I’m dying to edit this video I shot over the weekend, but my new laptop doesn’t have a firewire port. I figured they might be expensive at ‘big box electronic store’ (name witheld to protect their good — actually best — name) but it was on the way home so I gave it a shot. I spoke to their ‘nerd squad’ person who was actually quite helpful and knowledgeable. He came back with a generic PC card that would’ve worked, but I would’ve also needed to buy a new cable because my camera has a different cable interface. Of course, they had a cable. The total: $60 for the card and $30 for the cable.
I knew the sales guy was knowledgeable when he clearly felt bad about telling me the total cost. But he’d been trained in retail; don’t solve the problem the best way, solve it with what you have on the shelf, and hopefully push accessories.
I might have bought that card for $30, because everyone and their mom manufactures pc components now. Good cards go for $60, and this wasn’t a good card, but at least their attempt was a little legit. But $30 for a cable? I’ve seen and owned a wide assortment of cables in my lifetime, and I can tell you that unless a cable is more than 50 feet long or is tethering an astronaut to the space shuttle, it isn’t worth 30 bucks.
When did every retail store on the planet start marking up all accessories 400%? Most stores don’t even order small replacement parts, like light bulbs, springs, etc. Go to a watch store and they’ll tell you to buy a new watch band because they don’t want to sell you a 5 cent spring. Or, they’ll tell you they can only install the spring themselves for $7 because of “liability”. Stores don’t want to sell you small parts, they don’t want to stock them, and they don’t want to order them. And they do this in the name of better service.