Toonbots message board: The joys of comparison shopping

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Michael Wed Sep 6 20:17:19 2006
The joys of comparison shopping

So I'm shopping U-Haul. Turns out Florida isn't working out, so we're retreating, I mean relocating, I mean dislocating, back to Indiana. Problem: rental truck from Bloomington to Palm Beach County: $650. PBC to B-town: $1900. Yes, $1900.

It would be cheaper to buy all the stuff we have here from scratch.

So I realized yesterday that the primary pricing factor here is not usage, but market. There's a $1250 difference between A-to-B and B-to-A. What about A-C-B for different values of C?

Turns out this was a valuable insight. Ocala, Florida is the magic point (selected from Orlando, Ocala, Jacksonville, Lake City, Gainesville, Valdosta, and Macon). Whereas either U-Haul or Budget's price from PBC to Bloomington is the same $1900 give or take change, U-Haul will rent me a truck from PBC to Ocala for $213, and Budget will rent me a truck from Ocala to Bloomington for (get this) $550. Total outlay: $783. They're paying me about $1100 to move my stuff from one truck to another. And it's not that much stuff.

Oh, and Budget will give me $100 towards gas and a 10% discount using the coupon from the Post Office, so I'm down to $630 plus gas for the move. Johnny Freakinouter!

Yes, indeedy, we like online pricing systems. We do indeed.

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