Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff: 80% Markups

Ever wonder why gadget store employees push Monster cables like they’re crack? Bitchin’ markups, just like you suspected (or knew) all along. That’s what we found when a Radio Shack employee sent us his store’s entire inventory list, which included the wholesale and retail price of every item in stock.

UPDATE: Monster Responds To “Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff” Story

Some cables, like the 19ft HDMI-DVI cable, have markups as high as 80%. Retail: $179.99. Wholesale, $99.40, a profit of $80.54. Or consider the 16 ft S-Video cable, which Radio Shack buys for $61.24 and sells for $114.99. We found non-name brand versions of both on Meritline.com for under $20. It’s not just limited to Radio Shack, Best Buy charges the same retail price, and, presumably, gets them for a similar wholesale price.

Here’s the thing: digital cables, by definition, have no signal loss. A cable is either digital or it’s not. As long as its built to HDMI standards, the only difference between a “fancy” digital cable and a no-name one is the price.

The worst part isn’t really the markup. Stereo equipment routinely has markups of 80 to 100 to 200% by the time it hits the shelves. It’s the initial inflated price, and how gadget stores try to push the cables so hard, telling people that Monster cables offer superior picture and sound then what you would get with another cable. But that simply isn’t the case. Our sister site Gizmodo ran a battery of tests and found Monster cables are for the most part, completely unnecessary. (see The Truth About Monster Cable – Grand Finale (Part III), HDMI Cable Battlemodo Resumes, The Truth About Monster Cable, Part 2 (Verdict: Cheap Cables Keep Up…Usually), and The Truth About Monster Cable).

Our recommendation? Buy generic digital cables on Monoprice.com, Meritline.com, eBay, or other places online. If you’re the type who wants Gucci-brand cables, then god bless, and at least buy them on eBay. Our tv looks fine without Monsters.

Full price list of Monster products below.

