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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holiday Sales - Rip Off Warnings

The holidays are coming and gas prices have been projected as a major impact on shoppers' holiday budgets.

*For those thinking of electronics, extended warranties are Not Recommended. For your information and buying decisions, check the internet for what is said about these retail warranty rip-offs:

Circuit City consumeraffairs, Circuit City's Advantage Plan ripoff report, Business Week article Warranty Windfall, Smart Money's Extended Warranty Rip Off. Retailers make up to 80% of their profit from these sales. The internet is full of consumers' complaints telling of their horror stories of no service and aggrevation. Circuit City's City Advantage Plan can cost up to $500 for a laptop warranty, the price you could pay for a new laptop on sale. It is possible to purchase a laptop for as little as $200.

Another current rip off is the recent attempt to sell consumers "recovery disks". Basically, you don't need to purchase them for the outrageous price retailers are selling them for. From Clark Howard's website, here is the information:

"Oct 12, 2007 -- Extended warranties, recovery disc rip-offs in action
It's great to have the opportunity to see rip-offs that Clark has warned people about being pushed on you and have the chance to say no upfront. Christa recently was buying a computer at a retailer and was being given the hard sell on two things that Clark just spoke about a few weeks back. One item was the Windows recovery discs, which were being pushed for $40. You can make one yourself for practically free or a get lower price from the manufacturer. The other was the extended warranty pitch. On a related note, Clark recently got a call from a distant relative of his who was in a store buying a TV. When the relative said he listened to Clark Howard and knew all about the cons of extended warranties, the salesperson took a very creative and unethical approach: He told the relative that Clark bought four TVs at that store and got extended warranties on every one of them. Clark is now thinking about doing a hidden camera sting where he exposes known retailers who try this tactic to make a sale on an extended warranty or service plan. Once again, for the record, Clark wants to emphasize that he doesn't buy extended warranties. That may change in the future, of course. But for now just say no when they're pushed on you. "

Finally, for your protection, review some identity theft tips before going out on your holiday shopping.

*For my international readers who have asked, "Black Friday" is the first day after the Thanksgiving National Holiday. It is officially the first day of shopping for the holiday season. On this day, retailers drastically cut their prices to entice maximum sales. In the USA, folks go out in mass, frequently at 2 or 3 am to stand in lines waiting for stores to open to grab the best deals. Sounds like fun eh?

Happy Holiday!

1 comment:

Mobile Notary said...

Thanks for sharing. We need to spend our money wisely.