Update on my previous shopping post. One 6′ HDMI cable, Wii component video cables, and Wii sensor bar have been ordered. The Wii parts should arrive this week, and the HDMI cable next week. Last night, I picked up a simple indoor TV antenna at Big Lots. Grand total? $15.77, and that includes VA sales tax on the antenna.
For comparison, in the local brick-and-mortar stores the lowest prices I could find were:
- $12 for a 6ft HDMI cable (at Big Lots)
- $18 for Wii component video cables (at a video game store, more on this in a minute)
- $10 for a Wii sensor bar (wireless only, there were no wired ones to be found)
So, I could have gotten my system working yesterday, but it would have cost me nearly three times as much money. In addition, the sensor bar is not what I want – I have no plans on moving things around once it’s set up, so the only thing a wireless bar will do is make me have to spend money on batteries. Amazon has a wired one available, the local stores don’t, and I can get what I want for less than half the price ($4.30) from Amazon.
Now, back to those Wii component cables, and the video game store. I noticed something when I was looking there – they were charging $20 for used cables, and $18 for new ones. Yes, they were charging more for used cables in a zip lock bag than for new ones in an unopened package. WTF is up with that? I walked out of the store at that point.
Ironically, that was still the lowest brick-and-mortar price I found. Everywhere else wanted $25 – $35 for “premium” cables. Now, as I mentioned before, component video is analog, so cable quality can make a difference. But there is a threshold where the signal just doesn’t get any clearer, meaning that “good enough” for a clean signal is as good as you’re going to get. If the $5.33 cables are “good enough”, it’s not worth spending $20 – $30 more, because it won’t get any better.
So, despite my desire to support local businesses, Amazon is so much cheaper in this case that there was just no way to justify buying locally.
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