We often are asked, (especially after submitting a bid to a client), what about the same product being offered online for slightly less, to considerably less than what we have the price at? We often find ourselves asking the same questions...and here are a few thoughts to shed light on that topic:
1- Is the price too good to be true? Remember the old adage "if its too good to be true..." Often the item(s) are offered below our pricing because the seller isn't authorized to sell it by the manufacturer. This is called a "grey market" and generally means the original manufacturer will not honor the warranty if something goes wrong. Internet sales are sometimes prohibited by the manufacturer as well, also voiding the warranty. Always check the website for the company making the product to confirm they authorize sales over the internet, before buying the items online.
2- Do you lose overall value by eliminating "value added" benefits of buying from a local source? What we mean here is do you lose something in the transaction because you chose to deal with an out of town vendor vs. a local source? This can be anything as small as getting a specific question answered, to shipping woes, or even service or installation & warranty. Sometimes the value saved from the original purchase price doesn't come close to the value lost in not having a local "source" to solve problems or questions that arrive later... (Most of us would never buy a car from an out-of-town dealer with a great service department because in order for that to be of value, we would have to go out-of town for service).
Generally, our installation warranty is one year from date of install, but, unfortunately, we still have to charge for a service call if a product we didn't sell you fails. We cover products we sold without any charges if it fails inside manufacture warranty. We also pride ourselves in the fact that our personal phone numbers are on our business cards and we give our clients an email address that can get them an answer to a pressing question/issue within an hour, most of the time. Try an find the same guy that gave you purchase advice from the online merchant on a weekend! We cannot stress there is a "value" on great local customer service.
3- Are you getting exactly what you ordered? You have no idea until it is received, substituted, or back-ordered. I generally make it a habit to read some of the "comments/ratings" left by previous purchasers from the company I plan to make an order with. If you see a history of bad communication, or consistent poor ratings, it is best to move on to another vendor. A company consistently selling last years models online will always make more sales than they have product. Someone has to get short-changed and disappointed. Try and make sure it isn't you.
Summary: You and I will make purchases on the Internet. Be a well-informed consumer: Great deals are there, for sure. Just make sure you understand there is a risk in every transaction, and try and minimize that risk. Make sure any site you are placing your credit card order with is secure. (the address bar in your browser should not be http:// but should display https:// meaning it is a secure server.) NEVER GIVE YOUR CREDIT CARD INFO to an unsecured site. Look at merchants ratings; a leopard doesn't change it spots easily, so don't do business with someone else's bad vendor. Lastly, are you gaining enough value to not make this transaction with a local store? You lose the face to face contact sometimes necessary to understand all the details or instructions.
I can't tell you how many unhappy "internet-orphan" clients we talk to each month who were never quite happy with their purchase(s), until we came in and provided the value-added expertise missing from the original purchase.
We hope you won't become of those "internet-orphans" , but feel free to call us if you are. Otherwise call us before you buy, to avoid the hassle. You wont regret it.
I have seen several 3-D models of flat screens in the last year, at CES in Las Vegas, and more recently, at a local line show. I have a pretty good sense of what drives our industry, and 3-D is pretty much a swing and a miss. The underlying technology has been tried and failed on the consumers since the 50's. Wait. Not ready.
Why don't I like the current product. Glad you asked!
It's not backwards compatible, so you will need a new 3-D panel, new 3-D receiver to switch between source(s) , probably new HDMI cables (v1.4 is current, and supposed to be 3-D compliant), and a 3-D BluRay player. Oh, and 3-D glasses. These aren't the el-cheapo paper ones your dad and mom wore, btw... They are the state of the art, rechargeable (yea they are powered), over-sized shades of futuristic sci-fi movies. They will currently set you back about $145-160 each pair.
So for that 3-D Super Bowl party with 8-15 people... well you get my point!
Our industry is known to shoot itself in the foot quite often and here is another example.
The 3-D glasses and TV panels are proprietary in design. What that means is your S*ny glasses wont work with your friends S*amsung panel and vice versa.
You would think they all could have worked out a common standard and built the 3-D platform based on this, but no such luck. Make a commitment to a particular brand and stick, I guess, is the mantra here.
Another issue is they work on refresh rate and the picture on the screen will be mostly unusable to anyone not wearing the glasses. Most of the technology requires you to be watching 3-D glasses horizontal to the picture on the screen. If you are lying on the floor or couch watching something with your head tilted sideways, they don't work.
3)Limited content (at least for now)
I remember a song from Spingsteen about 57 channels (and nothin' on). This is the case with 3-D too, I'm sorry to say. There just isn't very much out there for the consumer to watch, at least yet. Hollywood seems to be a little excited about the media (again) but that still might only equate to 10-15 titles/year until more equipment is installed in peoples homes.So really not a market, when you think of the investment the movie industry will have to make to produce the 3-D movies. There are rumors of cable networks showing occasional events in 3-D, but see #2 above. They aren't going to commit a broadcast to the 3-D tv's that only make up a small percentage of the market.Remember that the picture is pretty much, non-usable to someone without a 3DTV and glasses. Not much motivation to carry a 3rd set of broadcast channels either (HD, digital, and 3D)
So, while I think that 3-D will move strongly into gaming, it will be slow or non-existent on tv programming and movies.
Based on initial costs, I advise clients to spend the money on a great 2-D TV and sound. Let the industry refine the product and buy it then.
Remember the HDTV crossover only took 10 years...
Hello world! Blog starts….now!! We have decided to add a blog to the website, to random thoughts and idea’s relative to our business…
Disposable, cheap, flat-panel TV the new rage. Are they a good deal? —-The prices of current model tv’s are always in flux, with most heading down. As new models are released , the older models features become less desirable and therefore, prices drop. Not always is price a good indicator of a “good deal” though…
TV’s in the world marketplace are rarely made up entirely of that single manufacturers parts. LCD panels, tuners and other major assemblies are often made by only a few manufacturers and sold to the others for use in their current model(s). Unless the manufacturer is consistent on parts used in that years entire production run(s), internal make-up of the product makes repair nearly impossible.
Most folks are very surpised to hear that “disposable”brands like Olevia, Visio, and Polaroid(among others) are often made from some other major manufacturer’s rejected/obsolete parts. That means the current production run can be made up of different parts than last run. What that means to the consumer is a) that model flat-panel is made up of parts not good enough for LG, Sony, Samsung, Sharp etc…and b) no repair facility can “fix” problems that occur after you buy it, because they won’t know what parts make up that specific tv.(nor will there be a repair guide! yikes!)
Buying a tv with no repairable parts or local repair facilities is not always the best call even if the price is considerably lower. Shipping cost’s on tv’s can eat up original savings in a hurry($80-150/each way/insured) …. (and dont even get me started about buying a TV over the intenet….trust me you get exactly what you pay for in most cases!!!) And ALWAYS save the box the tv came in. Replacement boxes can be obtained frome the manufacturer, but usually at a price($50-100), (and more shipping!!)
By the time you consider packaging/ shipping/ labor costs (+parts cost if not covered by warranty) / return shipping, the consumer was most often better served replacing the offending TV with another, and throwing out the old tv even if it was covered by parts warranty.
You might have been better off to purchase from a major manufacturer even though you might have paid a liitle more upfront….
Just my professional opinion.