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Old 11-25-2009, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Houston/Heights
2,637 posts, read 4,025,513 times
Reputation: 968

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oildog View Post
How many lighters do you think would fit into one of those shipping containers. Each container is the size of a semi truck. Not to mention the regulatory burden, once your established is far less.
I see your point. I gusss my question then is how much does it cost to transport one of those large containers? It can't be cheap. I believe they use those to ship just about everything now days. ---any way, they seem to turn a profit, they are everywhere.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:20 AM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 6,409,807 times
Reputation: 1530
Perverse economics of slave/sweatshop labor, government-owned/financed/subsidized companies...and making largely low-tech junk for lowest poss price, not always best value (consider problematic Chinese drywall used in some cheap tract houses in Bubble)

But Japan was accused of similar stuff in '70s-'80s...and was supposed to take over world and push US aside as world's economic king long ago...funny how that turned out

And today, one can buy or lease a new Mercedes (made in Germany) for about 30-50% less than it costs a consumer in Frankfurt or Munich

US is world's most important mkt and economy, so we get stuff...both junk and tech-intensive, high-quality stuff....for a hell of a lot less money than our pals in Germany or Japan or London...thus the much higher US std of living for a typical middle-income worker....compare the std of living for a $150K/yr Schlumberger or Conoco worker who lives/works in suburban Houston vs his $150K/yr counterparts working for a global company in their London or Munich or Geneva offices
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Houston
3,567 posts, read 4,076,040 times
Reputation: 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsw View Post
Perverse economics of slave/sweatshop labor, government-owned/financed/subsidized companies...and making largely low-tech junk for lowest poss price, not always best value (consider problematic Chinese drywall used in some cheap tract houses in Bubble)

But Japan was accused of similar stuff in '70s-'80s...and was supposed to take over world and push US aside as world's economic king long ago...funny how that turned out

And today, one can buy or lease a new Mercedes (made in Germany) for about 30-50% less than it costs a consumer in Frankfurt or Munich

US is world's most important mkt and economy, so we get stuff...both junk and tech-intensive, high-quality stuff....for a hell of a lot less money than our pals in Germany or Japan or London...thus the much higher US std of living for a typical middle-income worker....compare the std of living for a $150K/yr Schlumberger or Conoco worker who lives/works in suburban Houston vs his $150K/yr counterparts working for a global company in their London or Munich or Geneva offices
No and no. Munich is a very expensive city. That's like someone wanting to live in a house in SF downtown. Can't do it here and can't do it there on a 150k salary.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:52 PM
 
Location: The #1 sunshine state, Arizona.
12,172 posts, read 15,647,017 times
Reputation: 64041
Those Dollar Stores are very savvy marketers. It sure beats the olden days of being poor, and having to shop the only over priced mom and pop store in the neighborhood, the corner bodega or the delicatessen. The Dollar Stores stand to make a killing during these hard economic times.

You can buy a lot of American goods in those stores, especially food.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX (Bellaire)
4,791 posts, read 11,926,279 times
Reputation: 3971
The cost to ship a container is called the Baltic Dry Index, you can google it to see the daily cost. Right now it is floating around $4100 for a 60' shipping container. Assuming you could fit 1 million lighters into a 60' shipping container then your cost per unit to ship is $0.0041 or 4 tenths of a cent. You could probably fit more than that but I don't want to bother with the math.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:15 PM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 6,642,163 times
Reputation: 4984
I have wondered the same thing.....
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:45 AM
 
511 posts, read 2,009,986 times
Reputation: 748
+1, you would have to divide the # of lighters shipped in one box by the cost of shipping for that box. Could turn out that shipping is maybe $0.03 per lighter. I see what you mean though.
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
2,117 posts, read 4,764,411 times
Reputation: 1524
exchange rate
cheap labor
bad working conditions
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:47 AM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,590,969 times
Reputation: 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaskateguy View Post
How in the world can they make a cigarette lighter in china, transport it here, warehouse it, then retail it for a Dollar, and turn a profit. Are American goods really that overpriced?
Real "retail" stores, of which there are not that many these days, that sell at MSRP would markup generally 2-5x their cost (depends on item). Discount stores, like Target and Wal-Mart, markup far less. A store like 99 Cent has a considerably small markup. Many Chinese manufacturers are willing to work on a gross profit of 5-10%.

However, most high volume plastic parts are really cheap. Metal parts, with the right tooling, can be of similar cost scale. I remember getting a price on the plastic caps such as for 2 liter bottles, and it was less than $200 for 50k pieces. When you have enough volume, the price can go down considerably. Shipping by container is fairly inexpensive (especially for small parts), most container ships move thousands of containers at a time, and the ships are getting bigger each generation.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Houston/Heights
2,637 posts, read 4,025,513 times
Reputation: 968
Seems like we need to step it up then. they are putting many small stores out of business.
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