Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Retailers in Saipan

Here is one tip for the suffering businesses on the island, notably retail, as they fret about the increase in minimum wage: Stop treating customers here like they are stupid and business will get better. Retailers here charge a ridiculous mark up versus the prices for the same item available online. Retailers must think we don't realize we have a U.S. post office, UPS, and regular flights from shopping meccas like Seoul, Manila, Tokyo, Hong Kong and the U.S. mainland.

In four years, I have not purchased one piece of electronics, clothes or sporting equipment here on the island. Ninety percent of my books came from Amazon, and the toys for my kids from Wal Mart. Even my large and heavy bass amplifier came from off island given the absurd local prices.The markups here are outrageous. I had a camera break over the holidays, so I went shopping, and the sale price on the camera was $80 more than the Amazon price. Even the pawnshop wanted a ridiculous price for a used camera. When I bought my ipod, I certainly didn't get it here. Stop the nonsense, we're not dumb! A small "we're in the middle of the ocean" markup is acceptable to account for shipping costs, but not the prices the vast majority of you are asking.

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