Item | Retail Price | Wholesale Price | Profit Margin

MONSTER 19FT HDMI-DVI | $179.99 | $99.94 | $80.05
MONSTER 8M L 26.24′ | $137.99 | $73.49 | $64.5
MONSTER 19FT HDMI-HDMI CA | $169.99 | $105.5 | $64.49
“MONSTER 21′ STRAIGHT 1/4″”” | $149.99 | $88.87 | $61.12
MONSTER HTS 950 | $149.99 | $90.89 | $59.1
MONSTER SLVR FLAT MNT-37I | $149.99 | $91.44 | $58.55
MONSTER 16FT DVI-DVI CABL | $149.99 | $93.08 | $56.91
MONSTER 13FT HDMI-DVI CAB | $149.99 | $93.08 | $56.91
MONSTER 6M L 19.68′ – COM | $114.99 | $61.24 | $53.75
MONSTER 8′ DIGITAL FIBER | $114.99 | $61.24 | $53.75
MONSTER 25′ SUBWOOFER W/R | $114.99 | $61.24 | $53.75
MONSTER 16′ S-VIDEO CABLE | $114.99 | $61.24 | $53.75
MONSTER ULTRA 8FT HDMI CA | $119.99 | $69.3 | $50.69
MONSTER ULTRA 4FT HDMI CA | $99.99 | $49.5 | $50.49
MONSTER 8FT COMPONENT CAB | $91.99 | $41.6 | $50.39
MONSTER 50′ GOLD XLRS | $119.99 | $71.1 | $48.89
MONSTER 4M L 13.12′ | $103.99 | $55.25 | $48.74
MONSTER 8FT HDMI CABLE | $99.99 | $52.23 | $47.76
MONSTER FLAT SCREEN HDMI | $99.99 | $55.7 | $44.29
MONSTER 20′ GOLD XLR | $129.99 | $86.05 | $43.94
MONSTER HTS1000 MKII SURG | $149.99 | $107.04 | $42.95
MONSTER THX V600 4′ HDMI | $79.99 | $38.23 | $41.76
MONSTER THX 600 4FT COMPO | $68.99 | $27.52 | $41.47
“MONSTER 12′ STRAIGHT 1/4″”” | $99.99 | $59.24 | $40.75
MONSTER 4FT HDMI CABLE | $79.99 | $41.78 | $38.21
MONSTER 3FT HDMI-DVI CABL | $99.99 | $62.04 | $37.95
MONSTER 3FT HDMI-HDMI CAB | $99.99 | $62.04 | $37.95
MONSTER 36′ PIECE 10.97M | $84.99 | $47.1 | $37.89
MONSTER 16′ SUBWOOFER W/R | $84.99 | $47.1 | $37.89
MONSTER 19′ RCA ADV AUDIO | $89.99 | $55.83 | $34.16
MONSTER 8′ RCA AUDIO INTE | $74.99 | $41.38 | $33.61
MONSTER 30′ GOLD XLRS | $79.99 | $47.39 | $32.6
MONSTER THX V500 CV-8 | $54.99 | $22.41 | $32.58
MONSTER 24′ PIECE 7.32M | $67.99 | $36.47 | $31.52
MONSTER 6FT HDMI-HDMI CAB | $89.97 | $58.57 | $31.4
MONSTER 10′ GOLD XLR | $74.99 | $44.42 | $30.57
MONSTER 18′ PIECE 5.49M | $57.99 | $28.13 | $29.86
MONSTER 8′ DIGITAL COAX C | $99.99 | $70.31 | $29.68
MONSTER 16′ RCA AUDIO INT | $99.99 | $70.31 | $29.68
MONSTER HTS800 HP SURGE | $99.99 | $70.31 | $29.68
MONSTER 4M OPTICAL CABLE | $64.99 | $35.66 | $29.33
MONSTER 12′ PIECE 3.66M | $64.99 | $35.66 | $29.33
MONSTER 24′ PIECE 7.32M | $79.99 | $51.27 | $28.72
MONSTER RADIOPLAY 300 | $59.99 | $31.9 | $28.09
MONSTER THX V500 CV-4 | $45.99 | $18.35 | $27.64
MONSTER 500 SPEAKER CABLE | $64.99 | $37.47 | $27.52
MONSTER 19FT AUDIO W/RCA | $54.99 | $27.53 | $27.46
“MONSTER 6′ 1/4″” AUDIO CAB” | $54.99 | $27.53 | $27.46
MONSTER 3FT DVI-DVI CABLE | $69.99 | $43.05 | $26.94
MONSTER GAME TO GO MOBILE | $99.99 | $73.15 | $26.84
MONSTER 6M 19.68′ | $51.99 | $25.28 | $26.71
MONSTER 13′ RCA ADV AUDIO | $69.99 | $43.43 | $26.56
MONSTER 18′ PIECE 5.49M | $69.99 | $44.87 | $25.12
MONSTER 4′ DIGITAL COAX C | $62.99 | $38.14 | $24.85
“MONSTER 21′ ANGLED 1/4″” P” | $59.99 | $35.54 | $24.45
MONSTER 1000 SPEAKER CABL | $59.99 | $35.54 | $24.45
MONSTER FLAT SCREEN F-PIN | $49.99 | $25.69 | $24.3
MONSTER HT800 SURGE | $79.99 | $56.24 | $23.75
MONSTER PC800 HP SURGE | $79.99 | $56.24 | $23.75
MONSTER 4M 13.12′ | $45.99 | $22.42 | $23.57
MONSTER 13FT AUDIO W/RCA | $44.99 | $22.22 | $22.77
“MONSTER 21′ STRAIGHT 1/4″”” | $49.99 | $29.61 | $20.38
“MONSTER 21′ 1/4″” PLUGS ” | $49.99 | $29.61 | $20.38
MONSTER 15′ GOLD XLRS | $49.99 | $29.61 | $20.38
MONSTER 50′ PRECISION XLR | $59.99 | $39.7 | $20.29
MONSTER 4FTDIGITAL OPTIC | $35.99 | $16.25 | $19.74
MONSTER SIRIUS HOME ANTEN | $49.99 | $30.31 | $19.68
MONSTER HDMI TO DVI ADAPT | $34.99 | $16 | $18.99
MONSTER DVI TO HDMI ADAPT | $34.99 | $16 | $18.99
MONSTER 6′ RCA ADV AUDIO | $49.99 | $31.01 | $18.98
MONSTER 2M DIGITAL COAX | $49.99 | $31.01 | $18.98
“MONSTER 1M 1/4″” SEND&RETU” | $39.99 | $21.08 | $18.91
MONSTER GAMELINK 450 COMP | $69.99 | $51.2 | $18.79
MONSTER AV800 | $39.97 | $21.42 | $18.55
“MONSTER 12FT ANGLED 1/4″” ” | $44.99 | $26.65 | $18.34
MONSTER 6′ PEICE 1.83M | $34.99 | $16.91 | $18.08
MONSTER 6′ RCA TO 1/8 MIN | $49.99 | $32.04 | $17.95
MONSTER 8M L 26.24′ | $40.99 | $23.08 | $17.91
MONSTER 12FT SUB | $39.99 | $22.32 | $17.67
“MONSTER 4M STEREO 1/4″” PL” | $39.99 | $22.5 | $17.49
MONSTER 4M XLR CONNECTORS | $39.99 | $22.5 | $17.49
“MONSTER 21′ STRAIGHT 1/4″”” | $49.99 | $33.07 | $16.92
MONSTER 400 STEREO RCA TO | $32.99 | $16.51 | $16.48
“MONSTER 400 1/4″” .75M ” | $32.99 | $16.51 | $16.48
MONSTER INSTRUMENT 12′-1/ | $39.99 | $23.69 | $16.3
MONSTER 12′ 1/4 PLUGS | $39.99 | $23.69 | $16.3
MONSTER 10′ GOLD XLRS | $39.99 | $23.69 | $16.3
MONSTER 500 SPEAKER CABLE | $39.99 | $23.69 | $16.3
“MONSTER 10′ STRT 1/4″” PLU” | $39.99 | $23.69 | $16.3
MONSTER 2M OPTICAL CABLE | $44.99 | $28.83 | $16.16
MONSTER 1M S-VID | $29.97 | $13.93 | $16.04
“MONSTER 4M 1/4″” RCA ” | $34.99 | $19.51 | $15.48
“MONSTER 4M RCA-1/4″” ” | $34.99 | $19.51 | $15.48
MONSTER STUDIOLINK 4M 1/4 | $34.99 | $19.51 | $15.48
MONSTER STUDIOLINK 4M RCA | $34.99 | $19.51 | $15.48
MONSTER 500 SPEAKER CABLE | $34.99 | $19.51 | $15.48
MONSTER 100 SPEAKER CABLE | $44.99 | $29.76 | $15.23
MONSTER 3FT ADV AUDIO W/R | $39.99 | $24.8 | $15.19
MONSTER 1.5M L 4.92′ | $28.99 | $14.05 | $14.94
MONSTER TYPE A MALE TO TY | $34.99 | $20.55 | $14.44
MONSTER 6M L 19.68′ – COM | $39.99 | $25.62 | $14.37
MONSTER 4M TRS-TRS CABLE | $34.99 | $20.72 | $14.27
MONSTER 4M XLRM-XLRF CABL | $34.99 | $20.72 | $14.27
“MONSTER 6′ STRAIGHT 1/4″” ” | $34.99 | $20.72 | $14.27
MONSTER 13FT HDMI-HDMI CA | $99.97 | $85.74 | $14.23
MONSTER SIRIUS ANTENNA EX | $44.97 | $31 | $13.97
