Rest in peace, dear bread, sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Long live the five-dollar pizza! Plus, in at least one specific example, year-over-year price stability has been achieved…
(by Half Dollar) If you want to buy something, what is the actual price of that thing if it does not exist at the supposed price?
I’m no professional mathematician, but according to my amateur math, in the real world, the actual price would be “greater than but not equal to” the supposed price.
And to think, people have been learning this the hard way for the better part of what is now going on two years.
People have also been coining a lot of phrases lately, so I’d like to coin another phrase of my own if I may: “Scamflation”.
Scamflation is when you see an item advertised at one price at one place, but when you go to actually buy the item, the item is simply not available, but if and when you’re lucky enough to find the item, usually at some other place, the item’s price is much higher than the advertised price or even the MSRP.
Moreover, scamflation happens when retailers advertise a certain sale price on a certain item, however, when one goes to purchase the item, it’s out-of-stock, and yet, sure enough, the day after the sale ends, the item is magically back-in-stock, only, at the regular price, which also just happens to be at a higher price.
Hypothetically speaking, but not really, let’s say that Costco advertises a nearly month-long sale on the 54-count Frito Lay Fun Flavor Mix, for you know the ones, those bags of crunchy snacks that come inside of that big purple box, and let’s say that you get all excited about purchasing the box for the advertised price of $10.99, because that is in fact one heck of a deal at that price, but every time you go down to Costco to actually purchase the box over the course of the month, it’s nowhere to be found, and yet, sure enough, the day after the sale ends, Costco has plenty Purple Boxes Of Goodness magically back-in-stock and for sale at the regular price of $16.49, which is now an even higher regular price than it was at $15.99 just one month ago!
Furthermore, scamflation is not to be confused with the bait-n-switch.
Generally, the bait-n-switch is a more individual, case-by-case thing, whereas scamflation is systemic and looking more and more like the constant, steady modus operandi across corporate America these days.
Sweet price on blue jeans or tennis shoes?
But at the price you think you’ll be paying, curiously, the retailer never has the pants or the kicks in stock in the size you need to buy.
And so on.
And so forth.
It’s invasive, it’s pervasive, and it’s time-wastive!
It’s also becoming more of a pain in the butt to deal with every single day.
I mean, who likes paying for a membership for the privilege of overpaying at Costco when you still must shop at four other grocery stores for any given item because it’s not even really about finding the best deals anymore, but rather, scrambling to purchase that which has gone up less in price?
Indeed, it’s a mad scramble in a mad world, and not to digress, but I’m not quite sure why people hate on me or deny the truth so much?
Yes, I did invent Stuffed Crust Pizza in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1993, and I do not say that to brag.
That is to say, this is not to turn this article into a rant about me and my multiple accomplishments, for I would never rant like that, but this is to make a credibility point: When it comes to pizza, I am a Master Pizza Baker, and I do know what I’m talking about, and all things considered, the pizza community is in shock.
Therefore, today, I would like to say my formal goodbye to the $5 pizza:
It now costs $5.55.
Long live the five-dollar pizza!
I’d also like to point out that this exact moment in time has been inevitable:
That’s just the way hyperinflation works.
Like, just wait until that five-dollar pizza costs fifty-five bucks!
And no, we won’t have to wait all that long to find out.
You see, when you’re already stingy with the napkins and the crushed red pepper, after you stopped giving away paper plates and parmesan cheese packets long ago, when you try to make it up with topping upgrades, with overpriced breadsticks, with expensive 2-liter bottles of soda, with junk fees, with reductions in quality, with a few less slices of pepperoni, with a lot less cheese and with who-knows-what you’re doing with the increasingly watered-down tomato sauce, not to mention not stretching the dough far enough to completely fill-out the entire pizza box, eventually, all that’s left is to raise the price.
And here we are.
I do not want to be the bearer of bad news, however, for I am an optimist, really, and I’d like to point out the good news in that as we all try to find our way in this Zombie Apocalypse, there has in fact been one single item for sale that has enjoyed a relatively stable price for at least the past year:
And by “stable”, since writing that article about the Xbox last November, I mean that the current, real world price of the Xbox is only up about 2% and right in line with the Fed’s fantasy inflation target!
But don’t take ‘Ol Half Dollar’s word for it.
See the current MSRP on Microsoft’s website itself:
Which is theoretically the same price as it was when the Xbox Series X originally released one year ago.
But just try to go buy the Xbox Series X in the real world in November of 2021:
The actual price you must pay is nearly double the supposed price!
Still, however, in comparing apples to apples, which does not mean using fake prices online for stuff that doesn’t exist in the real world, but rather, using last year’s real world price versus the current real world price, last November you would have been paying around $900 for the Xbox Series X, whereas this November, in 2021, you only have to pay around $919.
Wait a second.
Wasn’t tech supposed to go down in price over time?