PrefaceI've been buying whole armies from GW for years. I buy from my local GW since it's my FLGS and I like to support them. This seemed completely reasonable to me, because they did after all let me play there for free.
Usually there'd be no problem. I'd drop in to make an order and I'd leave again, then I'd pick it up 8 weeks later when it actually got in. (yes, I once waited 8 weeks for a Fincrap Tigurius that had imperfections) This would all be fine. I'd get the small box and go on my merry way.
The other day, I went in to buy products in store. Specifically, a Balrog (96AUD), two Boxes of Chaos Warhounds (82AUD) and a can of Spray Primer (26AUD), totalling to $204 AUD, right? Wrong. $204.25. This is a minute difference, but what was the price discrepancy? I ask and I'm told "oh, bags cost 25 cents". When I ask when this happened, they commented that it had been the case for quite some time.
You're probably asking "why didn't you already know this if you've been shopping there forever?" The simple answer is usually I didn't need a bag. I'd have to pick up one or two things and I could carry them in one hand and still get into my car fine, so I never asked and was never give a bag. In this case, I bought 4 separate goodies, so I couldn't carry them comfortably in one hand. Noting this as the case, the clerk rung up a bag without asking me if I Actually wanted it - which I wouldn't, because paying for the privilege of being allowed to carry the plastic crack you just purchased is downright awful. If you're going to charge me premium rates for your goods, that's fine, but spitting on my patronage by forcing me to pay for a piece of plastic to carry a few boxes is absolute bullshit.
Two Trains of Thought
There are two ways to look at my rant. There's the passive way, which is "Robin, 25 cents is less than 1% as a markup on the price of goods", but I present a counter argument to that: IF they're making less than a negligible amount out of bags, and cutting costs by whatever minute amount it is, why are they even bothering? they're estranging customers by making them pay for things that have always and, should always be, free. Grocery stores, department stores and even electronic stores have already tried making us pay for bags, and have all realised that they don't actually help because they piss of customers enough that said customers would rather bring cardboard boxes than actually buy bags to collect their goods. Why is our favourite dealer only now getting in on the game of selling people things which are classed most comfortably as courtesy items?
Why does any of this matter?
In short, it doesn't matter. I don't need to complain about a .0012 markup on the price of goods because I need to pay for a bag. What most got to me is that he added the bag on without consulting me. He'd put it on the till and now I was obliged to pay for it. Another issue I have is, I pay in cash. I'm paying 205 dollars and I'd much prefer 1 dollar's change to 75 cents. Who even uses 5 cent coins anymore? I figure, if I'm going to have to pay for baggage at all, I might as well pay for to my house delivery, and still not end up paying 204.25 dollars. For example, I can order an equivalent set of models, a Balrog, 2 Warhounds, and Chaos Black Spray Paint from a Local seller called Warpuppy. I'll pay 193.5 dollars, but at least it'll be delivered to my doorstep. I can estimate a price of about 173.5+Postage from Alpha Hobbies.
Great, you found an alternative. Why the rant then?
The rant is my futile attempt to have feelings (real beardy gamers don't have feelings, remember) about the products I buy. While I still love the store, but I feel that they've lost my dollar. Not because they were dicks, or because they priced me out, simply because they stopped being reasonable about their courtesy goods. It'd been a good run, GW, enjoy only getting $6 for paint in future.