“MONSTER 2M 1/4″” SEND/RETU” | $44.99 | $31.09 | $13.9
MONSTER PRINTER HIGH SPEE | $39.99 | $26.45 | $13.54
MONSTER KEYBOARD 12′ -1/4 | $39.99 | $26.45 | $13.54
MONSTER 30′ PRECISION XLR | $39.99 | $26.45 | $13.54
“MONSTER 8″” ANGLED 1/4″” PL” | $29.99 | $16.52 | $13.47
“MONSTER 2M STEREO 1/4″” PL” | $29.99 | $16.52 | $13.47
MONSTER GAMELINK 350 S-VI | $49.99 | $36.55 | $13.44
MONSTER GAMELINK 400 COMP | $49.99 | $36.55 | $13.44
MONSTER 3FT AUDIO W/RCA | $26.99 | $13.65 | $13.34
MONSTER 2 HIGH RES VID CA | $34.99 | $22.43 | $12.56
“MONSTER DJ CABLE 4M 1/4″”-” | $29.99 | $17.76 | $12.23
MONSTER DJ CABLE 4M RCA-R | $29.99 | $17.76 | $12.23
MONSTER 4M ANGLED RCA-RCA | $29.99 | $17.76 | $12.23
“MONSTER 8″” ANGLED 1/4″” PL” | $29.99 | $17.76 | $12.23
MONSTER 1000 SPEAKER CABL | $29.99 | $17.76 | $12.23
MONSTER GAMELINK 300 S-VI | $44.99 | $32.9 | $12.09
“MONSTER 2M 1/4″”-RCA ” | $24.99 | $13.52 | $11.47
“MONSTER 2M RCA-1/4″” ” | $24.99 | $13.52 | $11.47
MONSTER STUDIOLINK 2M 1/4 | $24.99 | $13.52 | $11.47
“MONSTER 1M STEREO 1/4″” PL” | $24.99 | $13.52 | $11.47
MONSTER 500 SPEAKER CABLE | $24.99 | $13.52 | $11.47
MONSTER LCD POWER PROTECT | $29.99 | $18.78 | $11.21
MONSTER 2M L 6.56′ | $29.99 | $19.2 | $10.79
MONSTER GAMELINK 300 S-VI | $39.99 | $29.25 | $10.74
MONSTER 2M TRS-TRS CABLE | $24.99 | $14.79 | $10.2
MONSTER 12′ 5 PIN DIN | $24.99 | $14.79 | $10.2
MONSTER PRINTER HIGH SPEE | $29.99 | $19.82 | $10.17
“MONSTER 4M RCA-1/4″” CABLE” | $29.99 | $19.82 | $10.17
MONSTER 100 SPEAKER CABLE | $29.99 | $19.82 | $10.17
MONSTER STUDIOLINK 1M 1/4 | $19.99 | $10.54 | $9.45
MONSTER STUDIOLINK 1M RCA | $19.99 | $10.54 | $9.45
MONSTER STUDIOLINK 1M RCA | $19.99 | $10.54 | $9.45
MONSTER GAMELINK 200 A/V | $34.99 | $25.58 | $9.41
MONSTER MALE DVI-FEM HDMI | $29.97 | $21.06 | $8.91
MONSTER 2M XLRM-XLRF CABL | $24.99 | $16.51 | $8.48
MONSTER 2M XLR CONNECTORS | $24.99 | $16.51 | $8.48
“MONSTER 21′ STRAIGHT 1/4″”” | $24.99 | $16.51 | $8.48
MONSTER 15′ PRECISION XLR | $24.99 | $16.51 | $8.48
“MONSTER 2M RCA-1/4″” CABLE” | $19.99 | $11.83 | $8.16
MONSTER DJ CABLE 2M RCA-R | $19.99 | $11.83 | $8.16
MONSTER 1M TRS-TRS-CABLE | $19.99 | $11.83 | $8.16
MONSTER STUDIOLINK 2M RCA | $19.99 | $11.83 | $8.16
“MONSTER 8″” 1/4″” PLUG ” | $19.99 | $11.83 | $8.16
MONSTER GAMELINK 200 PS2 | $29.99 | $21.92 | $8.07
MONSTER LIGHTWAVE 100 FIB | $29.99 | $21.92 | $8.07
MONSTER OUTLETS TO GO | $19.99 | $11.97 | $8.02
MONSTER SIRIUS CAR ANTENN | $39.99 | $32.13 | $7.86
MONSTER ICARPLAY 200 | $49.99 | $42.46 | $7.53
MONSTER 10′ PRECISION XLR | $21.99 | $14.53 | $7.46
MONSTER 1M XLR CONNECTROS | $24.99 | $17.78 | $7.21
MONSTER 1M L 3.28′ | $19.99 | $12.79 | $7.2
MONSTER LCD SCREEN CLEAN | $19.99 | $12.95 | $7.04
MONSTER HTS850 SUR | $67 | $59.97 | $7.03
“MONSTER DJ CABLE 2M 1/4″”-” | $19.99 | $13.2 | $6.79
MONSTER 2M ANGLED RCA-RCA | $19.99 | $13.2 | $6.79
MONSTER 1M XLRM-XLRF CABL | $19.99 | $13.2 | $6.79
“MONSTER 8″” ANGLED 1/4″” ” | $19.99 | $13.2 | $6.79
“MONSTER 12′ STRAIGHT 1/4″”” | $19.99 | $13.2 | $6.79
MONSTER 100 SPEAKER CABLE | $19.99 | $13.2 | $6.79
MONSTER 6′ 5 PIN DIN | $19.99 | $13.23 | $6.76
MONSTER STUDIOLINK 1M 1/4 | $19.99 | $13.31 | $6.68
MONSTER 2M S-VID | $26.97 | $20.45 | $6.52
MONSTER DJ CABLE 1M RCA-R | $14.99 | $8.87 | $6.12
MONSTER 1M ANGLED RCA-RCA | $14.99 | $8.87 | $6.12
MONSTER 3′ 5 PIN DIN | $14.99 | $8.87 | $6.12
MONSTER PLX12 AC POWER CO | $19.97 | $14.03 | $5.94
MONSTER GAMELINK STD 100 | $19.99 | $14.6 | $5.39
MONSTER GAMELINK STD 100 | $19.99 | $14.6 | $5.39
MONSTER GAMELINK X-LINK E | $19.99 | $14.6 | $5.39
MONSTER GAMELINK STD 100 | $19.99 | $14.6 | $5.39
MONSTER 7′ USB | $12.97 | $7.83 | $5.14
MONSTER DJ CABLE 1M RCA-1 | $14.99 | $9.9 | $5.09
“MONSTER DL CABLE 1M 1/4″”-” | $14.99 | $9.9 | $5.09
MONSTER 7′ USB CABLE | $19.99 | $14.97 | $5.02
MONSTER 6FT HDMI-DVI CABL | $69.97 | $65.08 | $4.89
MONSTER ICLEAN SCREEN CLE | $14.99 | $10.5 | $4.49
“MONSTER 3′ STRAIGHT 1/4″” ” | $12.99 | $8.58 | $4.41
MONSTER GC COMPOSITE CABL | $19.97 | $15.82 | $4.15
“MONSTER 8″” STRAIGHT 1/4″” ” | $9.99 | $6.59 | $3.4
MONS AUDIO W/RCA | $19.97 | $16.73 | $3.24
MONSTER MINI-AV | $19.97 | $17.91 | $2.06
MONSTER PATOL 49MH | $19.57 | $17.97 | $1.6
MONSTER PATROL 27M | $19.02 | $17.97 | $1.05
MONS 1M COMPONENT | $29.97 | $28.94 | $1.03
MONSTER IEZ CLICK | $9.97 | $9.97 | $0
MONSTER DVI400 2 M DVI CA | $29.97 | $29.97 | $0
MONS 1M OPT CABLE | $19.97 | $19.97 | $0
MONS 2M COMPONENT | $29.97 | $29.97 | $0
MONSTER SNOWBOARD (D) | $0.97 | $0.97 | $0
MONSTER PATROL (D) | $19.97 | $19.97 | $0
MONSTER TRUCK SPEED BOOST | $0.97 | $0.97 | $0
MONSTER TRUCK TIRE/WHEEL | $0.97 | $4.09 | $-3.12
MONSTER PWR PS2 | $4.97 | $9.82 | $-4.85
MONS 1M DIG COAX | $8.97 | $22.32 | $-13.35
MONSTER 360 COMPONENT AV | $29.97 | $43.88 | $-13.91
MONSTER 360 VGA VIDEO CAB | $9.97 | $29.97 | $-20
MONSTER SIRIUS RADIO/TV C | $29.97 | $52 | $-22.03
MONSTER ICASE TRAVEL PACK | $6.97 | $42.16 | $-35.19
MONSTER MP AVS2000 | $1499.99 | $909.12 | $590.87
MONSTER MP HTS7000 | $1299.99 | $787.9 | $512.09
MONSTER MP HTS5100 | $699.99 | $453.5 | $246.49
MONSTER MP HTS3600 | $499.99 | $355.27 | $144.72
MONSTER BLACK TILT MOUNT- | $249.99 | $152.43 | $97.56
MONSTER SILVER TILT MOUNT | $249.99 | $152.43 | $97.56
MONSTER HTS2600 SURGE | $349.99 | $253.43 | $96.56
MONSTER MP HTFS500 SURGE | $299.99 | $211 | $88.99
MONSTER FLAT BLK MOUNT-60 | $199.99 | $121.94 | $78.05
MONSTER FLAT SLV MOUNT-60 | $199.99 | $121.94 | $78.05
MONSTER BLK TLIT MNT-37IN | $179.99 | $109.74 | $70.25

