Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Electronics Rip Off

This guy has a scheme he's putting forth for getting good discounts and major electronics sellers. It goes something like this:

You talk to a sales rep at an electronics store and tell him that you want to buy some big ticket item, like a tv. The employee then offers to sell you an extended warranty. You agree to buy the extended warranty, even buying the most expensive extended warranty.

Extended warranties are virtually pure profit for the electronics sellers and managers and salespeople are pressured to sell these big ticket items. The trick is to exploit this pressure.

You tell the person that you need a discount on the actual sales price of the item so that you can afford the item+warranty bundle. The salesperson then (and possibly illegally) reduces the price of the item+warranty for you.

Here's where you take advantage of the discount. You take the item and the warranty documents to the cashier, then decide only to buy the item. If the store refuses to sell you just the item, you buy both the item and the warranty. Then you take advantage of a warranty provision that affords you thirty days to change your mind. You cancel the warranty within the thirty days and walk away with a steeply discounted piece of consumer electronics.

I wonder if this would actually work - a commenter on that website suggests that he's used the technique to get a $500 discount on a TV.

I also wonder if this is a right thing to do - saving money is good and it's an exploitation of a shady and possibly illegal practice, but it is not the most honest thing. Hoisting them on their own petard is pretty tempting, though.

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