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Old 01-22-2016, 10:32 PM
 
Location: New England
628 posts, read 799,715 times
Reputation: 1138

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I lost the HDMI cable that I use to connect my computer to the TV--not a thing I need to use often, but once in a while I need it. So off I went to Target, and they had the thing on the shelf at $17.50. That seemed pretty high, so I didn't buy it and went and looked for it on eBay. And there were vendors selling the cable for 99 cents, shipping included--in fact you get 2 cables in a packet for that price. I ordered a package, it came in less than a week and it works fine. Of course it's made in China, but I bet Target's one was too. I just can't understand how they can put 2 of these things in an envelope and ship it to me for less than a buck. Of course I want to be frugal, but who's making any money there?
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Old 01-22-2016, 11:16 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 20,786,319 times
Reputation: 8928
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amontillado View Post
I lost the HDMI cable that I use to connect my computer to the TV--not a thing I need to use often, but once in a while I need it. So off I went to Target, and they had the thing on the shelf at $17.50. That seemed pretty high, so I didn't buy it and went and looked for it on eBay. And there were vendors selling the cable for 99 cents, shipping included--in fact you get 2 cables in a packet for that price. I ordered a package, it came in less than a week and it works fine. Of course it's made in China, but I bet Target's one was too. I just can't understand how they can put 2 of these things in an envelope and ship it to me for less than a buck. Of course I want to be frugal, but who's making any money there?

Oh yes, eBay is a great source of CHEAP electronic accessories. Phone chargers, power adapters, you name it.

The brick and mortar stores charge an arm and leg for the convenience of instant gratification - having it NOW.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,881 posts, read 15,686,931 times
Reputation: 11463
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amontillado View Post
I lost the HDMI cable that I use to connect my computer to the TV--not a thing I need to use often, but once in a while I need it. So off I went to Target, and they had the thing on the shelf at $17.50. That seemed pretty high, so I didn't buy it and went and looked for it on eBay. And there were vendors selling the cable for 99 cents, shipping included--in fact you get 2 cables in a packet for that price. I ordered a package, it came in less than a week and it works fine. Of course it's made in China, but I bet Target's one was too. I just can't understand how they can put 2 of these things in an envelope and ship it to me for less than a buck. Of course I want to be frugal, but who's making any money there?
Nobody is making any money "there" (as in, in your transaction).

These companies aren't in business to make money selling cheap electronics, they're in business to make money selling mailing lists with their customers' contact information and details about their purchases.

Look for both your mailbox and your inbox to start filling up with junk mail soon.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Central IL
13,488 posts, read 7,200,598 times
Reputation: 31314
slickdeals.com shows sales for these all the time for $1-$3 depending on length...you may have to add s&h. The markup on cables of all kinds is outrageous - ALWAYS shop around. Ebay is good in general but remember, stuff shipping from China will be cheap but sometimes takes weeks to arrive so double-check before you buy.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:30 AM
 
286 posts, read 98,139 times
Reputation: 432
Places like eBay and online sites don't have the same overhead, they can charge much less and still make money. I was always leery of buying from online places that had the same products that cheap, I figured they were probably worthless, good to know that it worked well for you.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Carmichael, CA
1,939 posts, read 2,743,454 times
Reputation: 2924
This reminds me of when they were switching the light bulbs to the twisty kind (which I still don't use) and the outrageous prices.

I found a website where you could order lightbulbs--in pallets of 100,000 bulbs. The old kind were $.03 each, the new kind were $.08 each. But a 4-pack of the old kind could be found for $.99 and the new kind were going then for over $10.00.

So prices weren't costs, they were market-driven. You "have to have that" and the price is set accordingly.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,459,538 times
Reputation: 7702
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amontillado View Post
I lost the HDMI cable that I use to connect my computer to the TV--not a thing I need to use often, but once in a while I need it. So off I went to Target, and they had the thing on the shelf at $17.50. That seemed pretty high, so I didn't buy it and went and looked for it on eBay. And there were vendors selling the cable for 99 cents, shipping included--in fact you get 2 cables in a packet for that price. I ordered a package, it came in less than a week and it works fine. Of course it's made in China, but I bet Target's one was too. I just can't understand how they can put 2 of these things in an envelope and ship it to me for less than a buck. Of course I want to be frugal, but who's making any money there?
Several reasons.

1. China Post subsidizes the shipping charges.

2. They cut out a lot of the middle men. You are buying it directly from a guy who bought it from the Chinese factory. The factory it’s self might be the ones selling it. In which case there are no middle men at all. You are getting the same price, as if you were in China and picked it up at the factory, yourself.

3. You get what you pay for. Some Chinese products are worthless crap. Keep in mind that if you get a defective product, it probably won’t be economically feasible to ship in back to China. But then you are only out 99˘ anyway.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:22 PM
 
2,670 posts, read 2,832,689 times
Reputation: 2140
I've had good and bad luck with super cheap stuff on eBay...read the reviews of course (but with care and suspicion) , and be prepared for some junk occasionally not worth returning...but that's true in many places when dealing with cheap stuff. Sometimes shipping cost exceeds product cost and takes many weeks to arrive...sometimes broken etc. Returning would only add to frustration...but giving a negative feedback has some value. I wouldn't rely on these sources for mission/life critical type items. Buyer beware...

I have found good reliable sources that include: Monoprice.com they sell (usually) good stuff at reasonable prices. They have many interesting things besides wires and connectors. I often buy specials at Meritline® and of course Amazon...and others depending on the item.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:56 PM
 
206 posts, read 156,181 times
Reputation: 135
Lots on Ebay is 10-20% of US prices. All these are shipped from china anyway. So with ebay, you just buy direct....Never had a complaint as is same stuff Walmart is selling.

Ebay is great for electronic's accessories as it is 10-20% of US prices.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
8,767 posts, read 8,984,960 times
Reputation: 12238
It's tough to mess up an HDMI cable. It's s digital signal transmitting 1's and 0's, so picture quality tends to not suffer with lesser cables. It's not line component cables where cable quality does matter.

Back when HD TV's were kjust coming into popularity and becoming mainstream, the big box stores would sell HDMI cables for $100+ or so. You'd shell out $1500-2500 for a TV back then, and then need a $150 wall-mount and $100 HDMI cables.

Now they are cheap. You can get wall-mounts for $30 and HDMI cables all over for $1-3 depending on length.

I've gotten my stuff from Monoprice.com
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