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  1. #1

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    Default Behold the future of high end audio retail

    I've been watching this guy for months now. Everything he sells is either brand new in the box or "just opened". He is obviously in cahoots with a dealer and selling the stuff below manufacturer retail to skirt the dealer agreements.

    The days of fixed prices and 50% retail markup for high end audio products are numbered. There's no reason to pay those markups anymore given the lack of retailers. The manufacturers need to get a clue and just open things up to the internet and free market. Then prices will plummet. In the meantime, people like this will service the real market. It's unethical, but it's the fault of the manufacturers and distributors.

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  2. #2

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    I bought a Bryston BDA-1 DAC through an unauthorized Internet dealer. They appeared to be in cahoots with an authorized dealer since the authorized dealer shipped me the DAC, gave me a receipt for list price, while I was charged $300 less. I guess everyone made a few dollars, and I was a happy customer who saved a few hundred dollars.

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    hmmmmmmmmmmmm


    this guy is not that far from me. gonna hit him up and see what other deals he might have. if anything good, ill post it up
    mole'

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    The manufacturers will catch on and find the source.
    I bought a BNIB Velodyne sub via eBay from a similar style seller and shortly after I was contacted by Velodyne's eBay account (via ebay message) asking if I would provide them with the Serial Number for the sub in exchange for a full blown warranty on it (which otherwise wouldn't have been covered since it wasn't an authorized dealer). I researched the supposed Velodyne ebay account and turned out it was legit and so was the offer.

    If they have the Serial #, then they can find out who the original 'authorized' vendor is.

    How many people are going to turn down an offer like that? I ended up returning the sub to the seller because of evidence that it was previously opened.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmadden28 View Post
    How many people are going to turn down an offer like that? I ended up returning the sub to the seller because of evidence that it was previously opened.
    Well, if a product is built good enough, a warranty doesn't mean a whole lot. I haven't really used many warranties in my life. I would rather pay half as much and have to service it myself, or pay someone to service it than pay that crazy markup.

    It is funny how everything that has a "MSRP" has a internet price that is quite a bit lower.

    However, anytime a customer is offered free stuff in order to provide easy info, the info will be forthcoming. But, what the OP is saying is, these unauthorized retailers (gray markets) will appear regardless to how many times they are busted. I consider it a good thing. I like to get what I pay for, not get half of what I paid for.
    Last edited by cokewithvanilla; 08-14-2010 at 11:37 PM.

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    Behold the future of high end audio retail
    Sadly, that has been going on for a long time, but it's far from the future high end audio retail.

    It's unethical
    So, you support unethical behavior, eh? Certainly not a good reflection on your character. BTW, it's also illegal.

    but it's the fault of the manufacturers and distributors.
    Why, because they want to make a profit in order to employ a work force, put food on the table, pay taxes, lease or buy property, develop new products, etc.

    I've got news for you, if they don't make a profit, they go out of business and you won't have any product to buy at any price. Could you be more delusional? I hope not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cokewithvanilla View Post
    Well, if a product is built good enough, a warranty doesn't mean a whole lot. I haven't really used many warranties in my life. I would rather pay half as much and have to service it myself, or pay someone to service it than pay that crazy markup.

    It is funny how everything that has a "MSRP" has a internet price that is quite a bit lower.

    However, anytime a customer is offered free stuff in order to provide easy info, the info will be forthcoming. But, what the OP is saying is, these unauthorized retailers (gray markets) will appear regardless to how many times they are busted. I consider it a good thing. I like to get what I pay for, not get half of what I paid for.
    MSRPs are inflated pricing to give consumers the impression of getting a deal paying less than the inflated MSRP pricing. IE: I never ever paid near MSRP for any Polk speakers or even any audio gear for that matter... I'm not that stupid! When true sales are on, that should give one an idea of how abusive markups are.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Sadly, that has been going on for a long time, but it's far from the future high end audio retail.



    So, you support unethical behavior, eh? Certainly not a good reflection on your character. BTW, it's also illegal.



    Why, because they want to make a profit in order to employ a work force, put food on the table, pay taxes, lease or buy property, develop new products, etc.

