Go ahead and buy it at Walmart then, you ungrateful slag

by Caleb Reading

If I hear another customer lecturing me about how we’re price gougers for having prices higher than Walmart, somebody’s getting a cap in their ass.  There’s no way a normal human being can “compete in a free market” when every supplier will sell you an item for no less than $15, and Walmart can get it for $5. Then you mark yours $15.50 (a 3.3% markup), Walmart marks theirs $15 (a 200% markup), and you have people in your store calling you a price-gouging crook for “marking up” the product 50 cents more than Walmart does. You should sell the product for $15 too, by God, and lose money on every sale.

Not a day went by when I was working in the drug store when I didn’t have some customer pick up a bottle of tylenol or something and lecture me about what the item costs at the Walmart that’s a 2-hour round trip drive from here. They’re free to drive there to save 38 cents on something we’re lucky to make a whopping 1 or 2% profit margin on, for all I care. With these supply-side price differences and Medicare D cutting profit margins down to less than nothing, I expect a lot of small town pharmacies to go out of business within the next year. Sadly, I don’t think the people in this small town will realize what a resource that store is until it’s gone. The first time they forget to pick up their refill for five days they’ll figure it out. They’re accustomed to calling up the pharmacist at home any hour of the day and on holidays, then they can drive less than one mile to the back door 20 minutes later and he’ll let them walk right into the building with him, robbery risk be damned. And no markup for after-hours service, in fact the insurance company may have forced him to sell it for less than cost.

Let’s see how they like it when they drive an hour to Walmart only to be told there’s no pharmacist on duty at that hour and no you can’t have their home telephone numbers, are you insane?