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February 25, 2009


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I would have to disagree with your view on apple products. They are more intuitive and better built than PC based products and last 3x as long on avg. U must be a PC user!

One other thing that came to mind:

Electronics or Cell Phone accessories in general - get them from eBay to save a ton over Best Buy or other big-box stores

I'm also a fan of Apple products and although I do agree that they're highly priced I do think they're worth it. I also think it seems unfair of the author to pick out Apple as a specific brand when the same would apply to just about any other high-end manufacturer in any industry (e.g., BMW or Mercedes in cars, Subzero in fridges, Bugaboo strollers, etc.). It comes off more like the author has a specific grudge against Apple rather than offering useful advice.

This is a fantastic list. I'm with you on #6. Apple products are great, and I have a Macbook myself, but the accessories are very overpriced. I'd also include printer ink cartridges on your list. Per ounce, the cost of printer ink dwarfs bottled water by a mile.

Some things I would quibble about:
#7 - Not everyone owns a scanner!

#13 - I still prefer reading words on paper to on a computer monitor. Long periods of time spent reading magazine articles online give me headaches and make me nauseous. Plus not all content is always available online. Most magazines are less than a $1 an issue, which to me is well worth the price. Bottom line: I'm not giving up my print subscription to the New Yorker anytime soon.

Whether Apple "primary" products are overpriced is one of those "taste" issues; I'm a PC guy myself. But it's true that Apple upgrade parts are wildly overpriced. For example, Apple-branded RAM is identical to PC ram, but can cost several times as much.

As for magazines, I only get one hardcopy magazine - The Economist - so I can read it at the table, on the train, or on the "throne" :)

I take my wife's car (Honda Accord) to the dealership to get serviced. It's 10 years old so it has nothing to do with the warranty. They just give as good of prices as other independent shops, plus they always wash it. I've been happy with them.

I also continue to take my car to the dealership. It's 12 years old and I bought it used from them when it was 3 years old. I go there because I know that they will fix my car right the first time. Once I had a weird problem with the ignition and the AAA Car Care center kept my car for 3 days and it still wasn't fixed properly. I then had it towed to the dealership and they correctly diagnosed the problem within an hour. Of course it cost a little more at the dealership than AAA but had I taken it to them originally, I would have gotten my car back in a day instead 3. I've also had bad experiences with quick oil change places so the reduced price just isn't worth it to me.

Also, they have other conveniences such as loaner cars and internet service (so that I can continue to work while I wait) that are worth it to me. My car dealership is very service oriented and they always call to followup after my appointments which I think is pretty impressive since I'm not a "new car" customer.

Remember that the article specified Apple branded ACCESSORIES. Their products are top quality, but their accessories are definitely overpriced.

It reminds me of going to Best Buy and buying a competitively priced TV. Then the salesman sells you an HDMI cable for $75. The same HDMI cable you can buy online at Monoprice for under $10. I would never buy an accessory from Best Buy. They sell primary products at mostly competitive prices but up-charge their accessories through the roof.

Seconding WiseMoneyMatters. The list mentions apple accessories, not specifically products. Take earbuds for example: the Apple branded earbuds that "squish" into your ear are $79 on the apple store while a par of Sennheiser CX300-B Earbuds (Black) are $22 on Amazon. The Sennheiser's are the top hit on Amazon for earbuds so they should be pretty good.

WiseMoneyMatters is also dead-on recommending monoprice too.

6 -- I'm proud to say I got both my ipods from raffles =)
Actually, I do have a complaint regarding their laptop power cords, have you looked at the price of those? Ugh...
13 -- It seems there's almost always a good deal every month or so for really cheap subscriptions...
15 -- I don't know about that one, the selection and quality is sooo much better at florists... (Plus the mix-n'-matching!)

Great list. Some things are overpriced but we still might choose to buy them ... like a cup of coffee on the road, a magazine subscription -- or, apparently, Apple accessories!

I disagree about service at our Subaru dealership. We have compared prices several times and they are really competitive. And once we got service done at a place up the street from us, great recommendations from neighborhood folks, and they put on aftermarket brakes that didn't work with our vehicle, began burning up 1,000 miles later, and required me to spend a day of our California vacation sitting in the (Subaru dealership) getting the right brakes put on -- for an additional $200 and a lost vacation day. Both the brakes and I were burned up ...

I think the big thing within all of these is the service and convenience factor. Sure, it is cheaper to make your own coffee at home, but you may be out to dinner and decide that a cup would make a nice compliment to your dinner. The same thing with a bottle of water, it's not always possible to bring your own(think concerts, airports etc). You are paying for the convenience. I agree that in most ways you can cut back on your convenience factors and be more competitive with how and where you shop, but it's not always possible.

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