Monday, September 20, 2004

Annoyances: Ads that don't list the price

You know what has been annoying me lately? Newspaper ads that don't have prices listed for 'hot items'.

Best Buy was the first one around here to do this regularly, but lately (say for the last 6 months) they have been doing it week after week. And now it seems like everyone is doing it, and a lot more items then just popular new DVDs. Heck, even Toys R' Us didn't list prices for some items in their ad this week. What is this world coming to?

The problem a consumer should have with this practice is obvious: its impossible to tell who is offering the lowest price on some identical product that everyone is going to be carrying. They don't even bother to tell you the MSRP price, so you know the ballpark of what you might have to spend for this item of wonder.

For example, if I had a friend who was thinking of being naughty and buying the Star Wars DVD trilogy, despite the fact that it is the Special Edition of the movies, how is he supposed to know what store to go to?

Maybe he just can't resist the lure of digitally remastered movies with new fancy 5.1 soundtracks (he might even have a fancy new receiver to take advantage of these improved sounds). Maybe he was planning on ignoring the butchering that Lucas did to the originals via the special editions. Maybe he was going to ignore further butchering Lucas is doing to the DVD release.

Normally this type of purchase is perfect for scanning the ads in the Sunday paper, finding the store with the lowest price or best bundle deal, and picking it up there. Instead our hypothetical friend would be reduced to wandering from store to store trying to find the lowest price. Thus squandering his $3 savings in wasted gas and time.

[ I should also mention that interviews like this with George "Trasher of my childhood memories" Lucas never fail to make me grit my teeth in anger. ]


wleino said...

I know my "friend" who also cannot stomach Lucas' alterations to the films, yet greatly desires the DVDs with or without a fancy new receiver to take advantage of the improved sound, isn't going to shop around for the best price for his siblings will most likely make the films a christmas gift. That way he can not only have the sub-par Star Wars DVDs, but he will have given none of his own money to Lucas. That gives him a warm feeling. He may buy "Star Wars: Battlegrounds" if he reads good things about it.

Steve Eck said...

I have to post under Steves name as I do not have my own blogger acct and it does not allow random people ot post comments. The two friends are funny. I know what's really going on! You two are the best.

Steve Eck said...

I admire your ability to keep your principles, while still getting the DVD set.

I'll be thinking about that while I enjoy the fantastic picture and sound quality of my friend's new DVD set that he bought today. :)

wleino said...

My friend has to wait 4 months to enjoy the 387 minutes of enhanced picture and sound, so your friend may still be the winner.

wleino said...

where is the best deal after all?

Steve Eck said...

Being able to enjoy the 387 minutes of enhanced Star Wars movies Right Now was why I threw my principles out the window and bought them today. We watched Star Wars tonight, and it was good.

Wal-Mart had the best price here, $38.87. They were out of widescreen however, but Sears was willing to price match without an ad, and add an extra 10% on the difference, so it was like $38.26 or something.