Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Caveat Emptor

The other day someone named "kmiyake" left a comment on my post of a few days ago regarding cables, and how some stores like to sell them at ridiculously high prices.

"But you're taking money away from those poor ripoffers." That's the comment.

Now actually, there is some merit to this. On the audio forum where I hang around too much, someone posted a blu ray player for sale in the classifieds section. Someone else then posted a message to the thread mentioning that the same blu ray could be purchased brand-new from Amazon.com.

That opened up a minor can of worms, with another poster chiming in to say that making a public post that the item could be purchased for less elsewhere was "thread crapping," and if anything, that should have been communicated to the original poster (OP) in a private message, not in public on the forum board.

Others chimed in for and against; some said it was the right thing to do because they would appreciate knowing if there was a lower price somewhere else. Others said it was up to the buyers to do their own research.

What do you think?

Personally, I feel that if the information is readily available to all, then caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware, and let the buyer do his or her own research. If it involves information that is not public knowledge (such as someone knowing the product being offered is defective or stolen, or the seller has had fraudulent transactions in the past) then one should be obliged to mention this. But when you can just as easily go look yourself at Amazon or wherever, then that's your responsibility to do so and if you don't and wind up paying more than you need to, that's your problem. Why should anyone feel that their hand has to be held?

So taking it to the cable example, if people want to overpay for a cable at a place whose initials are BB, perhaps up to 25 or more times what an equivalent cable would cost you at a place like, say, monoprice.com, then who am I to step in and say something?

The reason I do it is because I object to the sleazy way Monster does business, making it a practice to sue others left and right over use of the word "monster" even though such uses are not even remotely near the cable business. That's what I object to. I could care less if people are stupid enough to throw away their money on Monster products because they somehow think they are better than a generic cable. It's their bullying that makes them my enemy.

But now what about the other brands that BB carries, that are also overpriced (though not as terribly so)? Should I point out that people are overpaying for them? Or just let them fish out those credit cards and greenbacks and go home thinking they got what they paid for?

I dunno.. what do you think? Any opinions? I am sticking with what I said before, that unless there is something objectionable that the seller is doing, then let the buyer beware.

And now, here is the head snake-oil salesman himself:


Anonymous said...

"But it sounds so much better now that I have $1000.00 worth of MC. Its so much cleaner and brighter. Its like a window has opened up and it also keeps the dust off my speakers. Best investment I ever made. I only wish I bought it at Best Buy, where they have that 15% restocking fee if the part is defective."

Rickie Miyake said...

You mean as though a veil had been lifted? ; )