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. phospholipid says:

    oh god. i love it. monster has been a rip for YEARS now. :D home made audio cables FTW? yes. as for hdmi cables, newegg is the win for cheap prices :D!

  2. sashazur says:

    Monster cables are a ripoff? I’m shocked! Who woulda thunk it?!!

    It must be a slow news day at Consumerist :-)

  3. smitty1123 says:

    Constipated Mr. Holmes?

  4. homerjay says:

    Gizmodo has been harping on this for about two years now. They went so far as to do side-by-side comparisons of Monster to cheap cables and, if I remember right, got Monster to actually do some testing “in their facility.”

    Monoprice.com FTW!

  5. beernut says:

    Monoprice.com……….. only place to buy cables!

  6. Shadowman615 says:

    Yup, I just got 2 hdmi cables for a total of under 20 bucks, after shipping from monoprice.

    [www.monoprice.com]

  7. unklegwar says:

    funny thing is that RadioShack is getting ripped off too.

    I was in a high end audio store (inSANE high end, as in $168,000 for a pair of speakers). They had speaker cables that lookes like they belonged on the USS Enterprise (the spaceship, not the AirCraft Carrier). I think it was $1700 for 6 feet.

    Why is that insane? because the you are connecting that cable between crappy cabling inside your receiver and inside your speakers.

    I had a salesdork at Circuit City try to tell me that COAX digital cables were better than optical digital cables because they were thicker and had better bass response. Could not make him see that in the digital world, there’s no such thing as loss of bass because of bandwidth issues.

    Never shop for anything unless you know everything about it already.

  8. lemkepf says:

    @beernut: Monoprice is awesome. 1080p resolution comes through my hdmi cable just fine.

  9. PingPongDarts says:

    Monoprice, Monoprice, Monoprice.

    For the love of god, Monoprice!

    Never Best Buy, just Monoprice!

    If I (Monoprice) repeat it enough (Monoprice) to annoy people (ecirponoM), it’ll be more than worth it (M.o.n.o.p.r.i.c.e.) if they end up checking out Monoprice (Monoprice).

  10. unklegwar says:

    @Shadowman615: But I want my sound in stereo. Is there a StereoPrice.com?

  11. tomok97 says:

    I’ve always used http://www.showmecables.com. I paid $10 for a 1 meter HDMI cable.

