Last week, my wife said, "I think it's about time that we got a second television in the apartment." From time to time, I've been known to tune out what she's saying, but this time my ears perked up. Hmm, I think I can sanction the purchase of a television.
Here are the problems the I had looking for television on short notice:
- I couldn't use Craigslist to save half the money. This is my typical plan, but I had to strike while the iron was hot (i.e. my wife agreed to the television thing).
- I thought that Costco would have the best deal. It's impossible to know what they have until you get there. Once there, I don't have my computer to look up reviews online to see if it's a good set.
I was going to make a somewhat major purchase a little blind. This always gives me an uneasy feeling. Our first stop was Costco. Oddly, they didn't have many 32" televisions in stock and not one of them was 1080P (1080 lines of progressive scan resolution - the best there is). If we were able to go larger we might have gotten a good deal, but our bedroom simply doesn't have the room for anything bigger.
The next step was to go to Circuit City. Normally, I'd go to Best Buy, but there isn't one close to my home. Happily, Circuit City had about 5 or 6 televisions that were 32" and 1080P. The problem was that the 37" Samsung was their special of the week and was actually cheaper than this 32" one.
. When the salesman came over I asked what was up with that? He said it was just the way it is.
Once again, I felt uneasy about the purchase. It kills me to pay more money and get less product., just because our apartment has a weird layout. I hemmed and hawed for at least 20 minutes over it. Finally, the salesman comes over and says that he can chop off $100 on the Sony XBR one. It would still be $100 more than the Samsung that I was looking at, but Sony XBRs are nice. A difficult decision just got worse.
I hem and haw for another 15 minutes. At this point, my wife is wandering the store and probably plotting my death. The salesman can't even deal with me any more and went to help others. A new salesman sees me and asks if he can help. I tell him that the other salesman said he'd knock off $100 from the Sony XBR. This salesman then said something magical, "He must have been giving you the online price. Let me look that up." I was quick to ask if he'd give me the online price on the Samsung 32" as well. The other salesman didn't offer that. This salesman said that he'd be happy to give us that price.
It turns out that the online price was $150 cheaper. That sealed the deal for me. I was comfortable with the purchase. Of course, it made me mad that they didn't start with the online price. Oddly, just a couple of days later Circuit City would be running commercials saying that you'll find the same price in the store as will online. Odd that this is considered a selling point - it should be automatic. When you think about it, it simply makes sense. Many stores have a buy online and pick up in the store... That's essentially what this was.
The moral of the story here is to look out for weird pricing from the big chain stores. Perhaps print off a copy of the website and bring it with you to the store so that you can get that price.
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