    I've got news for you, if they don't make a profit, they go out of business and you won't have any product to buy at any price. Could you be more delusional? I hope not.
    What's unethical is the abusive markups that are expected by the dealers. That is definitely a good reflexion of those peoples charactor. You make it sound like their abusive profits is for the good of society? The news is many jobs are lost in NA (to Chinese, Mexico, Asia, Korea poor manufacturing at slavery wages) in order for manufacturers and dealers to make more profit (as you should know the savings aren't passed to consumers). Knowing that, explain to us how those local dealers profit either their work force or consumers

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    Are you really that naive?
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Quote Originally Posted by TECHNOKID View Post
    MSRPs are inflated pricing to give consumers the impression of getting a deal paying less than the inflated MSRP pricing. IE: I never ever paid near MSRP for any Polk speakers or even any audio gear for that matter... I'm not that stupid! When true sales are on, that should give one an idea of how abusive markups are.

    What's unethical is the abusive markups that are expected by the dealers. That is definitely a good reflexion of those peoples charactor. You make it sound like their abusive profits is for the good of society? The news is many jobs are lost in NA (to Chinese, Mexico, Asia, Korea poor manufacturing at slavery wages) in order for manufacturers and dealers to make more profit (as you should know the savings aren't passed to consumers). Knowing that, explain to us how those local dealers profit either their work force or consumers
    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Are you really that naive?
    Your reply doesn't answer the above question in anyway shape or form. You call it being naive knowing that pricing is inflated and not paying such pricing? You call it being naive realizing that ventures go for cheaper manufacturing and components while keeping pricing at the highest (simply justified by brand name)? Are you aware many quality products aren't offered by dealers simply because they do not provide efty profit margins (they want to pass the deal to consumers)? Ain't Polk an example of that? Do you find Polk speakers (even their top of the line) in audio boutiques (while you can find crappy HTIB)? During the past year, I have noticed Polk speakers and many other respectable brands can not be found in brick and mortar stores as they priviledge the HTIB crap and the sole reason for such is profit margin. Overpriced garbage pays them off while hiring knowledge people to push the good gear at honest pricing cuts in their efty profit margin. Knowing this, I'm OK with being naive enough and buy great deals online after self education.

    I've got news for you, if they don't make a profit, they go out of business and you won't have any product to buy at any price. Could you be more delusional? I hope not.
    As far as I am concerned, the greedy can go out of business, no pitty here!

    Times change and through history many have forcasted the colapse of business well, business still exist and the only one that didn't survive were always the one that couldn't ajust to the new business trends. Personnaly, I don't care for buying a share of the Brick and Mortar store (which I will never see a penny back) and buy at much lower pricing from a reputable online store. The Brick and Mortar store can die if it means getting fair pricing.

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    As far as I am concerned, the greedy can go out of business, no pitty here!
    Ok, you answered my question, as if I didn't know it already.
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    You cant find the speakers in stores because *******s like you are buying them from someone who bought them out the back door of someone who has far more overhead.

    Get a clue.

    Not all B&M are out to getcha! Boo!
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    Ok, you answered my question, as if I didn't know it already.
    You still didn't answer my question. Your post are very short simply putting down others opinions while neglecting to provide meat to your own opinions. Very easy to call people of bad charactor, naive and so on withouth providing any back-up to your claims. That is what unethical salemen do as they simply try to stay on top with short burst to distabilize their prey!
    Quote Originally Posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3 View Post
    You cant find the speakers in stores because *******s like you are buying them from someone who bought them out the back door of someone who has far more overhead.

    Get a clue.

    Not all B&M are out to getcha! Boo!
    NONE of my speakers or any other gear was ever bought back door! I always did my homework and made sure my purchase was from a reputable and recognised dealer by the manufacturer. In fact, I was led to the Canadian Polk rep when I got a good deal from a well known and reputable Canadian store. I couldn't see them as being authorised dealer on the Polk site and after questionning this important aspect of my purchase I was led to our Canadian Polk rep for confirmation.

    Overhead is definitely a big problem with many B & M businesses but for the clever one it isn't a problem since they know better and will not carry a slew of inventory but rather keep it to a minimum and will get stock from their main national warehouse thus limiting the store. Online virtual stores are even wiser since there isn't either store or even warehouse overhead to maintain thus providing the consumer with best value. Mom & Pop shop are passe, this is the only clue one has to get!

    As the OP mentions, manufactures and B & M dealers only have them selves to blame, until they get it and move away from their old set ways, they'll be the loosers and can only blame them selves for it. There are NO reasons for 50% profit margins, as an example just look at COSTCO's business practice (so unfortunate we can not get good quality audio products in Canada as they would get my business in that regard too). Usually the lowest price, full customer satisfaction otherwise product is returned withouth any question or even re-stocking fee. So, who's clueless here?

