Computers are so cheap, companies are finding other ways to scrounge revenue on them.
You must approach your computer hobby in a business-like fashion. Business-like these days means be wary of most “great” deals.
Computers are so cheap, companies are finding other ways to scrounge revenue on them. The classic is the extended warranty, which consumer organizations and reviewers say is a waste of cash.
The profit margin here is so enticing, you will find more clerk pressure to buy the warranty than the computer.
Once you get that new puppy home, it will be filled with “free” software that is not. Classic here is the 30 or 60-day anti-virus software. Let it run out, and you’ll be peppered with a screen nagging for cash. They even make it hard to uninstall it.
The dirty little secret is you can get excellent free scanners that really are free.
Another way to boost the cash flow is to sell devices in kit form (with accessories). It may be cheaper to buy the accessories alone, and you can get exactly what you want.
I laugh at the Games folder that comes on PCs. It looks like you’re getting a free arcade of stuff. Then you realize it will shill your money after playing a few times. Some of these guys get really nasty when you don’t ante up.
Another scheme charges you for software you do not need. This is the way to upsell a cheap price on a system.
Load software onto it and add a price to the bill. I’ve seen it happen where they refuse to take it off and will not charge you the price they are advertising. Hello, attorney general?
Another expensive tactic is to sell obsolete items at full price. I’ve seen this with digital cameras and MP3 players.
When new models arrive, the price of the devices they replace should drop, considerably. The store is banking on us being ignorant.
Example: Canon released its EOS Rebel T2i camera at $799. The T1i models are obsolete. Still, a lot of T1i’s are still advertised at the same price as the improved replacement.
The way to get smart is to find the street price of an item online. All devices have a “list” price the manufacturer suggests. Then there’s the real or “street” price, what the item is going for discounted.
The list always is larger than the street. Never pay list without checking the market online and knowing the prices.
I’ve bought a lot of computers over the years. One thing I consider is business computers. Makers know that businesses will not put up with the bull. Business systems come at a competitive price without extra software, useless upsells or $60 Gucci designs.
I bought an HP microtower from http://hp.com/business. It was $398. That’s $150 less than the comparable “family” system and without the goofy software shills.
Business models most often are sold online. They do find their way to retail stores. I’d ask the clerk if they have any.
They often are better built with more important features such as RAM and large hard drives. The trade off is they don’t look Gucci. Rats.
Contact Jim Hillibish at email@example.com.