Skip the retail gimmicks

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Have you heard the phrase, “You can’t get something for nothing”? I imagine most people have. I can remember when grocery stores gave Blue Chip or Green stamps according to a percentage of the total purchase. I asked my mother how the stores could give away something for free. She told me we paid for the stamps in elevated food prices. In other words, the prices were a bit higher in order to cover the expense of buying the stamps. Therefore, the stamps made the cost of groceries more expensive. The same applies for food rewards cards in which the stores deduct elevated prices at an increased profit. The results are in. The stores would have lower prices if they wouldn’t indulge in these gimmicks and come-ons to increase sales. Actually, real lower prices without “sales” would become well-known and “true competition” would lower the price of operating grocery stores and distributing the merchandise. Therefore, true competition would bring higher profits for the grocery stores, and increased savings for the consumer. CHARLES E. PATTERSON, Auburn