Friday, September 21, 2007

Buying Guide - What NOT to buy at your local Electronics stores

With prices of TVs and DVD players going down, electronic stores have, for the past few years, expanding their profiting outlook by upselling accessories at ludicrous markups. Below is a list of things you shouldn't buy at your local B&M electronics store. By foregoing paying ludicrous prices on accessories at these stores, you can find much cheaper yet comparable equivalents online. Please read on to find out more...

Markups for most computer and TV accessories are excessive....we are talking 80-200%. About a couple years ago stores started marking up cable prices, justifying their actions by saying that cables are essential to the picture quality of your TV. True, cables are important but paying $80+ for a video cable is ridiculous, especially if you need a couple of them (I guess if theres a way to make money, they do it)? and other websites offer cable accessories of the comparable quality for significantly lower prices. For those who tout retail warehouse membership, you can get decent deals on cables as well, though not as cheaply as you can on Monoprice.

Warranties (consider only if your brand is a budget brand)
Most extended warranties your B&M stores sell nowadays aren't actual extended. Most of them nowadays supersede the manufacturer warranties, meaning if anything was to go wrong with your product during year 1, you can go back to where you bought the item and try to have them fix. That isn't so bad in itself, in fact it can be more convenient since they usually are quicker than what the manufacturer process would put you through. The fact is that your product was made to last at least a year, or however long the original warranty would have covered, so by having the manufacturer cover the first year is them taking on less of a burden. Whereas a 3-year extended would have given you a total of 4 years product protection, a 3-year warranty would only give you 2 years in addition what you would have originally had.

The good name brand TVs malfunction less than the budget ones; I draw this conclusion based on what I see returned at stores. My friend got a Proview at Costco and it went out in couple months, I myself once owned a Polaroid and it wouldn't stop giving off this electronic burning smell (aka new TV smell) for months. I eventually went through the manufacturer's outsourced Warranty service in Canada, Prima Worldwide was what it was called, and after many angry messages left on the supervisor's machine, I got a swap-out replacement at the original store I purchased my TV at, but not without a lot of hassle and 2+ months of waiting. The warranties provided by Worst Buy are actually reasonably priced, and Circuit Sheety has a very comprehensive and fair protection plan. So consider it if it's a cheap TV, but don't if its something well known like Sony or Panasonic because you're more likely than not never going to use it.

Surge Protectors
I honestly don't know as much as I should about surge protectors, but if a $25 one has a guaranteed $10,000 insurance policy on it, why would you pass that up for a $300 fancy surge protector. To my knowledge, a fancy surge protector won't significantly boost the performance of any of your electronic components. So long as a cheap surge protector has a good guaranteed (some will only replace the surge protector and will only cover damaged merchandise at their discretion), go for the cheaper ones.

Wall Mounts

Markup for these things are pretty high as well, and its really hard to find a place that sells them with a low profit margin. Luckily for us Man invented Costco and

***TIP*** Free Extended Warranty & Accidents Protection

Something the common consumer doesn't know is that most Platinum and even gold level credit cards will double the warranty of your merchandise up to a year. Read more on this on the website of your Credit Card company to find out details and if this is applicable to you.

1 comment:


Good tv ...

TVs and HDTVs