But this logic is mudheaded, for the simple reason that the customer has no reason to even bother with showrooming when prices are comparable.
- I was going to buy a Logitech Squeezebox (click here). Yup, I've seen the item a couple dozen times in nearby Best Buy store ... so when my old Grace Wi-Fi radio started acting funky, it was time to upgrade. On Logitech's website, the item sells for $179.99.
- Best Buy also offers the item for $179.99 (click here). I can get free shipping, but of course, I'll pay 8% sales tax, so the net price is going to be around $194.00. And, I can tack on a four year protection plan for just $34.99, if I so desire.
- Or I can visit Amazon.com, where guess what? I can buy the item via a third party (Tiger Direct) for ... are you ready for this ... $139.99 (click here)!! With no sales tax and $7.50 shipping and handling, I'll only spend $147.49.
Here's a quick poll for loyal readers of The MineThatData Blog. Which price would you prefer to pay for this item?
- Choice A = $194.00.
- Choice B = $147.49.
This is a common-sense pricing issue. Common-sense pricing issues have been around for thousands of years.
- Logitech + Tiger Direct + Amazon Vendor Relationships > Logitech + Best Buy Vendor Relationships.
In other words, somebody at Best Buy is unable to negotiate contracts with Logitech that are as price friendly as the people at Tiger Direct, who seemingly get better pricing from Logitech and then negotiate a good deal with Amazon. I mean, do we really believe that Best Buy is so dumb that nobody at Best Buy ever asked Logitech for permission to have price parity with online brands?
In one case, three companies take home $10 each from younger customers who are price sensitive... in the other case, two companies take home $35 each from older customers who do not use technology to compare prices.
There are four companies involved in this comparison.
- Tiger Direct.
- Best Buy.
Only one of the companies is being run into the ground, and Logitech is helping dig the grave.
This is not a showrooming issue.
This is an issue of offline/online price negotiations between vendors, causing customers to exhibit behavior that makes sure the customer isn't ripped off by one set of price negotiations.