On the Walmart love/hate scale I am at the “I’ll pay a little more at a local store” position. They have a store that is very convenient for me and often, when in a rush with a list of various products I drop in there and can’t really complain about the service or prices but the people from Bentonville are talented at finagling tax deals and fantastic deals on land acquisition, changing traffic flow, etc that locals would never receive. Also, a close friend was involved with some contract sales to Walmart and she assured me that the rumors of deceitful negotiations was well deserved.
I agree with that. The problem is a little more at the local parts is significantly more for mobil one oil. I think that there may be a product difference, but I will find out for sure.
I have seen walmart at work. The town I live by has changed so much in 30 years, its a whole different place. In a big part due to walmart.
When Walmart moves into town, a lot of other businesses tend to “magically” disappear soon after.
Near where I live, Walmart wanted to move in. The residents fought tooth and nail AGAINST it. As far as I know, Walmart simply built that place somewhere else.
BTW . . . Walmart has NOT succeeded everywhere. In fact, in some countries, Walmart has been a spectacular failure, because the big box store concept just didn’t fit in. Or perhaps the local population wasn’t impressed with Walmart’s offerings. I do know that Walmart was also considered a bad employer in other countries.
I’ve actually never bought anything in Walmart. I don’t support businesses that I know to treat their employees so shamefully.
I’ve said my part.
NOW FLAG ME
I am proud of you, it takes alot of will power to avoid walmart. I tried to avoid it for years but I have gotten sucked in. I will still try to support the local guy if the local guy exists and if the price isnt ignorant. At a locally owned ace in town a 50oz can of tiki torch fuel is 11 dollars. At walmart its 4.97, at a locally owned hardware store its 6.29. All the same oil.
In this case I buy it at the local independent guy for 6.83 He is always there, is very helpful, and his prices are fair. the ace in town is high on almost all items. I don’t know how he stays in business… he is a nice guy as well but his prices are almost double that of others on many items.
Sometimes I get sucked into to walmart because when Im on call I cannot leave the county, for certain items walmart is the only choice while I am on call. But I usually as a rule of thumb only buy from walmart if the price is 30% or more cheaper than the local guy.
“Walmart has a long-standing practice in which it “helps” suppliers make their manufacturing processes more “efficient” and “cost-effective” thereby allowing them to make goods at a lower cost”
Um, not to argue but I doubt the merchandisers and buyers at Walmart can provide much production help to the engineers at Exxon/Mobil. What they are good at is threats and arm twisting to eliminate all Exxon products if they don’t meet their price points. They do the same thing to Proctor and Gamble, etc. and were the ones behind the light bulb fiasco (alededly) when they lined up their Chinese suppliers. Ever wonder how or why they can enlarge a store but then have a fewer variety of products? Yep, play ball or are banned.
I buy my oil at Fleet Farm and try to buy as little as possible from Walmart but I’ll await whether or not its the same oil. I did have a guy at the local non-chain auto parts store tell me once that it “seemed” the spark plugs at the discounters did not seem to be the same quality. He was just the long term counter guy and had no axe to grind either way, it was just a comment as we talked and I’ve always wondered.
No, I’m saying that it has to say “Extended Performance” to be equal to the extended life Mobil1 in Exxon-Mobil packaging. I haven’t seen the package. If it looks like any other Mobil1 bottle, then I’d accept it as the same thing everyone else sells. I doubt that Exxon could sell a somewhat different product (better or worse) in a nearly identical bottle. Texases said this as well.
“Near where I live, Walmart wanted to move in. The residents fought tooth and nail AGAINST it. As far as I know, Walmart simply built that place somewhere else.”
The Washington, D.C. City Council just passed a law requires retailers with more than $1 billion in annual revenues and indoor retail premises of 75,000 square feet or more, to pay employees making less than $50,000 a year at least $12.50 per hour, while the minimum wage for everyone else is around $8.25. Walmart announced that thy will not build 3 planned stores in DC as a result. Walmart will review whether to finish construction and operate the other 3 stores in the District.
I’m glad DC is showing some backbone. I always thought 6 Walmarts was way too many considering the size and density of our town, and the size of a typical Walmart.
Now, I’m waiting for some congressman we didn’t vote for to step in and interfere, as so often happens.
The problem is that $8.25/hr. beats $0/hr. Now Walmart will take those jobs elsewhere.
Anyone in DC that wants to shop at Wally World can just hop the subway to VA. There’s a Metro stop next to a Walmart in Alexandria (what a surprise). Target has 3 stores in DC. If the DC government wants to discourage big box discount stores from opening outlets in DC, that’s up to them. But it means that poor (literally) shoppers will pay more for goods at smaller stores. I know that there is a quandary between jobs at Walmart or Target and at the stores that will be shuttered when they open. It is odd that the DC government doesn’t want low priced goods for a low income population. Yes, it costs a ton to buy a home in DC. But those folks aren’t the ones that would have worked at Walmart.
