If you have a new HDTV set and are looking to hook up some glorious Blu-ray or PS3 goodness you know that you will have to run to the store and purchase one special component not bundled with any device shipping in quantity: an HDMI cable.
Unlike the days of old when you could run into your local Radio Shack and pickup whatever cheap cables they had on hand and make the new device work, in today’s digital era you are treated the one of the greatest fleecings in modern retail sales history. You see, Monster, the cable provider of over-priced and over-hyped speaker cables from days past has moved in and pushed just about every other provider of HDMI cables off the shelves, leaving only their own brand at the most outrageous prices. And the problem is that retailers gladly let them do this because the margins (that’s the money retailers actually make on each good sold) can be 50%, 100%, even 200% on these cables. Typical devices like TV’s and cameras sometimes net the retailer less than 10% margin.
I don’t begrudge Monster on pushing their cables on the unsuspecting and clueless at the store, that is their business after all. My problem is that their retail strategy has pushed every other provider of similar products to do similarly stupid things, like raise the price for the same product. Don’t believe me about nearly all of the cables being the same regardless of price? Go look at this article on Gizmodo and tell me that you don’t cringe after reading how badly we’re getting ripped off.
The point to this whole story is this: I had to have a new HDMI cable for some new hardware at home, I can’t go get the cheap cables because they simply don’t exist locally any more, and I got ripped off to the tune of $22.99 for a $5 cable. Next time no matter how badly I need one of these things, I’m headed to Monoprice where saner heads (and prices) reign.