  12. cronick says:

    digital is digital. it either works or it doesn’t. paying $90 for an hdmi cable won’t make the picture any clearer than a $20 hdmi cable.

  13. SOhp101 says:

    Perhaps a ‘| Profit’ should be added to the title of the list?

  14. Myotheralt says:

    Holy Monster Cable Batman!

  15. toddiot says:

    SOhp101: Agreed. Took me a few seconds to realize what that column was for.

  16. humphrmi says:

    @PingPongDarts: But where can I buy decent cables for a reasonable price?

  17. Atlantys says:

    monoprice.com is your best friend in the world for cables

  18. coan_net says:

    The problem is – 80% of the time when you figure out you need a cable – you want it right then and there. You don’t want to wait days to order online and get it shipped – so you run to the store and buy the expensive stuff so you can get your cool new gadgets at home hooked up.

    Retailers know this – so they know they can mark those items up a lot more since most who come into the store looking for those will walk away with them – no matter what the price is.

  19. FearlessUser says:

    Yep. Monoprice.com for me too. No one needs to buy Monster. If you really like throwing your money away, I can give you my address and you can me all you extra money.

  20. Spamwich says:

    @unklegwar: That’ll teach you to try and reason with Circuit City/Source staff :)

  21. John Whorfin says:

    Some BIG LOTS stores actually received 3ft HDMI cables. 12 bucks. I bought two for my HDTV.

    If you ever see anyone at a Circuit City or Best Buy in line with Monster Cables, please stop them and save our fellow comrades some cash.

  22. @coan_net: Well, there’s still a difference between Monster and other brand cables at the store.

  23. dorkins says:

    You want stereoprice? Try Best Buy; I’m told sometimes they have two prices on the same item.

  24. MonkeyMonk says:

    Watch out Consumerist! Monster will somehow figure out a way to accuse you of copyright or trademark infringement for this news item.

  25. laserjobs says:

    HA HA!!! A sucker born every minute. You get what you negotiate not what you pay for.
    Monster Cables = Great Marketing to Uneducated Suckers

  26. copious28 says:

    You know, retail needs to be marked up a cazy amount to make a profit. That is just gross profit–there are still people to pay, shipping costs, etc. Its not wrong to make a profit–but it is wrong to not make informed decisions about what you are buying. Caveat emptor!

  27. ptkdude says:

    “Well you see, Monster uses special “gold” connectors, which transmit the signal much better than those cheapo copper cables most people buy. “

    I’ve actually been told that by a salesperson before at Circuit Shitty. I told him I was partially deaf and wouldn’t notice the difference. He was unable to tell me if the connectors were actually made out of gold, or if they were just gold-colored.

  28. xerotope says:

    So I don’t see the markup as being horrible. IIRC, it’s pretty typical for retail to be about twice wholesale.

    Monster Cables are a ripoff, even at the wholsale price.

  29. eco says:

    It’s odd that there’s a commotion about this, if consumers haven’t realized by now, most home theater set items in the home theater section at best buy or circuit city are at least marked up by at least 40%. Most consumer electronic stores make most of their profits through the sales made from the Home Theater department. I know at best buy around Super Bowl time, we were always pushed to send customers to the Magnolia Home Theater center. Bigger items = bigger mark up.

  30. Nighthawke says:

    We knew about this for years working the shack. Managers would harass their poor peons to sell sell sell that monster cable.
    Stories of woe doing retail at [www.radioshacksucks.biz] .

  31. Michael Belisle says:

    Only time I bought Monster Cable was when I worked at Best Buy and got the discount.

    But it’s the revenues that make salespeople push Monster Cable, not the margins. The cheap store brand cables have even more ridiculous margins. You know that special harness for your car stereo that cost $20? Costs $1.50. Monster Cable, by comparison, might be half-off.

    (Also, this totally unsourced pie chart of Monster Cable’s budget is great.)

  32. Monoplex says:

    @cronick: I’ve watched cable TV where there has been interference (e.g., thunderstorm). There was “blocking” but i was still able to see a picture. IMVHO, this seems to me that you have an incomplete digital picture. No?

  33. ClayS says:

    Those are the retail markups…the profit margin to Radio Shack. What I’d like to know is the manufacturing cost of their cable products. I’ll bet that Monster’s margins are even greater.

  34. Illusio26 says:

    I was as best buy once and i saw a sales guy trying to talk this poor fellow into a monster HDMI cable that was $120. The guy seemed reluctant. When the sales guy walked over to him, I told him about monoprice.com. He wrote it down and thanked me a lot. He had a feeling that $120 for an HDMI seemed a little wrong.

    Felt good to help out someone not in the know.

  35. Wormfather says:

    Here’s the thing about HDMI, as my friend who works in AV put it. It’s a digital signal so, it either works or it doesnt. The whole conductivity thing they try to sell you at the store is BS.

  36. mmmmna says:

    Monster Cable once claimed their OFHC Copper and their special sheathing increased audio response by reducing parasitic losses. I’m a career Electronic Engineering Technician; the differences between common lamp cord and equivalent gauge Monster cable would only measure a fraction of a decibel in the audible portion of the frequency range. Take the frequency higher (above the audible range), and whaddya know, there is a difference! Doubt anyone can hear it, though. Bass response improvements would need lower resistance wire, and again, Monster wins by a fraction. The fraction depends, like UNKLEGWAR observed, on the amplifiers wiring.

    The perception of value is quite important.

  37. matto says:

    Just another happy monoprice.com customer.

  38. jbnlsd says:

    Monster does have a good warranty though. I’ve never had a need for high end cables but I do have the ridiculously named Monster iCarPlay Wireless to play my iPod through FM in my car. After two or three years of it living in my car through Chicago weather, it finally broke. Monster replaced it for just the price of sending the old one back to them. It saved me a few bucks.

