If your local grocery store started selling toothpaste for 5 1/2 times the price you could buy it on the internet, would you keep buying toothpaste at the local store? Probably not $16 per tube for toothpaste doesn’t sound like much fun to me. Yes you are helping the local economy by buying the $16 toothpaste I understand that. But there is a tipping point of helping the local economy and hurting your pocketbook economy and you must be aware of that.
While cruising the local Best Buy I stumbled onto the cable section. Myself knowing what cables should cost about tipped over a Norton Antivirus display while being in shock over the prices Best Buy had posted. Is it really necessary to charge 5 1/2 times what an online competitor charges?
One of the best places to buy cables online is Monoprice.com They have a great selection and the prices can’t be beat. Monoprice has been around since 2002. They specialize in cables, and buy in large volumes so they can get the best prices. If they can get great prices that means the savings can be passed along to you the customer. They are based out of California and have one of the best reputations on the Internet as far as cables are concerned.
Best Buy is a huge company that has been around since 1983. I’m sure they buy in large quantity also, but fail to pass on the savings to you. They do have more overhead with brick and mortar stores, but that is no excuse for the prices they charge.
Monoprice may not be as convenient but here are some of the benefits of shopping at Monoprice.
- 30 day money back guarantee / Easy return / No restocking fee
- 100% safe SSL encrypted shopping (Same as your bank uses)
- 9.59/10 Resellerratings.com Customer Satisfaction Rate
- Lifetime warranty on all cables and non-electronic products
- Free life time tech support
Ebay is another good place to find affordable cables at. I recently found HDMI cables on Ebay to be less expensive than even Monoprice. With Monoprice you have a lifetime warranty and support should you need it, with Ebay you do not.
Lets look at three of the most common cables and the price from Best Buy and the price from Monoprice.com
- Network cable – Network cables used to be the most common way to connect computers together or “plug into” the internet. Wireless has made these cables not as popular but still very important. More than likely you have a network cable right now in between your modem and router.
3′ Cat 5e cable at Best Buy price of $13.99
3′ Cat 5e cable at Monoprice for $0.82 | That’s a price difference of 17 times more.
HDMI cable – HDMI has become the de facto standard in connecting high definition DVD players, HD cable boxes, and gaming consoles to HDTV’s. They deliver HD audio and HD video in one cable. HDMI also introduces an encrypted link between devices to prevent backing up your movies.
6′ HDMI at Best Buy with a price of $24.99
6′ HDMI at Monoprice with a price of $3.50
USB cable – USB cables are important in connecting external hard drives and connecting printers to computers.
6′ USB A to B at Best Buy with a price of $24.99
6′ USB A to B at Monoprice with a price of $1.30
Lets total up the shopping carts of both and see where we end up.
Best Buy 3′ Network cable – $13.99 + Best Buy HDMI cable – $24.99 + Best Buy USB A to B 6′ – $24.99
Total $63.97 + tax $3.83 = $67.80
Monprice 3′ network cable – $0.82 + Monoprice HDMI cable – $3.50 + Monprice USB A to B 6′ – $1.30
Total $5.62 + shipping of $6.25 = $11.87
Thats a total cost difference of $55.93 if you shopped for all three cables at once! You are paying at least 5 1/2 times more when you shop at Best Buy.
Is there a difference in quality? Well check this article out about a blind test using Monster cable and a ordinary coat hanger. The answer is no about the quality difference. Best Buy and Monster cable use fancy plastic packaging and colorful graphics showing how great their cables are. When you get a cable from Monoprice.com it will come in a plastic bag and that is it.
Don’t let anyone tell you that HDMI needs a special high speed / high price cable, it is a digital connection and all cables are created equal as long as they adhere to the HDMI standards for building a cable. The key for cables is to not be in a rush to get a cable. Plan ahead and order your cables from Monoprice or Ebay, you will save yourself a ton of money if you can just plan ahead.