How Hi-Tech Retailers Are Screwing You

There are a million little ways retailers can screw you on what you buy. But maybe nowhere is this more common than in the world of high-tech gadgets. 5 Ways Hi-Tech Retailers Are Secretly Screwing You article gives examples how high tech opens up whole new realms of screwing the customer. Examples of this can be found on printer inks, premium HDMI cables, warranties and “optimization”. Many electronics and electronics shops have a notoriously narrow profit margin, so all of the shady stuff is just helping them trying to stay afloat. On-line retailers have pushed down the consumer electronics products margins a lot from what the used to be.


Read also 8 Retail Ripoff Tactics and Top 10 Retail Ripoffs Exposed! Learn sneaky snake sales tricks and avoid being BIT!


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RadioShack in Talks to Sell Half Its Stores to Sprint, Shutter the Rest

    (Bloomberg) — RadioShack Corp. is preparing to shut down the almost-century-old retail chain in a bankruptcy deal that would sell about half its store leases to Sprint Corp. and close the rest, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

    The locations sold to Sprint would operate under the wireless carrier’s name, meaning RadioShack would cease to exist as a stand-alone retailer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public.

    The negotiations could still break down without a deal being reached, or the terms could change.

    RadioShack currently has more than 4,000 company-operated U.S. stores.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    I’ve come to bury Radio Shack, Not praise it.

    This is a post that has been a long time coming. Today, Radio Shack, the store that has been everything from an excellent introduction to electronics and computers to a store that sells cell phones, cell phone accessories, and cell phone plans has declared bankruptcy.

    To anyone, this should not be news. For the last decade, the public perception of Radio Shack was one of a shell of its former self. In 2007, The Onion famously published Even CEO Can’t Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business, an article that like most of The Onion’s work, is a sand dune of grains of truth.

    In recent years, Radio Shack has made attempts to appeal to the demographic that holds the ‘shack in such high regard. Just four short years ago, Radio Shack made an appeal to this community and asked for suggestions for what people would actually buy at Radio Shack. The answers ranged from Arduinos and larger component selections to Parallax Propellers. Even with this renewed focus on DIY, repair, electronic tinkering, and even in-house cellphone repair shops in some select locations, this was not enough.

    Right now, there are rumors of Radio Shack employees ‘released from service’, with mass closings of stores very, very soon.

    There has always been a love-hate relationship with Radio Shack with the DIY and tinkerer community.

    Even CEO Can’t Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business,2190/

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Investigating the Future of Brick and Mortar Photography Stores

    What is happening to physical photography stores in the age of online shopping? U.K. Amateur Photographer magazine news editor Chris Cheesman went out to investigate and came back with some interesting points.

    Photographers love equipment and they love trying it and holding it in their hands before they buy it. They also love talking to professional sale people who knows what they are talking about and give solid advice.

    Besides the increase of competition from online stores such as Amazon and e-bay, the industry as a whole had to face a very steep decline in sales. As we reported recently, in 2013 there was a dramatic drop in sales of cameras across the world of about 50% with a pretty steep decline even in DSLR and lenses which have been less influenced by the mobile revolution (smartphones have literally destroyed most of the compact camera market in recent years).

    In the past year we have seen several photography stores and chains closing down both in Europe and in the U.S. and this trend will probably continue. Unless physical stores will find a way to compete with online stores for prices they will find themselves out of business – a sad reality since photographers want and need the option to try gear before they buy and get professional advice from people who live and breathe photography.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Associated Press:
    RadioShack files for bankruptcy, will sell 2,400 of 4,000 stores; Sprint may create retail outlets in up to 1,750 stores

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    There is least two kind of sales: Just Forwarding Service type (buy “nice cartons” and resend these to buyers) and then some kind of professional sales where also seller know something about what he sell.

    Customers can select what they want. Some want more than some other.

    In many business area we can slowly learn what this “lowest price win” really means.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The End of the World is Here (for Radio Shack)

    A reporter from Bloomberg BusinessWeek called this a “slow motion bankruptcy” and pointed out that analysts expected it years ago, with some speculating it could — or should — have happened in the 1990s.

    The purpose of this blog is not to say “I told you so,” but rather to look at the forces in play and consider what this means for the electronics community.

    As I’ve pointed out before on, there is no shortage of online places to get all the components you need professionally and personally, with Digi-Key perhaps being the poster site for how the industry has changed. In fact, the wealth of electronic components, software, tools, and data that we can get online is truly staggering. New (relative to Radio Shack and Digi-Key) sites like Adafruit, Sparkfun, MakerShed, Upverter, and Octopart have changed our buying behavior forever, because the web opens up a vastly larger world than any brick and mortar retailer could offer.

    My wider point is that we have so much more access to great hardware than ever before and the human aspect of design isn’t going away. In fact, there are more hardware meet-ups, hackathons, and local Maker Faires than ever before. So it’s “goodbye” to the Shack, but “hello” to new face-to-face events that will inspire more electronic design, especially given the potential of the “Internet of Things.” Just make sure to order your board and hardware a couple of days in advance.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RadioShack lists 1,800 stores facing the axe across America
    You’ve got questions, we’ve no longer got any answers

    Bankrupt headphones and USB memory stick chain RadioShack has posted the complete list of 1,784 shops it hopes to close across America.

