So here’s the deal. Our economy is struggling and retailers are competing for our business. Many offer “price protection” and incentives (deferred payments, no interest, stocking stuffers.) My 62” hi-def went on the fritz the day before the NFL Championships. That was unacceptable; I will be watching the playoffs!
I go to Costco, score an amazing Sony 52” LED, ($1300) set it up and marvel at its picture quality. It is truly splendid…and somewhat…small. Hmmm. Once again, size matters. I return the Sony to Costco and visit Best Buy. They have a new Samsung 55” LED/LCD for $2200 plus tax. They will set it up AND remove my 62” Mitsubishi. But I ask my sales woman, “Is there a reason for me to buy this today? I love the picture…but Presidents Day is coming up and I know there will be sales.” “No worries”, she tells me, “Best Buy will match any legitimate offer.” “OK, where do I sign?”
The Samsung is delivered and set up, the fit is great and I am a happy camper. Last weekend, stores touted their President’s Day sales. Best Buy is now offering a new Blu-Ray DVD in addition to my Samsung, for $2200. Pauls Big Screen is offering my Samsung and a Blu-Ray DVD for $1995! And Paul Crane’s is offering my Samsung, delivery and removal for $1997…AND NO SALES TAX!
Suddenly I have options. I re-visit Best Buy and they graciously offer to throw in a very hi-end DVD player to mollify me. I thank them and visit Paul Cranes. It’s Monday, Feb 15th, the last day of their sale. They have a few in stock, my total is $2022. I buy it.
Yesterday, the delivery men’s paths crossed. Paul Crane’s people delivered my new Samsung; Best Buy’s people picked up my almost new Samsung and I have saved $400. Now that’s clearly a consumer triumph. But I do have considerations about the morality of what I did. I was surely in the clear, legally…but Americans didn’t make the TV’s, money was spent and re-credited, boxes unpacked and repacked and a lot of shlepping was involved, with little added to our GNP.
So am I a wise shopper…or a prick with an Amex?
21 Feb 2010