  13. #13

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    So, who's clueless here?
    I thought it was obvious, you.
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    That's a great deal on some very fair speakers.
    Make it Funky! :)

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    Beware of cheap on-line deals as many items are counterfeit. Below is a warning from the Von Schweikert web site. Sonus Faber also posts a buyer beware message on Audiogon. I've seen many of these adds stating the item was "given to me as a gift" on Audiogon. I'd stick to reputable dealers and authorized on-line merchants like music direct or audio advisor.


    "Beware of buying Von Schweikert Audio speakers on the Internet from unauthorized dealers. It has come to our attention that cloners have been reselling unauthorized and inferior copies of several of our speaker models through unscrupulous dealers advertising on the Internet on various resale sites.

    Please contact us for a list of authorized dealers in your area, since our sales are restricted to dealers in your local market to prevent gray-market products.


    Due to the economic situation, it is understandable that our prospective customers will search for the lowest price available, but if the price is "too good to be true" it is very possible that you have been offered a cheap clone with no warranty. Sales of this nature are non-refundable, so buyer beware!


    Due to the large numbers of cloned speakers which are defective "out of the box," Von Schweikert Audio has no recourse except to deny any warranty coverage on any used or new VSA speaker system sold on the Internet through unauthorized sources. In order to prevent fraud, we advise prospective customers to call us to verify that the VSA speakers you see advertised are genuine. There is no charge for this customer related service and is our way to help our prospective customers avoid the problems associated with a bad purchase. In addition, our 10-year warranty is no longer transferable and is only valid to the original buyer. A valid sales receipt from an authorized VSA dealer will be required for any service requested under our warranty."
    Last edited by Polkitup2; 08-15-2010 at 06:26 AM.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Sadly, that has been going on for a long time, but it's far from the future high end audio retail.
    Wrong. Of course it's the future. Internet retail is exploding for everything including high end audio. Brick and mortar high end has been dying a slow death for decades and is on it's last breath. You are in foolish denial. Wake up.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    So, you support unethical behavior, eh? Certainly not a good reflection on your character.
    I never said I support it. I said that it was an inevitable by-product of the ridiculous policies of the distributors and manufacturers.

    I do think it's unethical because it violates agreements. The distributors and manufacturers should open things up to the free market and allow authorized sales via the internet for discounted prices. Discounts are appropriate as the internet buyer is requiring much less service from the seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Why, because they want to make a profit in order to employ a work force, put food on the table, pay taxes, lease or buy property, develop new products, etc.

    I've got news for you, if they don't make a profit, they go out of business and you won't have any product to buy at any price. Could you be more delusional? I hope not.
    Talk about delusional and just plain ignorant. The products would not go away at all if they opened up to internet sales and allowed discounted prices. Even when these sales occur now, the manufacturer still gets all their money, it's only hurting B&M retailers. And in most cases, it's not even hurting a B&M retailer because their are so few of them, many people that buy over the internet are doing so because no B&M retailer exists in their city! So in that case it hurts nobody.

    Additionally, internet sales would likely increase profits for the manufacturers as many people are afraid to buy from grey market sellers. Having legit internet sellers would allow them to market to the all the people unserviced by a B&M retailer which is a becoming a very large group of people.

    Could you be more foolish and ignorant? I think probably as I've read your posts before.
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    What amazes me is how people don't see the big picture and actually get excited about losing a real asset in not only brick and mortar stores but the people with 20-30 years experience in those stores. What good is a discounted price if you can't listen to the product? If you can't listen to a product before purchase then you're simply doing your research based on rumors you've read on the internet. There are a lot of misconceptions and rumors on the internet.

    HIFI products are a niche market, to think lower pricing will help entice the masses is just plain stupid...they simply don't care. The entire paradigm of Hi-Fi business is built on the same foundation that most luxury items are...smaller demand, limited production = the need for higher margins as your turns simply aren't there. Most members of my family shutter at spending anything more then $300 on a complete home theater system. They spend nearly 5-6 times that on their yearly cable and Hi-Def subscriptions alone. They don't see irony. Nor would they be interested in HiFi is they could purchase a Krell amplifier for $500 new in a box. To them it's just stuff...

    Therefore, if the entire manufacture, distribution network won't see an increase in sales. Therefore lowering prices simply turns the entire process into name branding and has very little to do with sound quality. Margins are set based on supply and demand. If supply goes up and pricing down then inevitably you will see product quality reflect a smaller margin business. If people don't listen, touch and feel then why build a higher quality product?

