Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shrimp Economics

My favorite Chinese restaurant has 20 different shrimp items on their menu. That's half of the total menu.  I don't really care for shrimp.  I've never liked them.  Obviously, the chef of that restaurant likes them. So, imagine my surprise when I got a catalog from some company that sells shrimp.  You get them shipped by FedEx overnight.  You can also buy sauces and seasonings for an enormous additional cost.  I've been baffled at why I was selected for such a ridiculous commodity.  I don't even order food items from anywhere.
This has reminded me that I just don't get many catalogs anymore.  There are obvious advantages to selling online--mainly lower costs.  Mailing out catalogs is expensive.  Still, there's something nice about thumbing through a catalog looking at wonders I can't possibly afford.  Then I get shrimp?  What idiot came up with such a ridiculous concept?  Half the population lives on the coast and can buy fresh shrimp for a fraction of what these people are charging.  People in landlocked states like mine don't see an abundance of fresh seafood, but damn.  Shrimp isn't exactly Maine lobster or Alaska king crab.  They're not even prawns (big shrimp). 
Way back in my California days some guy sold shrimp out of the back of a station wagon. He had a big sign and sat by the side of the road and sold people shrimp. I have no idea where he got them. But he was always there.  Of the two business models, one being expensive catalogs and overnight delivery and the other being some guy in a station wagon, I don't think I'd feel good about either one. That's if I even liked shrimp.

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