  39. davebg5 says:

    @Coan_Net: A little planning goes a long way. I just had a new LCD delivered and installed 2 days before the Super Bowl. I ordered my cables (a 12 foot HDMI and a 15 foot component) from monoprice.com a couple of days in advance and paid for 2 day shipping. The shipping cost more than the cables, but the total cost (of both cables with shipping) still came to less than half of what I would have paid in a retail store for a single 8ft Monster HDMI cable.

  40. warf0x0r says:

    I worked at BBY when I bought all my HT equipment so I got a hella nice deal on all monster cable. Like 300 bucks worth for 50 dollars.

  41. Monoplex says:

    @ClayS: I guess that would depend on what you would call “markup.” From business classes (IIRC), a product needs to have a retail price point 13 times what its manufacturing costs are.

  42. jiminim says:

    Once when I needed some speaker wire I went to Radio Shack and the salesman tried to sell me the Monster branded wire. He actually told me that the thickness of the gauge would let the bass frequencies have more surface area to travel on the outside of the wire. This was so nuts I didn’t even call him on it, I just purchased the cheapo wire and got out of there.

  43. miguelggarcia says:

    I don’t see why you guys have a problem with this, this is America, and that’s capitalism, if you don’t want to buy Monster cables, you can buy whatever brand you find appropriate and nothing happens. If people felt ripped-off by Monster I don’t think that it would be the successful company it is now.
    At the end, it’s all a matter of supply and demand, if people want to buy Monster cables, there will be Monster; if people want to stop buying them, the company could ultimately fail.
    So, probably for the person that put on this “leak” think that Monster is a rip-off because it has an X% mark-up… Are we expecting companies to have a certain level for their mark-ups before their prices are considered rip-offs? Aren’t customers who decide what is a rip-off and what is not?
    I’m sorry, but I feel this story like if it came out of a communist country.

  44. endless says:

    I like the “digital is digital” argument. I mean, my wireless internet is digital, so i mean, its not like its speed is affected by how far away i am from my router now does it?… yah right.

    MMMMNA makes the correct point. Monster cables are almost always BETTER cables. Now by their pricing they should be 10 times better not just 1.1 times better…. i usually buy the cheapys.

  45. shiftless says:

    Gads. Only get these things unless they’re massively discounted. I got an optical audio cable for $8 that was originally $100. So, hooray.

  46. donTHEd says:

    Monster still makes great car stereo cables. As far as HDMI..Comcast gave me more cords than I will need anytime soon.

  47. badhatharry says:

    Seriously? $90.00 RCA cables are a rip-off?

    This just in: Water is wet and monkeys are awesome.

  48. ClayS says:

    @Monoplex:
    Good information, I didn’t know that.

  49. TechnoDestructo says:

    @jbnlsd:

    The fact that you had a cable fail at all is more an argument AGAINST Monster Cable than the warranty is FOR them.

    @miguelggarcia:

    “That’s Capitalism” I can agree with. At least you didn’t say “that’s the free market.” The two may overlap but they aren’t the same thing.

    Monster Cable only exists because of MASSIVE inequality in information between the seller and the buyer, and the concentration of retail into fewer and fewer hands (which only weakens market forces).

    Regardless of their markup, their insane lawsuits are enough to boycott them. (They sue just about any business or organization with the word “monster” in its name, whether it has anything to do with cabling or even electronics or not)

  50. valarmorghulis says:

    While yes, Monster Cables are INSANELY overpriced, it is worth noting that the Monster does have one of the only lossless HDMI cables out there currently in their 12.2 Gb/s. Any other cable out there is not going to give full throughput. Best solution I found was to have a relative/neighbor/friend who works at a retail location buy it for you. My cable went from being over $120.00 to less than $45.00 (and that’s for the 4′).

  51. Frostberg says:

    Newsflash: Stores make money on the stuff they sell. It is also not entirely true that all digital cables are the same. Consumerist is silly to think this. Monster cables have speed ratings. An HDMI 1000 series cable will move data @ 10.2Gbps while a 600 series cable will operate at 4.95Gbps. If you want 120Hz refresh, X.V.Color, and really the best, you have to pay more for it. I will not argie that stores make a profit, thats why they exist. Open up a nonprofit store and there will be a revelation.

  52. fdx3k1 says:

    The “wholesale” prices might not even be the actual cost. When I worked for CompUsa (I’m a gluten for punishment), we had a “wholesale” cost that was figured out a different way. They would order 10,000 cables and each store got 100. Then they would take the amount that the cable cost if they bought 100 of them and that was “wholesale” in store…which means they still make money even if it is sold at cost. I know that at one time Radio Shack did the same thing (because my old Comp manager was a district with RS…but he could have been lying…that was typical).

    An example was a 25ft gold plated printer cable. We sold them for $100 and our cost was $34…but the manager showed me that the company actually paid $21 because they bought a huge amount. So even at “cost”, they were making $13.

  53. Lazlo Nibble says:

    Time for another repost of the digital coat hanger story:
    [web.archive.org]

  54. SacraBos says:

    Yes it is a rip-off. However, it is brilliant marketing. They deserve every dollar they make, at least from the retailers.

  55. jbnlsd says:

    @TechnoDestructo:
    Touchè… It also proves their cables are nothing special.

    Now after reading about all their marketing bullshit, forcing the cheap cable makers out of electronics stores, and suing anyone who thinks of the word “Monster” I just feel dirty.

  56. tooki says:

    It’s not true that “digital is digital” and that the cable quality is consequently irrelevant. If that were true, we’d still have iron wires instead of copper. There would also be no need for “fancy” cat-5 network cable, we could just use cheap “silver satin” cord.

    HDMI/DVI is a sensitive signal that demands a particular type of cable — it couldn’t run over, say, a bundle of speaker wires. (As it turns out, the DVI signal is actually unusually sensitive to wiring. A better design would have allowed for longer runs on cheaper wire.)

