Dell recently announced that it will make its offers simpler for its PC, peripheral, and consumer electronic products. Over the next year and a half, they intend to reduce the number of rebates, special discounts, and other promotional offers by 80 percent. The net price is expected to remain about the same, but it will be easier for buyers to figure out what that is.
Dell’s announcement is like a cool breeze on a hot August day. As one who reads lots of ads and promotional material for HDTVs, I welcome the move toward simple pricing statements. Have you read a flyer from Best Buy or Circuit City or some of the other major retailers lately? The price for a given product might be shown as $3,199.99, but then you’ll see that there’s $275 “instant savings“. You then have to read even finer print to determine whether that discount is already calculated in the published price, or whether you have to deduct it yourself to get the final price. And don’t even get me started on the “free $100 gift card” that you get when you buy some products at some stores.
Buying an HDTV is confusing enough without retailers going out of their way to make it more difficult to figure out the price you will pay. As far as I’m concerned, Dell has taken a big step in the right direction and I hope that other retailers are inclined to follow suit.