Thursday, 27 March 2008

Camera shy

I have recently discussed in this very blog how one should not pay much attention to anything coming out of the mouth of a salespersons trying to sell you a camera. Well, it seems the lesson applies to buying a webcam just as well. Given my experience with home theater and hi-fi shopping, this insight probably applies to any purchase of items that one is not normally exposed to.
This time the story begins with my sister, whom I recently managed to convince into Skype. However, I wasn't convincing enough to make her get a webcam to enable us to see her, so Jo and I have decided to do something about it.
We happened to be at a shopping mall so we stepped into a Harvey Norman to see what they have in the webcam department. After talking to the sales guy there, we noticed the cheapest webcam they had on offer costs $80 and the average webcam was $130. We were surprised to see people are willing to spend that much on a webcam, but the guy made it sound as if that's what one needs to spend in order to get a webcam. As in, there are no cheaper alternatives out there.
I knew better, so we went to MSY the next day and got ourselves (or rather, my sister) a Logitech for $21. Somewhat less than what Mr Harvey and his pal Mr Norman wanted, and sporting enough quality for what Skype can deliver over the type of internet connections my sister and I have.
Now I often speak in this blog about the negative effects of ignorance, and many times the response is along the lines of "well, it doesn't really matter". Well, here is an example where it clearly does matter because it hurts our pockets: people who do not know any better and who fall for the advertising barrage of Harvey Norman ("we won't be beaten on price" my ass) will go there and spend themselves $130 in order to get something they could have gotten for $100 less if they weren't ignorant.
This blog will continue doing its best to open peoples' eyes.

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