    This isn’t to say that Monster is worth it. They’re selling $15 cables for 20 times that. For most purposes (e.g. a typical 3-6 foot HDMI run), any HDMI cable will provide a completely clear signal at any resolution. But at longer lengths at high resolutions, a better cable IS necessary. But a top-grade cable as good as or better than Monster can be had for peanuts.

    Monoprice is great for standard cables. For top-notch ones, I’ve heard that [www.bluejeanscable.com] is good, though I haven’t used them myself. (That site also has a great analysis of HDMI itself and its cable requirements.)

  57. tooki says:

    Also, way back when I worked at a mom’n’pop computer store, I remember us ordering Belkin brand USB cables from the distributor. Since we ordered only a dozen at a time, tops, we paid a whopping $3 a piece for them. (We sold them for $12.) These were the same exact cables sold at CompUSA for $29.95, and I’m sure that they weren’t paying anywhere near $3 a piece!

  58. Skeptic says:

    Here’s the thing: digital cables, by definition, have no signal loss. A cable is either digital or it’s not.

    Sorry. That is false. Digital signals are sent as square waves through these copper wires. An out of spec or overly long cable causes degradation in the waveform that makes the signal un-readable. Digital signal transmission schemes have error correction to try and account for the inevitable errors that are made during transmission, but after a point correction is not possible and the signal degradation shows up as quantization on your screen or complete signal failure. However, as long as a cable meets a the proper specification, there is no additional benefit to a more expensive cable.

    Monster cables are high quality cables, but there is no need for overpriced Monster cable since you can buy cheap HDMI Certified cables that will work just as well. Just remember to keep your cable lengths as short as possible–digital doesn’t mean no signal loss.

  59. Binaryslyder says:

    If it hasn’t been said already, I’ll say it. Monster cables come with a life time guarantee. Meaning if a shark breaks into your house and snaps your cable in half, monster will give you a new one for free.

    Now, I happen to live in a neighborhood that has very few incidents of shark attacks. So I opt to purchase $10 cables for my products and just hope that it never happens to me.

  60. mantari says:

    My friend, while he worked at Best Buy, explained to me that in cheaper audio cables, the low frequency noises will travel faster than the high frequency noises. The result is that the signal gets distorted before it hits the speakers. But Monster Cables do not have that problem, and that’s why they sound so much better.

    Perhaps somewhat related? He was fired by Best Buy.

  61. privatejoker75 says:

    http://www.firefold.com

    cheap as hell and great product

  62. mantari says:

    Did anyone else catch the items that they lose money selling ??
    .

    MONSTER TRUCK TIRE/WHEEL | $0.97 | $4.09 | $-3.12
    MONSTER PWR PS2 | $4.97 | $9.82 | $-4.85
    MONS 1M DIG COAX | $8.97 | $22.32 | $-13.35
    MONSTER 360 COMPONENT AV | $29.97 | $43.88 | $-13.91
    MONSTER 360 VGA VIDEO CAB | $9.97 | $29.97 | $-20
    MONSTER SIRIUS RADIO/TV C | $29.97 | $52 | $-22.03
    MONSTER ICASE TRAVEL PACK | $6.97 | $42.16 | $-35.19

  63. JMH says:

    If you REALLY want to buy Monster cables, you can find them for a lot cheaper on Ebay than in stores.

  64. jaredharley says:

    @mantari: So I WASN’T the only one! I believe it is our civic duty to buy all of the iCase Travel Packs we can to cut into RS’s profit margin!

  65. taber says:

    Check the link in the post — it leads to and reads “mertiline,” probably meant “meritline” :)

  66. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @mantari: Did he go into mortgages?

  67. evslin says:

    My dad got suckered into a $90 set of component cables at Best Buy a couple years ago. I had to have a talk with him when I found out.

  68. guevera says:

    Funny, monster has a pretty good rep for quality car audio cabling — but w/power cables you really do see improvement w/quality and size.

  69. Aladdyn says:

    Although I agree that monster cables are ridiculous, I bought a monster surge protector. The reason why is because you know how those surge protectors have the guarantees for stuff you have plugged into them? Read the fine print, you have to ship whatever breaks to them for them to diagnose it, and they only fix it if they think that their surge protector caused the problem. If you read the fine print on the monster surge protector they only require a statement from a repair technician stating that your damage was caused by a surge. Now actually having them honor that is a different story but since they only have to sell about 10 cables to cover the cost of a new tv I would imagine they could certainly afford it.

  70. Jesterphun says:

    @fdx3k1: Gluten for punishment…

    That’s why I try to be gluten-free :)

  71. clank-o-tron says:

    Has it really gone this far without a consumerist ‘make your own if you don’t like it’ argument? That’s what I do fairly often; wire is cheap.

  72. timmus says:

    Where do they make Monster Cables? Are they made in China? I’d like to see that markup from the Chinese factory to the distributor.

  73. dragondorm says:

    I work for RadioShack and I offer the Monster but won’t push it on people. I own and fully believe in monster cables. I’ve seen the quality. You pay for what you get. The better the cable the less interferance, less noise that will enter it. Monster cables are also handle more bandwith.

  74. john_nyc says:

    OMG!!! Monster cables are a ripoff?

    Crap. What am I going to do now?

    Crap crap crap.

  75. rikkus256 says:

    I’ve bought over 20 cables from monoprice.com for myself, friends, and families. Great quality at an unbeatable price. (and reasonable shipping too!)

  76. Rachacha says:

    @Skeptic: Shhh…don’t tell too many people that digital signals are square waves as Monster will come out with square cables so that the square waves can glide easily through them with no restriction, and if you want to have a higher bandwidth, you need to have a bigger square cable so that you can squeeze more square waves inside them. :-)

  77. Swoop41 says:

    When you guys find that non-profit retail electronics chain be sure to let me know.