    I'm in my early 30's now and I'm so sick of my entire generation of free loaders. People honestly expect everything for nothing in today's market. My friends don't care to purchase movies or CD's when they can burn them for free, clothes are never purchased from anything other then a 'designer box store' where sales occur on almost a daily basis. If it doesn't make it through the first wash I can throw it away, at least I got a 'deal'. They'll complain to me when I show them a plasma at over $1000 citing Walmart has a 1080p version as well for nearly half the price. It's even worked it's way into furniture...it is bought with the idea it is completely disposable if they ever decide to move.

    Internet business is a slippery slope. I understand the frustration from those that want gear but simply can't afford it. The remaining dealer network has certainly crumbled. I'm not sure if it can ever be rebuilt. Certainly moving products online will be a loss for everybody involved. I honestly think the consumer will be hurt most...or at least the consumer who still values listening to music.

    I remember driving home and being able to pull into my local CD shop and picking up some tunes and it would excite me, browsing through music. Discovering and listening. Now I can spend time rifling through 600 copies of the latest Brittney Spears at my local Walmart of buy online at Amazon...

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    My seatbelt is fastened. ;)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxwired View Post
    Wrong. Of course it's the future. Internet retail is exploding for everything including high end audio. Brick and mortar high end has been dying a slow death for decades and is on it's last breath. You are in foolish denial. Wake up.



    I never said I support it. I said that it was an inevitable by-product of the ridiculous policies of the distributors and manufacturers.

    I do think it's unethical because it violates agreements. The distributors and manufacturers should open things up to the free market and allow authorized sales via the internet for discounted prices. Discounts are appropriate as the internet buyer is requiring much less service from the seller.



    Talk about delusional and just plain ignorant. The products would not go away at all if they opened up to internet sales and allowed discounted prices. Even when these sales occur now, the manufacturer still gets all their money, it's only hurting B&M retailers. And in most cases, it's not even hurting a B&M retailer because their are so few of them, many people that buy over the internet are doing so because no B&M retailer exists in their city! So in that case it hurts nobody.

    Additionally, internet sales would likely increase profits for the manufacturers as many people are afraid to buy from grey market sellers. Having legit internet sellers would allow them to market to the all the people unserviced by a B&M retailer which is a becoming a very large group of people.

    Could you be more foolish and ignorant? I think probably as I've read your posts before.
    I was wrong, you do still believe in the tooth fairy.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I was wrong, you do still believe in the tooth fairy.
    Brilliant. I guess that explains the long delay in replying...you've been perfecting this response. Good one...:)
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    I guess I don't see what the huge deal is. If these people are selling the products for authorized dealers (though shady ones) the producer of the speaker has made their money! In this instance the only one not making enough money would be the authorized dealer but it's their choice to be doing this.
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    Yeah, who cares if they're possibly gray market or counterfeit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Yeah, who cares if they're possibly gray market or counterfeit?
    What's wrong with a gray market? A gray market is usually established when a retailer refuses to sell in that area. Kinda like the gray market for iphones in China. Counterfeit sucks, sure, but it has nothing to do with a gray market.... that would be a black market.

    I know someone who owns a furniture store, and the markup is so incredibly insane that if they make ONE sale a month, it pays their rent for that month. Is it fair to that single person who buys the furniture and pays to keep the guy in business for an entire month? At that point, you aren't simply paying for service any longer.

    Thing is, that in order for high end audio places to stay in business, there has to be a large markup because they sell few products. What does this mean? it means you are buying $1000 speakers for $2000. I guess it's up to the purchaser to decide. Many people, especially those just getting into the hobby, will gladly pay half online versus full price in store. I can see why there is a large market for something like "pay half, home demo it for 30 days, return if you don't like".. hell, the retail outlets rarely let you home demo... and they charge you for their rent.

    I think there are two distinct markets here, and that will be, and already is being reflected. You guys who buy $300 dollar interconnects are probably in the crowd that want to hear it in store... but there are others who would have it the other way around.
    Last edited by cokewithvanilla; 08-15-2010 at 05:19 PM.

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    I will say I take a bit offense to the ‘greedy can go out of business’ remark. Aren’t you function the same way? Your more then willing to take away a salesmen job so you can buy direct from the Internet to get what you want. The businessman is more then willing to sell you less for he has a job. And what’s a fair price? 5% 10% 30%? The cheaper ones that are made in China are a great example of fair price. You have decided it is better for you to put a costly American worker out to pasture in favor of a cheaper slew of foreign works.

