I thought a bit about this, I was in a electronics shop the other day to buy an Ipad for my mother, I know what I want, but they don’t have it, so I meander over to the TV section, I just wanted to take a look, I recently bought a Samsung 8 series very cheap after some good research, and trust me, its needed, its a jungle out there, you will have SERIOUS problems knowing whats worth the money or not.
So I watch this couple being sold a Samsung 6 series, you know this because of the -1- number that is a 6 in the whole row of stupid numbers they put on their TV, its got its price advertised in big letters, its a huge thing and the sellers is doing his best…
I stroll casually by, and puncture his entire shitty sales line by saying ’ hey, there is a Samsung 7 series 2 rows to the left, for the SAME PRICE’ Its a much better TV than the budget 6 series is …get that…
Well, I find this almost epidemic now, doesn’t go a day when I don’t read about some guy being scammed by a microsoft fake seller or nigeria letters or whatever…and I thought, capitalism gives me a headache.
That’s not technically fraud, assuming there weren’t lies in the sales patter. It’s just extremely sharp sales practice, ie a scam. Like when retailers put their prices up just before a “sale”. I mean there’s rampant actual fraud in online TV sales, even through ostensibly legit operations like Amazon.
Then again, I’m the sort of person who can’t imagine buying something as expensive as a TV (or frankly, anything more than about £20, without doing extensive research and knowing exactly what I want before I buy it.
Fraud has been around forever. Snake oil salesman was a term of yesteryear for sure but applies all over the place now.
I think what you’re referring to is that there is a huge segment of people that have no technical knowledge related to electronics. As someone who works in IT, I really, really wish there were MORE mandated courses in schools for things related to mobile use, pc/laptop use, internet use, etc. I also wish training for those things was taken up by some sort of establishment that is easy to get to and find.
As an example, if I get my mother a new mobile phone, unless I want to babysit her for the time required to show her how to operate it, where else can I point her? YouTube? A nearby college or library? a Dummies book?
That’s usually where I do point her, but even then it requires me telling her to get her tablet/laptop and stepping her through the process. I know she is an extreme example though. More for the masses and to Janster’s question though, how do you prevent people selling them 5-10 year-old electronics crap?
No, my story wasn’t exactly that they are fraudulent, but its close, they are in my opinion willingly misleading their customers, just look at the graphic card marked, it’s almost impossible to know what you get, unless you know a LOT about it. I don’t mind, knowledge is power and all that, but I can’t become best in all I buy, that takes frigging ages.
another example is power, I have to keep changing my supplier, why…cause you buy a supplier for some teaser rate, and goes a few months, and low and behold, they are the most expensive on the marked , cause once they got their customer base, they milk you for what you got…So i have to keep changing and changing…
This is VERY stressful…I got better things to do…
Now I can’t even begin to imagine how bad the medicare stuff people in the USA go through…that’s gotta be a nightmare to navigate.
Well, my personal answer is don’t buy your stuff on the “advice” of a sales person. They are your adversary in this process. Know what you’re going to buy before you enter the store, and how much you’d be happy to pay for it, or at least have a handful of defined options you want to see in person.
Electronics is the 21st century’s version of car sales. You have a product that for most customers is beyond their ken, in terms of its details and technology, is expensive, and is for the most part commodified, in that one iteration is pretty much like another for the average customer. The actual cost of goods is opaque, the costs of retailing the product are hidden from the customer, and there is a proliferation of information about the product due to the existence of communities of enthusiasts and enthusiast media that serve, for most people, merely to muddy the waters with a host of details and minutia.
It’s a perfect environment for retail sales people, who even if they start out with scruples are often pushed into sketchy tactics by the exigencies of their job.
On the horizon? How cute! The phrase “Theres a sucker born every minute” was coined in the 1860’s Heck you can even go back to the Roman Empire and the phrase “Caveat Emptor” or let the buyer beware as it loosely translates. A salesman’s job is not to advise you, its to get the sale. If you do not understand that going in, you are going to get taken advantage of. There is really no excuse to buy anything without researching it first, especially with something like a TV. And as mentioned previously, electronics are like the wild west these days. If you are not well armed with information, they are going to gun you down.
Margin, can’t afford to discount the old any more. They know customers don’t know the difference so making more money for the company. Lots of reasons. Maybe the company is rubbish, we have all seen years old games on the shelf selling at 10 times the price it should.
Really you would think having it £50 cheaper makes it a lot easier to justify trying to sell the older version to those in the know and is more attractive to those looking only at price but that does not seem to be the case.
I think buying TV’s is a not easy when you know what you want unless price is not an issue at all. Too many models, too many brands, too many specs etc etc and people not being sure exactly what they are getting. They don’t need salesmen they need sales advisors who are helping them make the right choice.
In relation to the OP, I would agree that it certainly seems like there are far more choices, including far more bad choices, when purchasing almost anything these days. Globalization has resulted in a market where two different TVs, tablets, refrigerators or cell phones can have functionally identical features, but be vastly different in quality and overall consumer experience. Add to this the fact that many consumers shop exclusively on price, and it’s a bad deal for everyone.
That said though, we’re also in an age of unprecedented consumer enlightenment, IF you are a consumer savvy enough to do your own homework. The internet gives consumers access to a vast wealth of knowledge and opinion on pretty much any purchase from phones to cars to houses, and if the consumer choses to use that access they become empowered to make good deals and good decisions (much to the dismay of some salespeople). Of course, this also means actually making the effort to research and thinking for yourself, which in some cases can take the consumer far out of their comfort zone (like the older person purchasing technology in the example upthread) or in many cases is just too much like work for a consumer who just sees “60” HDTV for $400?! Yes please!".
This was true before, or in the early days of, the internet, but it’s a doddle to research electronics these days. You can find review round ups of the latest models, explanations of all the jargon, feature comparison charts and so-on, or simple “buy this one” guides from the likes of Wirecutter if you can’t be bothered with it all. In the old days you had to buy half a dozen magazines and spend hours reading them, and you still wouldn’t understand half of it unless you were tech-oriented…
I disagree heavily, it was a moderate nightmare for me and took ages, even with reviewers and other stuff.
So and @Timex, at first I thought they were stupid, but ofcourse they’re not, its just that the 7 model has a pricepoint that it was at, and I guess thats to keep up with the competitors, however the 6 model they sold had a way higher profit so it was priority, however to do so, they had to drown out the other TV…
Its not fraud, it just messy and looks REALLY bad to me.
I think the future is going to be messy unless we get some people to help us monitor this, it’s just too much, when every bloody thing is going to be competed for and everything is on sale, you just don’t know anymore whats what.
And we will be feeding new generations into this grinder, and they will not be prepared ;)
I mean sure, but we do have people to monitor this stuff. We have apps to compare prices and alert you to sales, we have websites and forums dedicated to exactly this sort of thing. Yes you have to be an informed consumer but it’s easier than ever before.