Sunday, 19 February 2006

Feint to the North West

I told you about the walrus and me, man
You know that weÂ’re as close as can be, man
And I also told you about me wanting to buy a bag for a potential new laptop that I will probably never get as well as for just taking stuff with me for my new job. You might remember I was talking about Crumpler bags and how expensive they are. Well, I got myself one, and although it is still stupidly expensive, I did beat the system.
I ended up getting their King Single backpack in orange, which is damn fine for this supporter of the Dutch team in the upcoming world cup, even if Bergkamp's long gone and Van Nistleroy is the main event. I prefer to look at them as Van Basten's team and I always liked the way they play. Bergkamp's goal back in 98 against the evil hand of god'sArgentineans at the 88th minute, converting from a sublime Frank De Boer 70+ meter long pass will never be forgotten.

Anyway, back to the hunt for the red backpack.
Before committing to spending loads of money on a stupid cause, I wanted to get a feel for the Crumpler. So I called the Crumpler Outlet Shop where prices are nothing like what you'd expect from an outlet but where they have the full Crumpler range and arranged a visit. It was during work time, so the trip to Hawthorn was a win-win breath of fresh air in the middle of the day.
The GPS led me right to the shop where I was welcomed by a heavily accented "Ma Nishma" (Hebrew for how are you). You could see by the accent, dress code and body language that it was what Israelis such as mua refer to as a "Yehudi Galuti" (a Jew who is not an Israeli): Someone who takes pride in being a Jew and follows all the customs and shit and thinks that Israel is "our" country and "we" are the chosen one and everyone else is an inferior piece of shit with a culture worth 23 cents - but yet would not sacrifice his/her comfort and actually go and live in Israel. I counter attacked with some speedy Hebrew to shut her up.
Anyway, I measured the bags, and the ones that I liked featured a nice price tag of either $220 or $250, which meant that to that sales assistant's great disappointment I was not her prey yet.
I basically had two options with the Crumplers. One is to use this discount thing that a friend who read the blog offered me, which meant that I could get the bags for $180 or $200 respectively. The other option was eBay.
Eventually I did it the eBay way, and got the bag for less than $120 through an eBay shop in the USA that advertised the Crumplers as "the famous Australian bags". Fuck, they're so famous I had to order them from the other side of the world and including shipment by airmail it was still almost half the price.
I guess the point of this story is to show that the theory economists preach when they say that the supply/demand market trends work in a sophisticated market where everybody knows everything are true, and the internet is what brings this knowledge of everything to our fingertips: The discount I could get in Australia was offered to me by a friend who read my internet blog and sent me an email (ok, we had a bit of a chat over the phone, too); and eBay - well, eBay has started revolutionizing the way we get stuff and get rid of stuff exactly a year ago, and we haven't looked back since.
So to my dear friends at Crumpler Australia: I offer you my used toilet paper as a token of my appreciation.

Note from 20/2/06:
I have to add my apologies to the salesperson I so blatantly stereotyped in the above text. I blame it on the aggravation caused when I’m looked upon as a member of a certain group rather than the individual person I am. That said, the Yehudi Galuti epidemic is definitely widespread.

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