Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sticker Shock – Déjà Vu All Over Again

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I can’t afford to get all the stuff I need to fix the roof at one time, so I’m getting what I can, as I can. The other day, I stopped in at the local hardware store and got a couple pounds of inch-and-a-quarter roofing nails. They didn’t have the old-fashioned hot-dipped galvanized style. All they had were the mirror-finished electro-plated ones. They look like they’re so slick that you should be able to push them in with your thumb. With their non-functioning pretend “rings” up next to the head (where the shingles would be, NOT the wood) I suspect they’d pop back out just about as easily.

The bad thing was the price. Two pounds of them won’t quite fit in one hand, but would easily fit if I put both hands together. The price? $6! That’s three dollars a pound for junk nails that I can only HOPE will stay in place, and will probably start rusting if someone simply mentions the subject of humidity. It’s been a long time since I bought any roofing nails, because I think I paid about 50 cents a pound for them.
I got to thinking, and it COULD have been as long ago as 1995 since I did any major construction on the house. That means a six-fold increase in about 20 years. I suppose that wouldn’t be considered unreasonable by many, but my working income only doubled in that time, and my “retirement” income is the same now as my working income was back then.

I got to thinking and decided that the last time that I used roofing nails was to lay some roll roofing. I think I paid $15 a roll for it. It’s $90-95 a roll now. About the same increase as the nails! It’s hard to have an income from 20 years ago and have to pay modern jacked-up prices for everything. I used to just blame the international bankers for devaluing the money. Then I learned what Lowe’s and others pay for some of their products. Now I realize that it’s the greed of both the bankers AND the retailers that causes the problem. I don’t blame the mom and pop stores like I went to, they often have to pay jobbers almost as much as retail, just to get the product. Hard times are comin’, folks, companies care nothing for their customers anymore and will squeeze the last penny from us (if the government leaves us any in the first place). © 2016
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7 comments:

chipmunk said...

I checked on Amazon.com, and they have Grip-Rite roofing nails, both 3/4" and 1.5" galvanized nails for less than $3 a pound. If you've got Amazon Prime, shipping is free. Don't know if this is what you're looking for, but if not, it's worth checking Amazon.

Ralph Goff said...

I get that sticker shock pretty much every time I go to buy something nowadays. Plus, I just heard today that we can expect 1980s prices for the wheat we grow this year. Bad combination.

Lady Locust said...

Say, just a thought~ next time before you head off to the hardware store, maybe post an add on Craigslist "looking for a couple pounds of roofing nails - any leftover in a coffee can I can help you clean up?" If you offer to pay (and be prepare to pay the same as in the store) might just mention that you would rather support a neighbor than L's or HD, might make a friend and help them clean up other roofing supplies at the same time. I think it's sad to drive by places and see equipment rust, supplies sit and deteriorate, etc. It might just be a win/win. Might not work, but if it does, might be worth a shot.

Gorges Smythe said...

Thanks, chipmunk. I've got all I need now, though.

Farming isn't for folks who demand stable incomes, Ralph, but I wish it COULD be.

Maybe I'll try that NEXT time, LL! lol

sharpenedaxe.com said...

I had to re-roof my shed before we sold the place in CO. Bought one roll, thinking it would cover the whole shed. Only covered half. I couldn't afford to do the other half!

Gorges Smythe said...

It's ridiculous, Mike, it's made from partly from oil and oil is down.

sharpenedaxe.com said...

You know, oil is down. But I don't recall any of the companies that upped my weekly charges due to high fuel prices dropping the price now that it's returned to a low rate. Funny thing how that works. Nobody is talking about inflation.