Quoted – My total gym fees are … what?! – Montreal Gazette

NEW YORK - AUGUST 21:  Rena 'Rusty' Kanokogi a...
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Certain questions should not be asked of people at the gym. For example, “Is that all you can bench press?” or “Do these spandex shorts make me look fat?” These are impertinent and potentially embarrassing questions.

Even worse is a question that is rarely, if ever asked: “What do I get for my initiation fees?”

At a handful of Montreal gyms, the question might well be on the verge of taboo.

Gym folk will be familiar with the scenario. You learn the price for a one-year membership. “That’s $550 for one year, everything included.”

Then the zinger: “And with the joining/signing/administration/initiation fee, the total comes to $675.”

Huh?

Scott Testa,  college marketing professor, has three words to say about fees: “Just tell me.” He would rather be told, “If you can’t afford it, I understand completely. This may not be the club for you.”

Initiation fees have been around for decades.

“They go way, way back,” said Concordia University marketing professor Harold Simpkins. “The idea was you collect money and put it into capital funds for upgrades. Fees also act as a filter, and make it more difficult for members to leave.”

Said Testa: “This is the old country-club idea: You want to make it exclusive, like a lot of golf clubs and high-end sports clubs. They all had large initiation fees – 10 grand and up.”

Many Montreal clubs have undergone major, impressive renovations, notably the downtown YMCA, MAA, Atwater Club and Le Sanctuaire. So why not call it what it is? Why not be frank with the consumer?

“People have the right to make money,” Testa said. “On the other hand, consumers need to protect themselves and get the best deal they can.”

But charging to open a file?

“What’s that cost? A nickel? At the end of the day, initiation fees are almost pure profit,” Testa said. “From a consumer’s standpoint, I don’t like paying them, but we are in tough economic times, and people don’t see gyms as something they need. The vast majority of users will drop out, and clubs count on that. So why not get the money up front? My position is ‘If you prove yourself from month to month, then I’ll come back to your gym.’ ”

Testa suggests a face-to-face meeting if you want to try for lower fees: “That way you can read body language. And, remember, you get what you negotiate.”

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/total+fees+what/3679132/story.html#ixzz137zI94v5

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/total+fees+what/3679132/story.html#ixzz137ywQMVl

 

 

http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/total+fees+what/3679132/story.html

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Quoted – Immigration law may cause AriZona Iced Tea to regret its name

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What’s in a name? There’s more to it than you might think as a certain New York beverage manufacturer found out recently.

AriZona Iced Tea found itself brewing in Arizona’s controversial immigration law that allow police to demand citizenship proof from people they think look like they are in the country illegally. The legislation has divided the country with one half shouting to boycott all things Arizona and the other celebrating the bold move. Caught in the mess is AriZona Iced Tea, whose only connection to it all is its name, which it shares with the state.

AriZona Iced Tea did the right thing by addressing the problem immediately and clarifying any misconceptions, said Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College.

“The worse thing you could do is bury your head in the sand and hope that something like this would go away,” Testa said in a phone interview. “In today’s day and age with communication and rumors spreading so rapidly, you have to move that much quicker to address any problem head on.”


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Quoted – Bottoms-up tomato gardening lucrative, but productive? – Philadelphia Inquirer

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Bottoms-up tomato gardening lucrative, but productive?

It sounds a bit like a pet rock for gardeners, but consumers seem to love the upside-down Topsy Turvy tomato planter, which has been sprouting all over the marketplace.

Bill Felknor, a folksy inventor from Knoxville, Tenn., has sold millions of his curious creations since they first appeared on QVC in 2003 – more than seven million last year alone, making it one of the most popular gardening products ever introduced.

It’s a natural – times three, according to Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College in Radnor, who grows tomatoes the old-fashioned way.

Like any consumer group, he said, a certain percentage of gardeners are on the hunt for the hot new thing. With the increased interest in home vegetable gardens, even folks with little or no green space want to get growing. And the idea of being able to do this without getting dirty or having to weed . . .

“That’s kind of the holy grail for gardeners, isn’t it?” asked Testa, who has done consulting for firms that make novelty items, produce infomercials, and sell on QVC.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/89856262.html

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Quoted – AOL Back in Black – Ecommerce Times

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AOL Back in Black

AOL posted a slim profit during its first quarter on its own again, even though its revenue was down from a year ago, and subscriptions continued their sharp decline. Cost-cutting — particularly by reducing its workforce — is credited for the improvement.

AOL’s profit could also be attributed to some savvy financial management — at least from the perspective of shareholders.

It significantly reduced its headcount as it launched.

“Employees are usually the biggest expense for these companies, so that was a smart move,” noted Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/AOL-Back-in-Black-69263.html

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Rating my Predictions for 2009 – Looking 2010 – KFed and Britney still not together. .

