I was flipping channels yesterday while I was taking a break from working on the cabin. Out at our family cabin that is across the street from the place we are building, we only have about 8 channels. My parents really only wanted the basic channels since tv isn’t much of a priority out there. One of the channels you get, no matter which cable package you choose is the home shopping channel. I’ve never really watched those channels before but as I flipped passed them I have always noticed what’s for sale. It seems like jewelry is a hit on those channels but I still can’t figure out how someone could buy an expensive piece of jewelry without touching and seeing it first.
Anyway, when I landed on the channel this time, they were selling a GPS unit. That’s what made me write the last blog post about the cost of GPS units and what the price needs to get to in order for me to buy one. They were selling a portable GPS unit called a Tom Tom One. Their price was $315 plus shipping. I’ve often wondered whether the prices on these channels are very competitive so I decided to look this up on a few websites to see what the “going rate” was for one of these. I can’t say I was surprised when I found cheaper prices online. Here are a few of the places I checked:
Tom Tom One – $279.00 with free shipping
Tom Tom One – $299.99 with free shipping
Tom Tom One – $299.99 plus shipping
Tom Tom One – $251.00 (Ebay plus shipping but it’s an auction)
Tom Tom One – $259.00 with free shipping
Tom Tom One – ~$250 or so. (It’s hard to get the exact sales price but this looks to be about an avg price)
Those are just a few of the places that you could potentially buy this Tom Tom but it certainly gives me an idea of what I should expect to pay for one. If I was looking to buy today, I’d most likely choose a unit for around the $260 price from the most reputable dealer I could find. This quick analysis told me what I wanted to know though. The hype on these channels (just watch for a bit and you’ll understand what I’m saying) over each item and their “slashed prices” aren’t necessarily a good deal. In this case, they were about 5% more expensive than the average store and also charged shipping. They were around 22% more expensive than the best deal that you can easily find via Froogle or Pricewatch.
So, this brings me to my question. Do young people choose to buy things over the television? I would guess that the majority of younger people would rather do a quick search via the web and buy it there. By purchasing on the web you can easily research price and confirm that you are getting the best deal. If you just see it on TV and pick up the phone to order, you cheat yourself of the potential savings that are so easily available to you via the web. Since older generations tend to be less web savvy, I wonder if they choose the home shopping channels because it seems easier and less threatening. Am I way off base here? What do you think?