Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cables are the fountain drinks of technology sales

I just took a trip to my local MicroCenter store to purchase a 6' USB 3.0 A Male to Micro B cable. I looked at BestBuy, Target and Walmart and not being able to find anything but overpriced USB 2.0 cables.  I knew that MicroCenter would have what I was looking for at a reasonable price.  I need the cable right away.

I did search on Amazon before I got in my car and found that Amazon's Basic brand had one for $5.99.  I expected to pay a little more at MicroCenter.

After finding the isle and staring at the USB cables for a while I found that the 6' cables were $27.99.  Yikes!  As I was standing in the isle, another couple looking at some other cables said loudly, "Wow, these are expensive!"

I found a sale associate and asked if they would price match online prices (as they are also an online retailer).  He said they would.  I showed him the item on Amazon and he said would have to be the exact brand.  I searched for the brand on my phone and matched the product number.  Bingo $5.50 + $1.10 shipping for the same exact cable at Amazon.  A 424% mark up!  He said we would need to speak to a manager.  I said, "Great, let's find one"

The manager says, "Is it sold my Amazon or a third party?".  Checking my phone I informed him that it was a third party.  He said that there is no guarantee that I would actually receive the item if I ordered from Amazon.  I shouldn't have to explain this to him (but I did) that Amazon does guarantee my purchase.  He would not go for the $5.50.

I ask if he would meet me half way at a reasonable price.  The answer was "No".

I dropped the item and turned and walked out.

So just remember, do not buy computer or AV cables in any retail stores. These items are marked up as much as 500%.  Just like how restaurants make a majority of their profits on fountain drinks.



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