    This is a national character issue more then a question to you individually. I often pose the same question to people who buy foreign cars if they fell the money they saved was worth then pension of a retired auto worker in Detroit.

    If what your pitching is you just want there to be only factory direct sales? Guess what the cost from the factories will go up, since the function the dealer once provide become there requirement. Now they have the cost of advertising, they have the costs of individual shipments and the manpower to go with it. They need more manpower to follow all of those individual transactions on the internet. They also have to put effort into defending from knock offs. If the system in place were 100% efficiency it should cost almost the same at the end of the day.
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    http://www.highdecibels.com/proddeta...prod=LSi25Left

    This is a perfect example of abusing a dealership...I know for a fact this is below manufacturers contract
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    Quote Originally Posted by swb502 View Post
    I will say I take a bit offense to the ‘greedy can go out of business’ remark. Aren’t you function the same way? Your more then willing to take away a salesmen job so you can buy direct from the Internet to get what you want. The businessman is more then willing to sell you less for he has a job. And what’s a fair price? 5% 10% 30%? The cheaper ones that are made in China are a great example of fair price. You have decided it is better for you to put a costly American worker out to pasture in favor of a cheaper slew of foreign works.

    This is a national character issue more then a question to you individually. I often pose the same question to people who buy foreign cars if they fell the money they saved was worth then pension of a retired auto worker in Detroit.

    Ok, so just to keep people in jobs, we need to have useless positions and pay more for goods? Why don't we then just add a few more levels in the chain and charge $1000 more? oh, wait, because of this thing called ECONOMICS!

    If the retail outlets are necessary in the economy, they will stay because people will buy from them. If they aren't economically feasible, they will go.

    And about american workers... if a lazy ass american worker builds a POS car for $20,000, and a hard working chinese guy builds a better car for $15,000, which one should I buy? Don't I have the right as a consumer to purchase the better quality vehicle?

    I'm sick of all this American BS... if america wants business, america needs to make better products. I refuse to buy a piece of crap just because crack smoking john american built it.

    This is a world economy now, face it.

    edit: oh, and I am not saying the chinese are hard working and americans are not... though I have seen my fair share of lazy, careless american workers.
    Last edited by cokewithvanilla; 08-15-2010 at 06:47 PM.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxwired View Post
    Brilliant. I guess that explains the long delay in replying...you've been perfecting this response. Good one...:)
    Long delay? I do sleep, you know. Actually, one of my brothers called right after I logged on here this afternoon. After we hung up and I read your post my response came to me about 3 nano seconds later.
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    I fail to understand how buying something in a shandy deal is the "future" of it.

    There is nothing wrong with paying higher prices in a store as well money needs to be made to support stuff, and people who do deal with online selling often have to sign the same agreements regarding price and how they will sell the products. Contracts will be broken very easily with someone if they continue to sell like that and abuse their dealer agreements.

    The argument that B+M are not needed is getting annoying. Sorry but if a product is going to cost me 50 bucks more to know that I bought it from someone with a face that I know they have been in service for 50 years and always had great advice or wanted to see me in a store I will gladly pay that. One line, hell your just a # of a sale to them and they could be there tomorrow or gone, so then you move to the next.

    People then wonder were service went. You want service you need to be willing to pay a little extra for things like that, and if it breaks I would love to see Joe Smo on the end of an internet chain be there in 5 years willing to help you out, seeing half the time you would have no idea who your really buying from anyways.

    I enjoy B&M. yeah sure some are into really high pressure sales blah blah blah. Big deal, you can find that anywhere. I personally love being able to walk into a place, acutally see what I'm buying, talk to someone about it, and then decide. Sorry but reading about a projector online being amazing is NOT the same as walking into a dealer, sitting down and seeing it in action for yourself.
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    Ok, Coke with vanilla, what happens once the wealth is transferred from say the US to China? You think China or any other foreign country is going to give a rats behind about you? No its not. And no one is just a consumer, were all a joint consumer producer. And guess what? Someone in some far away land will do what you do cheaper then you. Suddenly you’re the overpaid American without a job who’s going to expect the rest of the American system to prop you up.

    Keep in mind without floating currency all that **** you get a ‘good deal’ isn’t such a good deal. There isn’t a far market between imports in the US. The RMB has been undervalued for years so that wealth gets transferred out of the US.

    But by all means, its your right to do whatever you want. Just at some point were all going to have to pay the piper.
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