I like to save a buck as much as the next guy, and anytime I can get a discount on something I’m happy to do so. But I also realize that a business has to make a profit to keep its doors open. But for some reason, a lot of RVers I hear from don’t seem to understand that.
I have had more than one person ask me why we are going to continue to charge for subscriptions to the digital issue the Gypsy Journal, since it doesn’t cost us anything to produce it. Really? While we won’t be paying for printing and postage, it still costs money to travel to the places we write about, nobody is giving us computers and digital cameras for free, I have to pay for our Internet service, and call me crazy, but I do like to eat once in a while. I wonder how many of those same people would be willing to work for free?
Just the other day I was involved in an online conversation with someone who thought it was totally unfair that the campground where he was staying charged $3 per person when he had seven visitors come over to watch a football game on the TV mounted on the side of his motorhome. He asked, “I already paid for my site, why do they need any more money from me?”
In 16+ years of fulltiming, we have been to very few campgrounds that don’t charge a fee for day visitors. If one of those visitors were to fall and get hurt while there or get bit by a dog or whatever, the campground is just as liable as they would be if it were an overnight camper who paid for their site. And I haven’t heard of an insurance company yet that will cover a business for free.
Another complaint I get about campgrounds is that they charge to use their dump station even if you’re not staying there. Who do you think paid to install that dump station? Who do you think purchased the land it’s on? Who do you think pays the taxes on that land? If the campground is on a septic system instead of being connected to the city sewer, do you think maintaining it and getting it pumped out is free? Oh, and did I mention that insurance isn’t free either?
I’m reminded of a fellow a while back who wrote to me for advice in making a deal on a new Heartland fifth wheel trailer. He said he had done a lot of research and knew within just a few bucks how much the dealer paid for the unit and he offered him $500 over that, but expected the dealer to throw in several freebies. These included a step mat, a folding coffee table, a patio mat, and a couple of other things. He couldn’t understand why the dealer wouldn’t jump all over such an offer.
I guess he assumed the dealer had a fairy godmother who paid for his overhead, his employees salaries, the cost of getting a unit delivered and prepped for sale, and everything else it costs to keep the place open. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that darned dealer isn’t just like me and likes to have dinner when he comes home from a long day at work, too!
Folks, saving a dollar here and there is nice. Saving a lot of dollars is even better. But let’s get real. Any business, whether it’s a mom-and-pop operation like ours or a mega dealership, needs to make a profit. And that profit has to be big enough to allow them to stay in business so that when you come back to them with a problem or to shop again, they’re still there. It’s Economics 101. How hard is that to figure out?
Have you entered our latest Free Drawing?. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Birdsongs, the first book in my friend Jason Deas’ excellent Benny James mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Most times, it just gets down to common sense.