If you take just a few minutes to look around you will see a ton of deals for techie items for extremely low prices right now. Everything from a netbook on up to a brand new LED television are priced at or below cost. While this is good news for the consumer looking to save some money, it actually bodes ill for the industry in the long run. (I’ll get into that more in a future article). For now I want to concentrate on how all these companies can afford to sell these products at the prices you are seeing out there.
It all begins and ends with the add on items that go with these products. Sure, you can find a 15″ laptop for around $379.00 but you will need some things to go with that. You aren’t going to carry it around without a bag or a backpack. You will more than likely want a mouse. How large a battery comes with it? What operating system comes loaded on it and did the manufacturer include the OS disk with it? Is the processor a quad core, dual core or a single core? Once you add all the things you’d probably really want out of a laptop, you aren’t just paying $379.00 for it.
The first thing marketers hit you over the head with is the initial price. It is in all facets of our life now. That $1.00 hamburger sounds like a pretty good deal but they will hard sell you that large fry and bucket of soft drink to go with it. They are pretty much breaking even with the sandwich but enough people buy the add on items to make it very profitable for them. The same goes for the computer products. At the very least you will need a bag to carry and protect your new laptop.
Look at the HD TV’s too. Yes, that’s a great deal you found on that nice 47″ TV but you aren’t going to lean it against the wall. You will need a mount to hang it on that wall. A mount that cost $10.00 that you will pay $79.00 or more for. HD cables are also needed. (You don’t even want to know how much profit is built into these.) Add in a universal remote and a surge protector and now you are up to the profit margins that they were looking for in the first place. The thing is, you really do need all those other things to go with that TV except for maybe the remote.
That’s where the profit is. Yes, you made a savvy purchase and you were smiling while exiting the store today. But if you turn around quick enough, the salesman was smiling too.
So what can you do to truly get a good deal in the face of these marketing ploys? You are already well armed and may not even be aware of it. The main reason you are seeing a lot of products suddenly being marked down is because new products with better specs are coming soon and they need to move existing inventory or they will be stuck with it. Ask questions and see what they are willing to bundle some of these items to make the sale. The last thing any salesperson wants right now is a prospective buyer to walk out of their store empty handed.
Just don’t be totally unreasonable about it. Haggling is good but remember that they have money already vested in that merchandise. There is that fine line you can cross where they would like nothing more than for you to walk out empty handed.