Originally Posted by MrEastSide
I was just picking a random price point as an example. For the most part, when any receiver finally becomes available online, you can usually get it for $500 or more cheaper on the internet versus a local store (most of the time). I'm all for supporting local businesses, but I just don't have hundreds of extra dollars to throw around on everything I buy just to support local businesses who want to charge 60% or more above cost on an item.
Sadly, local shops are a dying breed and that's only going to continue. Consumers shop for the best prices. It's simple ecomomics. People want to save money and get the best prices. I'm sure when you grocery shop, you try to go to stores that have decent prices. You don't just go spend 50% more at a local store for your milk and eggs just to support said local store, same goes for me and my electronics.
That said, I'm enjoying the hell out of my SC-35 that I got for $900 dollars below MSRP!
Actually, I do pay more and shop from local, independent stores, although there are limits on the difference I will pay. Why? Because if those local stores go under, the economy of where I live goes under. Also, if I buy from out of state, my local area doesn't get the sales tax. That goes to pay for schools, roads, cops, etc. People buy from some fly-by-night online retailer to save a few bucks, but they get hurt in the long run. Sales tax revenue goes down and then people wonder why the politicians want to raise taxes or lay off teachers. People need to understand that when they make decisions like that, it has impacts. I don't want all my money to wind up in Seattle.
Now I happen to be lucky, because here in New York City, there are large, independent electronics stores (like J&R and B&H) that also have good prices. So I don't have to order online and I don't have to buy from a lousy big box chain store. I realize that some people don't have those choices. But the age of the shopping mall killed Main Street and the age of buying online is killing the local mall and the jobs and business that goes with it. Do we really want to live in an environment of boarded up stores and abandoned commercial centers everywhere? Because that's where we're headed.
And it's unlikely that anyone is charging 60% above cost. Margins were never that high and they used to be far higher than they are today. Manufacturers have been cutting markup for years. Most electronics today have a 10% markup (whereas back in the 1970s, when I worked in audio retail, we would offer a 30% discount off our already discounted prices just for buying a "system" - that would be impossible today). When you see big discounts, it's really because the manufacturers are offering "instant rebates", which is really the manufacturer reducing the "list price" in order to clear product. The SC35 is now inexpensive at a lot of stores because it's last year's model and Pioneer is clearing them out.
The online retailers who offer impossibly low prices are either shams (they'll cancel your order unless you buy a warranty and accessories you don't need) or they're operating their business like a supermarket: no facilities and a 3% net business. I admit that sometimes I'm enticed to buy from them, but in the end, I usually buy from a totally legit source or locally. And anything big, like cameras or major electronics, I've only bought locally.
End of rant.