Even if you don’t read the business or money pages it’s been difficult to avoid the debt problems in Greece and more latterly the “Debt Ceiling” problems in the US. The US debt has reached $14.3 trillion or to put it another way $4k for every man, woman and child in the US. Unless the US Congress agrees to allow the US Government to borrow more money then the US Treasury could run out of money!
With Greece all but “bust” and the US teetering on the brink of a technical default the currency markets have been a little “choppy” to say the least! Unfortunately the core components that make up a USB flash drive (flash memory, flash controller chip and flash capacitor) are all priced and traded in US dollars so when the markets get nervous the price of flash drives can fluctuate wildly.
In an ideal world the suppliers of flash drives would like some stability in the prices so that they can offer customers a price which is valid for more than a few hours but the margins on the supply of flash drives are skinny and competition is fierce so any price quoted tends to be valid for a maximum of 3-days!
Fortunately, the longer term trend for USB flash drive pricing is downwards albeit there does tend to be an upward spike in prices in late summer when the large players (Apple, HTC, Kingston etc.) start to place their orders for Christmas stock. These orders might not be for USB flash drivers per se but the products they schedule into their production plans nearly always include some form of flash memory and a general increase in demand for flash memory ripples through to the USB flash drive market.
So, when asking for a price for printed USB flash drives don’t be surprised if the price is higher than you were quoted before or if the price is only valid for a couple of days – it’s just a reflection of the market and at the moment the instability in the market!