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  • Many Newspapers continue to struggle those that have high debt levels will consolidate, retrench through bankruptcy, or good old liquidation. .continue trend of starting to limit home delivery or not produce “physical paper” and go with pure web strategy like the Christian Science Monitor.

B – Right on this “old” media is dead . . release of new ereaders like Apple‘s ISlate or whatever it is going to be called. . continues to kill physical newspaper companies. . Amazon will release a color screened Kindle by year end. .

  • Yahoo gets bought – Maybe News Corp, maybe Disney, probably Microsoft. This train wreck has got to end. (What was Jerry Yang and the board thinking when they rebuffed multiple offers from Microsoft?)

B- – Microsoft tried then did search deal. . .whatever next party is over . . Google has won. .

  • Facebook blows away MySpace Already happening MySpace is the Yahoo toFacebook’s Google . . .Niche social networking like Linkedin find place and start to chip at dominance of “general” social networking sites.

A- – No brainer

  • Android becomes more prominent Google’s open source smart phone OS challenges major phone Operating Systems with the exception of Apple’s Iphone.  Google releases smart phone with major carrier that is free and is supported by advertising. Android powered Netbook released by year-end

B – yes and no . . before my time with free Google phone but will eventually happen

  • Iphone becomes more dominant moves into second spot behind Nokia for the most handsets shipped 2009. Apple release Iphone nano smaller, more compact, cheaper

B- – no Iphone nano but keeps whipping more and world best-selling smart phone

  • Twitter becomes hottest and most prevalent new social networking technology

A – yep right on

  • RFID technology begins to take hold in retail starts to supplement bar code technology to enhance retail experience. .ie checkout and inventory control. Huge shot in the dark without Wal-Mart this will never happen this is an idea whose time has come but will probably be pushed out a few years.

D– Wrong too early. . buy some more time will happen. .eventually

  • Google tries to make big social networking push (again) via its own technology or through a variety of in house development and key acquisitions (Twitter)

F– Still struggling in this area. .no key deals

  • New Apple products will include Netbook, New Mac Mini, and Iphone Nano

D – Tablet coming

  • Hottest Retailer – Justice

B – yep for tweens -but these are probably hotter. .  Aeropostale . .Hollister. . Pacsun. . Juicy Couture. .really like  Forever 21 and Tilly’s

  • Big Three turns into Big Two Ford has legs, Chrysler has no value with the exception of Jeep division and Hemi technology, GM who  knows  . . . but if they were smart they would jettison US operations and focus on international.

B – Chrysler now owned by Fiat, GM is a shell and Ford by far the strongest and still has legs

  • Real Estate market through most of the US gets worse before it gets better no recovery until spring 2010 at earliest. Although I do see Obama administration switch some focus of bailouts from big companies to homeowners who are in danger of foreclosure.

A – Obama administration stepped up with tax incentives and low interest rates. .

  • Brittany and Kfed reconcile and become greatest husband-wife team since Sonny and Cher

F– Sorry . .what can I say. .

Predictions 2010

  1. Location aware technology becomes huge. .  serving up ads and social networking . . to name a few . .Twitter and Facebook location aware posts going to happen this year. . providers will know where you are and serve up some really cool . .apps and services
  2. Hottest Retailer. . Slow Growth . .Privately owned but very cool store. . Tilley’s . . . Southern California cool. .combined with discipled financials and expansion strategy. .
  3. Green  continues to be hot. .  Solar cheaper. . Chinese manufacturer’s continue to make cheaper and cheaper cells squeezing other manufacturers. .wind is big. .  solar will be bigger. .
  4. e-commerce continues to grow . .but. . .consolidation starts happening. . would love to see Amazon buy Ebay. .but may have anti-trust issues. . Amazon continues to dominate and make good acquisitions like Zappo’s this year.. . will continue to grow. .  nobody can beat Amazon online including Wal-Mart. .  this year. .  after 2010 . .look for Wal-Mart going straight at them. .
  5. Google phone coming sold directly by Google over T-Mobile network . .Motorola and other partners not happy but no other alternative. .  continue to get beaten in smart phone market by Apple
  6. Apple in US brings in other partner for network other then ATT. . I say Verizon. . total long shot is Sprint Nextel. . which in turn may be bought by Comcast in 2010. . maybe T-mobile gets bought by Google. .maybe antitrust issue but would be very cool. .and allow Google to deliver universal WiMax type of service to United States. .
  7. Google Chrome OS released . . Chrome browser continue to take market share. . hurt Microsoft and Firefox but biggest casualty will be Safari and MacOS . . this year
  8. Apple tablet released. . Color screen Kindle released. .eventually be two horse race between Apple and Amazon. . in tablet. . ereader category
  9. KFed gets back in action. .  gets back in shape and cleans up. . and reconciles with Britney. .

Happy New Year. . .

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