I really get what fodigger is saying, and I have certainly gone with the convenience/efficiency thing many times - for the most part. It's hard to find time to shop around. Frankly, I don't have time to do it a lot of the time. And I have felt for the most part that my rep has been fair to me. He has to make a living, too, afterall. I certainly don't blame him for that.
But.... while I feel my rep is being fair to me, I'm still not entirely convinced that the company he works with is -or that all the people his co. buys from are. Possibly they are, but there is so much info that I don't have ready access to (it's just as hard to keep up with futures as it is grocery store prices, for example) - what they know or how they are choosing to price items, when they buy them, what they pay, etc. The company I use is listed on the stock market, afterall. Isn't it relatively safe to assume that they also trade in futures as well? It's a win-win situation for them. I mean, if you sell food you also bet on, how can you lose? Buy low, sell high, right?
I understand loss leaders, too, and how retail works. In fact, I understand that more than I do how big distributors do on many levels. Why is it that distributors never seem to have loss leaders?
And why is it that I can buy a perfectly good 5# ground beef tube at "last shelf day" prices (and use it in about 3 hours) from the grocery store at half the cost my distributor tries to send me an entire 40# case that expired last week? Don't even get me started on green onions - not where I come from.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I am not totally trusting of the products I receive from my distributor. Many times, I have to rifle through entire cases to make sure my product is acceptable. In my reps defense, I will say that he always replaces products that I am not happy with - no questions asked. But is it automatically good, just because it comes from a distributor? What about the stuff I can't see?
I dunno. Ask O'Charley's.
"'If I watch out for rocks
With my eyes straight ahead,
I'll keep out of trouble
Forever,' I said."
Dr. Seuss, "I Had Trouble in getting to Solla Sollew"