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IMPORTANT AMENDMENT! A Simply SV reader called me right after reading today's article to inform me that the Google Express pricing evil is only with Costco. Wheh! Sigh of relief. Google Express isn't at fault, Costco is the villainand this will hopefully change through complaints and attention, like this article. This is glorious news indeed! Prices at Target and the other stores are the same as in-store, all that's required is a minimum shopping amount of either $25 or $35 (store dependent), which is perfectly fair. Thank you Google Express, and forgive me for my misunderstanding. There is a promotional offer that expires tomorrow: 20% off, up to $30 in savings, code WELCOME1. Happy Google Shopping to my readers!

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My favorite word is free. Just typing it makes me tingle. You can imagine my delight two days ago when I received a promotional email from Google Express informing me that their shopping delivery service is now free. Oh boy! I was excited.

I've held off on using Google Express primarily because it costs money. I quickly clicked on the link to check out their selection of stores. COSTCO?! My heart rate increased; going into that beast of a warehouse is something I prefer to avoid and freedom might be within arms' reach. So I clicked on the Costco link. The first row of items were the sale items, my favorite things (Costco's monthly sale offerings bring me great delight). I just did a huge Costco run last week, so I'm up-to-date on my Costco education. And there it was: the outdoor mat I purchased for a sale price of $9.99. BUT WAIT; it's listed on Google Express for a sale price of $12.99. Woah, hold your horses.

That's when I paused and reminded myself, with a smile, that nothing is truly free. There is a cost to everything. And while Google Express marketing has woken up to the psyche of people like me who jump for free, it is far from free. Google isn't a non-profit, they're #27 in the Fortune 500 of 2017. This outdoor mat was marked up 30% to cover the cost of delivery.

Might this article bring you wisdom and awareness in your Silicon Valley shopping endeavors. And Google, don't be evil. Your fellow Silicon Valley residents prefer direct honesty: your service ain't free.

I'll end with a quote from Plato's Phaedrus, written around 370 BC:

Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.

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