its called "profit".
     
  3. deathfisaro
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    Member deathfisaro Narcistic Deathfisaro Fan

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    While Corporations aim to maximize profit, the profit shouldn't come from sweatshops.
    I wouldn't link "extortion" with good business, the term exploit has negative tone built into it; dirty business.
     
  4. Urza

    Member Urza hi

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    They operate completely within the bounds of the law.

    Edit: As far as we know of course.
     
  5. Osaka

    Member Osaka GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Ok so, wal-mart closes down, and everyone in their "sweatshop" is out of a job.
     
  6. CorruptJon

    Member CorruptJon :)

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    Walmart buys their products from suppliers, they don't have their own sweatshops. Even their store brand items are usually made in the same factories as brand name items. They're pretty much just a middleman between you and the supplier.
     
  7. The rate of noth

    Newcomer The rate of noth Member

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  8. Sonicslasher

    Member Sonicslasher In Law we trust.

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    Exaclty, then how will they get money/food?

    Go watch Penn & Teller, they have a great episode on this.
     
  9. paul1991

    Banned paul1991 Banned

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    Wow.

    You justify your actions using incomplete rational. If you do not support shops that use sweatshops, they will change their tactics or close down.
    By not shopping at stores like wal-mart, you make companies either pay their factory workers more or change who they buy wholesale from.

    And wal-mart knows how their suppliers make their goods. Walmart has a convoluted process that is equatable to corporate slavery.
     
  10. Mewgia

    Member Mewgia drifter

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    ...wait what?

    THis post was even more confusing than OPs.
     
  11. jinxvorheeze

    Member jinxvorheeze GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Walmart does not use sweatshops. They sell brand name merchandise (not high-end brand name) but each company they receive their shipments from is it's own corporation. There is no Walmart factory. Walmart keeps prices low by making deals with companies on billions of units of product, then that product is stored in shipment warehouses. If they do not sell all of the units, then the company ships them back for a credited refund on their next purchase. Ever wonder where all the copies of the new movies went about a week after a release. They seem to have a full kiosk on release, then when they are moved to the shelves after a week they have like 10 copies. This is because they boxed up all of the unsold copies and sent them back.

    Follow this link for more info on Walmart Brand merchandise: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wal-Mart_brands

    As for exploiting the return policy, that is only going to raise prices throughout the store, and create strict return guidelines to save themselves from fraudulent activities. And why would people doing returns force walmart to hire more people? When you return an item and it is defective, Walmart recieves a refund from the manufacturer. They don't take a loss, the company creating the product does. When you return an item that has nothing wrong with it, they just sell it again. Even if you stole products from them, they have such a high amount of Asset Protection that only the insurance company (who gets sent a claims book every month from each store in their region) has to pay for you stealing things from Walmart. And boycotting is not a valid solution since that will not deter Walmart from selling items, they will simply sell items at a higher price. As for your theory that they make 'X' amount of profit per item. It is not as high as you think. If you believe Walmart makes a 100% profit off every item, then you are mistaken. Walmart undercuts (on average) 25% MSRP. That means if the manufacturer prices an item for $10 Walmart sells it for about $7.50. Since MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) is created equally for all stores (and not changed with higher bulk shipments) it is up to the manufacturer to create a fair price which will keep all stores on an even playing field. (Check info on MSRP here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suggested_retail_price ) How does Walmart sell it for less? Walmart sells a much higher percentage of merchandise than any other franchise. They cut the MSRP by 25% because they know they are going to sell (in example) 500% more of the item then other retail chains creating higher profit margins for lower prices. Walmart made a 3.5% profit last year on its merchandise. $12 billion on $340 billion of sales revenue ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profit_margin ). Note that this is profit from sales and empoyee wages and insurance premiums have not been assessed or removed from that figure. So where are the 100's of percent profits? They don't exsist. Walmart does not even make a 5% profit on the items sold. They make a high-figure low-percentage profit by selling more.

    For more info on Walmart stores check out these links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wal-Mart
    http://walmartstores.com/
    http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/

    Walmart is known for putting smaller gorcery stores and chains out of business, but this is not Walmarts intent when they build a store. They don't scope out a location and say, "Well, that Kroger is doing alot of business, lets make them go under." They build where it is commercially convenient and where the highest projected profit would come from. If the people in small towns don't want their local stores to go out of business because of Walmart, shop at your local retailer. If your argument that local retailers cannot compete with Walmarts prices, then who is the greedy one? If you love your hometown store so much, then is a quarter less for a thing of bread worth it? Walmart does not put other stores out of business, consumers do.

    "Please don't post a response quoting this entire post"
     
  12. Lazycus

    Member Lazycus Rotten

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    Following your logic you need to move out of Canada. Living there and spending any money supports free trade and capitalism.

    Penn & Teller: Bullshit! FTW.
     
