Adventures in Stupidity: Retail Edition

There are some things in life that I just can’t understand. How corporations determine prices for products is one of those. I was surfing a computer manufacturer’s site today and I started to configure a system. I had the following options for a monitor.

  • 17 inch E773 (16 inch viewable) Conventional CRT
  • 15 inch E153F
  • P Analog Flat Panel [add $129 or $4/month1]
  • 17 inch E173FP Analog Flat Panel [add $229 or $7/month1]
  • Refurbished 17 inch E773 (16 inch viewable) Conventional CRT [subtract $31]
  • No monitor [subtract $20]

Notice that I can save $31 by selecting a refurbished monitor over a new one. Notice also that I only save $20 if I decide I don’t want any monitor at all. Of course I will never understand how Dell can justify the fact that it costs me less money to have them send me a refurbished monitor than to not take a monitor at all. Are they telling me that their monitors are so bad that they will give me $11 more off of my computer to rid them of it than to simply not take one at all? Granted, I’m going to pay a little more for shipping on a 17″ CRT, but seriously, what’s going on here? Retail is a strange business, but I can’t really see how logically this is better for Dell to give away an asset, let alone pay you to take it off their hands.

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