[STD] The Price Is Right At The Right Time

Define STD: STD for The Underground Blog is short for Savvy Tech Dude/Dudette. The STD story is my attempt to share some insight into some of my practices, as well as others as to how they are using technology to make their life better, saving money, or perhaps bettering the environment. (Hopefully, I can find a female contributor… :) )

Frequency of Story: When it feels right.

Personal Comment: I really love the STD idea, and with topics so broad, I can go anywhere with this series. The question is, how far down the rabbit hole do you and I want to go? :P

In the meantime, I encourage all forms of interaction. Please sound off in comments, I’d appreciate it. If you have an idea, or want me to consider something different, I will. If you want to spread the word, be my guest. As time goes along, I’m asking for people to contribute, or if you want to be interviewed (I’ll protect your identity), then we can dig deeper. Please consider my offer, thanks!

Near my house Blockbuster was going out of business. About two weeks ago, it shut down for good, but through this experience I wanted to share a heartfelt story that despite a recession going on, there are still individuals willing to spend money on movies and not have to resort to downloading.  It’s called buying something because its such a ridiculous deal.

So back in December of 2009, I was at this Blockbuster store.  It was going out of business, and the pre-viewed movies were up to %60 off!  I got a copy of Watchmen for a little bit over $5, when the retail price of this movie was $14.99! This wasn’t a bad deal at all!  The sad part was that everything in the store was for sale.  All the posters, movies, and even the store light fixtures had to go!  I didn’t feel so bad, because there were so many movies for a good price that I felt like a kid in a candy store. I wasn’t the only shopper, as there were a lot of other people inside taking a look at what to get.

Now let’s fast forward.  On the very last day of business, I stopped in and I was shocked to see the store very empty.  The movies were up to 80% off and the selection was very slim.  Now I typically would have scoffed and went away, but something caught my eye that I just couldn’t resist.  Long story short, I ended up buying the movie “The Spirit”.  Say what you will about the movie, but I can’t resist comic book type movies.  The price I payed for it after taxes and discounts?  A mere .94 cents!  Yes, and the retail pre-viewed movie price was $14.99 before tax.

The funny part about this is I had downloaded the movie months earlier and it was sitting on my Xbox and I never got a chance to watch it.  Here I am months later legitimately buying the movie for less than a dollar.  So where am I going with this whole story?

Back in December, I really contemplated whether or not to go into Blockbuster and buying a movie or not. One part of me said: “Well, you can go to redbox, rent a movie for a dollar, and rip it to a blank DVD for a mere 10 cents or so. ”  From that aspect, it seemed enticing, but then you have to think about the overhead as well.  Driving to the store to rent the DVD, then going back home, ripping it, and the time involved with the whole process.  By the time I return the movie to the redbox kiosk, it would have been more than $1 worth of gas for sure.

Lucky for me, this Blockbuster is on the way to work so I wasn’t losing anything by driving past it day by day.  I decided that Watchmen for $5 was a good deal, and I will tell you why. When the movie first came out, people went to see this movie where ticket prices ranged easily starting at $8 depending on where you live. By my house, its $9.  Sure, if you could wait maybe you can see it at the $3 theater.  Nonetheless, new DVD and Blu ray movies of Watchmen was at least $15.  The fact that I saved $10 alone was enough justification to purchase the movie.  The silliest part of it all?  I had already downloaded a 900 MB .MP4 version of this movie earlier, but I wanted something tangible.

I respected the movie, and the amount of hard work into it, so with these reasons alone I bought the movie.  When I was there on the last day, I figured buying a movie for less than a $1 was practically a steal, no matter how good or bad the movie was.  In short, I could always sell it for more than a dollar to some fool so already I am ahead of the game. 🙂

The point of the story is people do buy stuff even if they could find it online for free.  People will continue to see Avatar in theatres although it is leaked all over the Internet.  There are gamers who downloaded Mass Effect 2 six days ahead of release just to get a head start on the game, although they pre-ordered it months ago.  If you know where to look, you can have the price of a certain item work in your favor.  It is all about timing.

One final example:  Recently I purchased a 500GB SATA hard drive off of Craigslist.  Can you guess the price?  At the store, it ranges from $50 up to $90 USD depending where you look.  There were people selling 160GB hard drive for at least 50 or 60 USD. The price I got for my slightly used 500 GB SATA?  Try $30 USD!  Yup, I could not believe it.  The only reason I got lucky was I was searching for hard drives one particular weekend, and the poster put up his post the day before. If I waited a week, I am sure that hard drive would be gone and that my friend would have been a badass deal to miss.

As you can see, there are a lot of stuff in life worth buying. It’s just about timing, and if you know how to use the Internet in your favor, you can find a great price for that thing you want to badly.

How about you?  Ever had time and price work in your favor?  Let’s hear about it!

Posted on January 28, 2010, in STD Story and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Yeah, I was gonna comment on your Splinter Cell vid for tunngle, but since you posted this, I might as well do it here.
    A year ago I got SC – Chaos Theory for 270 Denars (currency in Macedonia) which is roughly about $6. Since I didn’t know anything about Tunngle back then, I bought it to play co-op, and it was a pretty sweet deal. I also saw Crysis for like $15, but since I have bought a pirated version of it (and it is playable online) I didn’t really need it, so I didn’t buy it.

  2. Well on the day after the release of Modern Warfare 2, Sainbury’s and Tesco (Supermarkets in the UK =p) were selling the game for £26 while stock last!!
    Next day it was all gone……..but luckily i bought it after going out to buy a pint of milk.

  3. How about the free X-box I snagged off Craigslist (with Modchip). A trick to better your craigslist timing…grab the RSS ticker add-on for firefox. Just click the RSS icon in your address bar when you’re in a craigslist category, and setup the extension to refresh like every 2 minutes. You then see the deals pretty much as soon as they are posted on CL right in the top of your web browser. This way you get the good stuff before everyone else.

    • Jesus, this is a great STD tip!

      More importantly, how did you get a free X-box? Nothing in life is free.

      • Some random dude in town just didn’t have any use for it anymore and didn’t have the power cord for it ($5 at the local used video game store). Just like you said, it’s all about timing. I saw his post the minute it showed up and called him immediately.

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