  13. elenar

    Member elenar GBAtemp Regular

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    Looking at incomplete summaries of Wal-mart's fiscal reports (these kinds of things are required by law in the U.S. you know) Wal-Mart chain stores in the U.S. have, on the average, a 5% margin. In case that's just jargon to you, that means that Wal-Mart makes about 5 cents profit per dollar of merchandise that they sell. Now, keep in mind that's just an average. I worked at a Wal-Mart for a little while, and they posted their week-by-week profits on a dry-erase board for the workers to see (they did this because Wal-Mart employees participate in a profit-sharing program where they get a bonus every quarter based on the amount of profit the individual store that they work at posted) and by far the most profitable section of the store was the grocery section. In the electronics section they posted a respectable margin (it's extremely common in the U.S. to mark-up electronics at each point in the distribution chain, which means if the manufacter sells it for $x, the initial shipping company will charge $1.1x, the local distributor will sell it to Wal-mart (or Best Buy or Circuit City or whatever) for $1.2x and Wal-Mart will sell it for $1.25x, which leads to higher margins on electronics overall), and the rest of the store lagged way behind. If I remember correctly their profit margin on clothing items tended to be 1% or less.

    There are a lot of crappy things about Wal-Mart, but they are the wrong corporation to be targeting when complaining about price gouging. Their refusal to allow their employees to form or enter unions is a much better topic for complaint.

    In short, if you are offended by sweat-shop labor and high corporate profit-margins, you should be targeting the manufacturers of the goods. When you used the example of something costing $1 to create and ship but being sold to consumers at $5 per item, you fail to realize that Wal-mart is only the consumer-level distribution point, and they were charged perhaps as much as $4.90 to purchase that item. This leaves them turning around and selling it to you at a $.10 profit.
     
  14. deathfisaro
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    Member deathfisaro Narcistic Deathfisaro Fan

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    What will happen to sweatshop workers when exploiting companies move out or close down? They should get a job at a factory who offers better conditions and proper pay (not like North American minimum wage, but not like 2 Yuan per hour either).

    If people don't buy from certain companies because they are closely related to sweatshops, they'll close down their sweatshops or turn them into respectable factories. Unless they want to close down the whole thing and flush the whole corporation down the toilet.

    "If sweatshops close down, tons of people will become jobless and die" happens when boycotted pro-sweatshop company shuts down all sweatshops and decides not to produce merchandise which originally came from the sweatshops. If they decide to do so, the result is lower supply which won't be enough to get the business going. Rational corporation heads will set up new factories, that satisfies people who boycotted and turns them into customers and increase profit.

    I'm totally pro-free trade, I'm against capitalism-slavery. Be it Wal-Mart's suppliers or any other companies.

    Workers voluntarily applied for a job at the factory, probably not knowing in reality it's a sweatshop. Also offering worse conditions than the worker expected (not looking at "standards" from our point of view), but they can't do anything besides either working there being exploited or quitting.

    "My family member is in critical condition, can I have tomorrow off?"
    "No, you have an obligation to work no matter what"
    "That doesn't make sense!"
    "Deal with it, or we'll close this factory down and move to a place with cheaper labour. We're doing your community good and you're chasing it away"
     
  15. golfrguy

    Newcomer golfrguy Newbie

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    Watch 'China Blue'

    Here is info on Walmart

     
  16. spinal_cord

    Member spinal_cord Knows his stuff

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    From the documentaries i've watched on the subject, the workers know EXACTLY what kind of conditions to expect, they apply for the job knowing full well what they're in for. But if its the only job around, thats the one you want.
     
  17. silent sniper

    Member silent sniper !dennaB

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    Penn and Teller have a TV show? fuck... I've never seen it on...

    back on topic, I think you make a valid point, but that post about walmart being the middlemen is valid as well...


    but... DIE WAL-MART DIE!
     
  18. deathfisaro
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    Member deathfisaro Narcistic Deathfisaro Fan

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    It's good that people disagree, if everyone agreed then there'd be no discussion =)

    If you buy a charity's $5 shirt, that can supply a kid in Sudan with 30 breakfasts. That's not exactly $5 for 30 meals, more like $5 - production and distribution costs for 30 meals.

    If I ever come across a $5 shirt at WM, I'd call the charity instead and order a shirt which probably has the organization name and logo on it to make its use relatively more restrictive.
     
  19. Panzer Tacticer

    Member Panzer Tacticer veteran human

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    If you are North American you are likely supporting abusive manufacturers in China, and might as well just deal with it. Walmart Gap whomever.

    I don't lose sleep over it sucking to be poor and Chinese. one day the Chinese will collect on all that US debt they hold contol over and it will all work out in the end.

    Now as for obnoxious practices by clever consumers.

    If they sell an item and the bottom line is money back garantee within X days, that's a legal contract and you are not "exploiting" them any more than they are exploiting you. If they make dumb ass contracts is that your fault?

    If you want say a massive TV for Superbowl sunday, I say just go out and "rent" it for free from a store that does the money back garantee thing. Your friends will think you are super cool, and that's what counts right?

    Going on a vacation? Why not get all those timeless memories on a nice camera that you will only need for a few days anyway.

    Remember, it's not theft, it's not even unethical. Do you think a lawyer regrets using the letter of the law in court?
     

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