    RadioShack hopes to sell off all the stock held at its doomed stores, which are due to close for the last time by March 31.

    The company has not said how many employees will lose their jobs. RadioShack stores that are independently owned, and international franchises, will not be affected.

    News of the closure of RadioShack after more than 90 years of business is prompting bouts of nostalgia.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Why don’t you buy from foreign sites?’ asks Commish, snapping on the gloves
    Competition Commissioner announces e-commerce probe

    The European Commission is to probe the e-commerce sector to find out why people aren’t buying across borders.

    According to the Commish, despite half of all EU consumers shopping online, only around 15% of them bought from a seller based in another EU country. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager suspects that: “It’s often the companies themselves that undermine cross-border trade by erecting technical barriers, such as geo-blocking. Geo-blocking prevents consumers from accessing certain websites on the basis of their residence, or credit-card details.”

    However, while announcing the sector investigation, she added: “Some barriers [to a digital single market] are due to public policies.” But the enquiry will focus on private – and in particular contractual – barriers to cross-border e-commerce in digital content and goods.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Amazon files first-ever suit over fake product reviews, alleging sites sold fraudulent praise

    Amazon has filed suit against the alleged operators of sites that offer Amazon sellers the ability to purchase fake 4- and 5-star customer reviews of their products.

    The case is part of a broader effort by the company to crack down on fake reviews.

    “While small in number, these reviews threaten to undermine the trust that customers, and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers, place in Amazon, thereby tarnishing Amazon’s brand,” the suit says. “Amazon strictly prohibits any attempt to manipulate customer reviews and actively polices its website to remove false, misleading, and inauthentic reviews.

    “Despite substantial efforts to stamp out the practice, an unhealthy ecosystem is developing outside of Amazon to supply inauthentic reviews,” the suit adds. “Defendants’ businesses consist entirely of selling such reviews.”

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RadioShack Demise Could Signal the Rise of Mom-and-Pop

    No matter how you feel about RadioShack, for many hackers it was the one place that components could be sourced locally. Upon hearing that the stores are being shuttered (at least for those seeking non-cellphone items) we wondered if someone would rise to meet the maker market. The answer may actually be mom-and-pops — independent stores owned by people passionate about hacking and making.

    [Martin Bogomolni] is hard at work launching his brick and mortar store called Tinker & Twist.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Will YOU be living in a cardboard box under the motorway in five years?
    One in four will be out of business, predicts ball-starer Huawei

    Chinese kit-maker Huawei reckons one in four resellers will be out of business inside the next half a decade, such is the dwindling shelf life for the classic man-in-the-middle model.

    A report outlining the company’s strategy predicted: “Within next five years, one fourth of the channels will disappear, and the remaining channels will have to transform themselves from a distribution type into a more competent type [of business].”

    A spokesman singled out IBM, Cisco and HP as relying too much on resellers and failing to customise services for their clients. Resellers account for 75 per cent of HP’s sales and 90 per cent of Cisco’s top line.

    “If [vendors] rely on this model to do their business, in this competitive market, they may become extinct.”

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Amazon Debuts Free Shipping on Small Goods, No Minimum Order Inc. is introducing free shipping on thousands of popular, smaller items — makeup, mobile phone accessories, earplugs — in its Web store, without requiring a minimum order.

    The new initiative applies to all customers, including those not enrolled in Amazon Prime, the annual membership program that includes two-day shipping, the company said on Tuesday. Amazon is using the free shipping program to target cost-conscious shoppers, a group that EBay Inc. is courting.

    “Maybe the thinking is they can break even on these transactions and that’s all they really need to do,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. “That fits the Bezos playbook.”

    Most of the inventory will come from hundreds of third-party merchants that give Amazon a cut of each sale for handling storage, packaging, delivery and customer service. It is Amazon’s latest move as an online marketplace and logistics company connecting buyers and sellers.

    Offering free delivery of low-cost items is a move to gain market share from competitors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., but it won’t help Amazon become profitable, Mulpuru said.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Radio Shack Returns

    In February 2015, Radio Shack–an icon in American malls and towns–filed for bankruptcy. You could say a lot of critical things about Radio Shack, but in many parts of the country, it was the only place you were going to go find electronic components on short notice. A lot of people of a certain age got their exposure to electronics via Radio Shack kits and parts.

    Radio Shack did close a lot of stores. In fact, from 4,000 stores they are down to about 1,700. A New York hedge fund named Standard General bought all the Radio Shack assets and formed a new company (also called, oddly enough, Radio Shack).

    According to news reports, the new company will grow more online sales but also wants to take advantage of the do-it-yourself niche, which has certainly be on the rise in the last few years.

    We wish Radio Shack the best.


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