Saturday, May 24, 2008

I couldn't agree with you more...

I hate Craigslist. I'm selling a MacBook Pro on there. I don't normally respond so harshly, but EVERY TIME I list something on there, people start emailing me about how they can get it cheaper somewhere else. That's pretty pointless in the first place, even if they were right. And like this guy, they're usually wrong. See the email exchange below:

Dale: Is this the new one with the multitouch trackpad? If so, why should I pay you $1900 when I can get the same from Apple for $1800?

Me: First, this is the previous generation. Second, retail on the new one is $2000, plus approximately $150 in tax. Third, what is with people on craigslist taking the time to email someone about how their prices are too high? If you're not interested, move right along.

Do you go into Best Buy and complain to the salesman how you can get their TVs cheaper online? In that case (unlike this one) it's at least true, but it's still a colossal waste of time for everyone involved.

If you're interested in making an offer, please do. If you'd like to argue about why I'm asking too much for this laptop, with no intention of buying it, please move on with your life, so I can move on with mine.

Thanks.

Dale: I was actually looking into buying a laptop. I'm a college student, meaning I get the educational discount at Apple of 20% making it $1800. More likely than not, especially during the summer, the people most likely looking for macbook pro's are college students. You might want to adjust the price since someone could literally go to Apple.com and not only get a newer model, but for a cheaper retail price. (Alright, with tax, you'd be paying $50 more, but you get a lot more for that.) But hey, it's your laptop. Sell it for whatever you want. I just wanted to see what kind of incentive I as a buyer would have to buy a laptop for that price.

Also, funny you should mention BestBuy. I work at BestBuy and sell televisions! While you might find a TV of the same model and brand online, they usually kill you on shipping (especially if it's 37" and above) and sale prices are generally below retail. But yes, I see what you're saying, I've had customers like that before. But I respect the one's that aren't trying to be stuck up and are seeing exactly why (in case they're overlooking something) they should pay more here than online. Doing research on a purchase, even if it means they're not buying here, is time well spent on my mind.

Me: If you got 20% off as a college student, you should do that. But you should check your math. $200 off of $2000 is 10%, not 20%. Also, while the college laptop purchasing season perks up toward the end of summer, I think the vast majority of people looking for laptops, much less MPBs are not college students.

And while *someone* could indeed go to Apple's education store and get a new one for $1800 (plus tax) that's far from everybody. Just because college students (and teachers) get a discount, I'd be pretty stupid to assume that the only people interested would be college students and/or teachers. If it doesn't sell, I'll adjust the price, but I just posted it last night. I'm not panicking yet.

Believe me, I know all about retail electronics sales. When I was in college, I worked at Circuit City until they eliminated commission, CompUSA until they eliminated comission, AND Best Buy. Even when I worked at those places, and could buy things at cost, I almost always purchased my electronics online, because it was cheaper for me to do so. Shipping is usually less than tax, and the prices are much, much lower across the board, even on big screens. I've been watching TV on a 42" 1080P Sharp LCD I got online for about $900 less than it would have cost me at Best Buy. And I didn't have to sit through a mind-numbing extended warranty/Monster Cable pitch. And don't even get me started on extended warranties. I paid my cable bill, electric bill, cell phone bill, car payment, insurance and rent JUST with extended warranty sales when I was at CC. They gave me a straight 15% of the warranty price on my check. Not surprising, when the average failure rate of a flat panel TV is around 3%, and the average cost of repair is about the same price as the warranty.

For a comparison on the Samsung LN52A550, check this out:

Here's Best Buy:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8749269&st=LN52A550&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1202649424020

Here's where someone should buy it:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B001415EMI/ref=pd_luc_mri?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=ALAQLAKJ574UN&v=glance

It's over $2650 from BB, after tax. From 6ave it's $1862, FREE shipping, NO tax. I'm pretty confident you'd end up spending more than $1862 on that TV at Best Buy even with your employee discount.

I also like how Best Buy recommends the $600 wall mount, and $170 HDMI cable for this TV. Monoprice has an equivalent wall mount for $50 (I own it), and cable for $4 (I own a bunch). So exactly why should a customer pay more at Best Buy than online? I know it's not the helpful service, or honest answers.

Case in point: The next time Monster Cable puts on a canned demo to show why their cables are worth 20x as much, look under the table. If it's like the one I they showed me on their speaker wire, they had identical speakers, and identical receivers (supposedly), one with Monster cable, the other with generic cable. Yeah, the Monster sounded better, until one of our audio guys lifted up the tablecloth, and showed that the Monster cable was about 4' long, and the generic cable was really a 100' spool of extremely low grade quality cable. You might also Google the blind "taste test" where audiophiles couldn't tell the difference between Monster cable and a coathanger. Seriously. But hey, they have a lifetime warranty, right? I guess if it wears out more than 20 times while I'm using it, it'll be all worthwhile. Which is ironic, because the ONLY cable that's ever failed on me was a Monster Component cable, less than 2 years after I bought it, and only about the 5th time it had been unplugged. The connector just fell apart. The $2 replacement I bought for it is still going strong, years later.

I'm not sure how long you've worked at Best Buy, but one of these days you'll figure out it's all a scam.

Dale: I regret ever contacting you about this. Good luck with everything.

2 comments:

Stacy said...

HAHAHAHA.... If I EVER try to argue with you about anything... remind me that it is a bad idea! You scared the crap outta this poor kid, haha. But it was captivating reading!

Paul said...

I must say, the last sentence is the best.