Getting back to the oil; there is nothing underhanded about what Walmart does if you are a keen shopper. If a brand of TV from Samsung is model 104st for example ( made up) and highly rated by consumer reports, I have seen selling at Walmart, model104su for example, that is found no where else has less resolution, fewer hdmi plugs etc. I have made it a point not to buy electronics from Walmart. So again, just take your smart phone and take pictures of label from a known supplier of oil and compare it to the Walmart label. Otherwise, I would assume nothing. When the model numbers for electronics are indentical to stores like Best Buy for example, I often see very little if any savings. I never go to Walmart expecting to save money.
$8.25/hour might be better than $0/hour, but what makes you think those are the two alternatives in this scenario? I think it’s more like $9/hour with benefits is better than $8.25/hour with no benefits and Walmart sending its employees to apply for social benefits from the county/city/state. Don’t forget about all the businesses that close down after Walmart comes to town.
Walmart and companies like them don’t create jobs. They simply move them from small family owned business to big box stores. In fact, Walmart doesn’t create anything, but they are experts at helping their employees take advantage of social services from the local governments, increasing the burden to taxpayers.
As for oil prices at the big box stores, soon after the Sam’s Club opened locally a friend bragged about how much he saved there buying motor oil, anti-freeze, etc. Always being ready to save money I got a membership card and spent a few hours one Saturday afternoon loading one of those large buggies with a months worth of what seemed bargain prices. I checked out and paid up and drove to the shop where I spent several more hours unloading the truck and finding places to store the inventory and then looked at the ticket. There were fees at the bottom of the ticket that included 5c per quart for the oil and transmission fluid and 25c per gallon for anti-freeze and several more incidental charges. All in all the hidden fees significantly bit into the supposed bargain prices. The next weeks parts house stocking order was significantly reduced due to the Sam’s visit but they didn’t mention it but I questioned the store owner about the oil and he assured me that he wouldn’t lose anything if I made a habit of buying oil elsewhere as there was nearly no profit for him in oil because of the handling.
Needless to say, when my stockpile of Sam’s oil was used up I went back to paying a few cents more per quart to have it delivered in manageable quantities along with the belts, hoses, oil dry and ignition parts, etc. Some bargains aren’t such great bargains in the end.
I have a friend who owned a golf supply store and was run out of business by a local big box sporting good store… His prices were competitive but he could not compete. Why ? Since stores in our state are open seven days a week and late night, he can’t afford to pay his employees for weekend (mostly Sunday) and late night after 5 pm work hours… He lost most of his sales on that day and after 5pm which drove him out of business. Being specialized like most small stores are, they can’t make up the sales differences to pay their employees on other goods. The biggest killer of small businesses, at least from his point of view, is Sunday sales. It would be easy to close Stores on Sundays, but what happens to buyers now set in an economy where their work load only allows them to buy goods during off hours. It’s a combination of factors and some of our state laws aren’t helping either.
As a matter of fact, @dagosa, wasn’t one of the significant reasons for Walmarts leaving Germany the wage law there regarding extended hours and Sundays? I believe there is a premium pay rate involved that Walmart didn’t wish to pay.
I have a friend who owned a golf supply store and was run out of business by a local big box sporting good store.. His prices were competitive but he could not compete.
Big golf stores usually don’t have much of an advantage because golf club prices are “Fixed”. They MUST sell at a certain price. They are NOT allowed to offer discount prices (at least on most brands - Calloway, Ping, Taylor Made…etc etc). The advantage of the big sport stores that have a good golf section is selection. I can go to my local pro shop and buy a good set of custom fit clubs from a qualified pro…or go to Dick’s sporting goods and buy the same set of custom fit clubs from a qualifed pro…AND buy a Kayak.
If Germany managed to kick Wal-mart out, I MUST visit there sometime. (I personally hate Wallyworld)
I’ve found that auto parts stores are normally the worst places to get good prices on fluids, refrigerants, etc. except once in a blue moon when they have a sale on what you want. Aside from W.M., if you have local farming supply stores or a Menard’s or similar, they generally have the best prices for things like these if they have the brands you want. A local chain “The Andersons” near me has Mobil-1 on sale right now for about $5.50/qt. when you buy a gallon jug. Amsoil is always about $6/qt.
Costco’s prices on motor oil are very good, and when they have a coupon offer, nobody can beat the prices for their cases of oil.
The only downside is that they have a limited selection as to brands and viscosity. Remember, Costco prices their goods at their actual cost in most cases, as they derive their income from membership fees and some other enterprises.
The thing is that’s how much Walmart is will to pay. If the city/town wants to dictate terms to them, then they are free to say “Eff you, we’ll go where we’re wanted” and that’s just what they’ll do. Minimum wage isn’t supposed to allow you to provide for a family, it’s meant as a stepping stone to a better job or a temporary job until you can find something better.
One more thought: refineries are huge, enormous, high volume processses. Millions of gallons are refined per day. I seriously doubt of it would be economically feisable for Mobile to refine a special “Mobile 1” just for Walmart.