  78. afterimageB says:

    If you think audio cables are a rip off then you should try pricing computer cables. I worked for Magnolia Audio/Video a few years ago and since Best Buy was in the process of buying them we also got employee discount at Best Buy stores. I needed a network cable for home so I went over and grabbed one. The price was marked as $18.99. When I got to the register and they applied my discout the cable rang up as $1.86, a 1020% mark up.

  79. Empire says:

    @miguelggarcia: I’m actually with you on the margin thing. If I can produce something for $0.01 and people will buy it for $1,000.00, hey why not? But Monster claims their cables are better, and they’re not. That’s deceptive.

  80. Thorny says:

    It’s not just cables, most accessories are marked up ridiculously. When I worked at one of the big electronics stores several years ago, our discount was 5% over their cost. Things like laptop cases, camera bags, headphones, adapters, you name it was all marked up like that.

    It’s sort of like soda at fast food places. You know a huge thing of coke costs like 9 cents, which is why drink prices have gone up significantly over the last years to compensate for the lack of margin on the $1 menus.

    So I never order a drink anymore as a passive aggressive maneuver.

  81. Gorky says:

    They HAVE to charge big markups on them to make up for the razor thin margin on the TVs they sell. Most retailers make less than 75 bucks on a 2000 dollar TV so in order to make up for it they overprice accessories. Online stores like Newegg have NO overhead and dont sell core products that are margin drainers, therefor they can charge less.

  82. logie-al says:

    Cable markups are nothing. The clothing industry is where the true crimes are. Those Silver jeans that you just had to have at $75-100 a pair? Retailer cost is around $25 each. More than 200% markup at times. Never ever ever buy clothes at full price.

  83. omyard says:

    Duh?

  84. omyard says:

    @ptkdude: From what I’ve been told the gold and silver connectors do make a difference. Too bad they’re not exclusive to Monster Cables and even the sub $6 HDMI cable I bought on monoprice the other day is gold plated.

  85. Orolan says:

    @privatejoker75: I second firefold.com. I find they tend to be a little cheaper than NewEgg for cables since shipping rates are variable and are sent in the cheapest appropriate packaging (a padded envelope for a handful of SATA cables).

  86. matt says:

    You’re JUST discovering this?

  87. ShadowFalls says:

    @ptkdude:

    Check to see if they are Made in China. If so, they are probably lead connectors :P

    @Binaryslyder:

    A lifetime warranty doesn’t always mean what you think. Many companies have limited lifetime warranties which do not cover abuse or other random actions not part of normal usage.

  88. wonderboy says:

    @Skeptic: Correct. Additionally, for the longer cable runs, you need a heavier gauge wire within your cables. Wire gauging is rated from large gauge # (thinner wire) to small gauge # (thicker wire). Smaller gauge/thicker wire = more metal to conduct electricity = less resistance to the flow of electricity. For shorter cable runs of, say, less than 15ft, 28 gauge wire is just fine and is used frequently for the 1.5/3/6/10 ft HDMI cable lengths without significant loss of signal quality or noticeable degradation of picture quality. Of course, other factors do come into play when considering signal transmission (like shielding), but for the most part, size does matter for the longer runs. Once you start running lengths of 20 ft or more, then wire gauge becomes an issue and a smaller gauge is required, say, a 24 or 22 gauge. Since HDMI cables have around 20 isolated wires making up the internal structure of the cable, gauge size is an important factor in cable construction. Some brands might overbuild the shorter cables to justify the high prices they charge by using the smaller gauges (and other stuff), but save your money.

    Also, MonoPrice is not the only inexpensive cable seller in town. I have been pleased with Rite-AV.com (rite-av.com) for my audio/video wiring and they have an equally appealing pricing structure. For example: 25 ft. “premium” HDMI cable (24 gauge) sells for about $23.50; Monoprice is around $26 for a 22 guage 25 ft. HDMI cable; and BestBuy online $170 for same length (gauge not stated), $100 for for 6ft. Ouch.

    @ CLANK-O-TRON: yeah, but time is costly for those without the DIY time (or initiative) budget.

  89. mac-phisto says:

    @unklegwar: see fdx3k1‘s post regarding radioshack getting ripped off. the wholesale cost =/= actual cost. radioshack actually marks up the cables that they ship to the stores! why? good question…a manager once explained to me that they are bundling in other costs (warehousing, shipping, etc.), but also that passing on as much cost as possible to the store gives them specific write-off benefits come tax time. something about distribution of cost…i dunno, it’s been awhile.

    @mantari: anything ending in a 7 is a clearance item & won’t be around much longer. stock is extremely limited & yes, they often take losses on it to get it the hell out…a little tip for you next time you’re in a radioshack. =P

    @Skeptic: right on. does everyone need high-quality quad-shielded, goo-injected, made-in-a-sealed-lab (whatever) monster cables? no. but those running longer-than-normal lengths (>6ft) should consider it, as well as people that have other loss-of-signal issues due to rf or other interference.

    oh, & if you think these are a rip-off, you have no idea. the radioshack brand 12-ft s-video retails at $26.99. store cost on that is ~$7. that may only be a $20 margin, but it’s also a 400% markup. & if you think that’s bad, consider the watch batteries – they’re at ~4000% markup (retail $4.99, cost to store ~$0.11).

  90. humphrmi says:

    @dragondorm: While it’s true that you get what you pay for, it’s also true that you can pay for more than you need.

  91. edrebber says:

    The dollar tree and big lots sell cables.

  92. SuffolkHouse says:

    Here’s another idea. Don’t buy anything at Radio Sack.

  93. truthbuddy says:

    CAPITALISM

  94. EtherealStrife says:

    MONSTER 7′ USB | $12.97 | $7.83 | $5.14

    Looks like I paid 23% of wholesale ($10.97 for 6 of them). Yup major ripoff.

    The cables are much nicer looking than the standard and are easier to manipulate, so I don’t mind paying [a fraction of wholesale] for Monster products.

  95. Kanidia says:

    Wow… I really feel bad for spending 50$ on a single coaxial cable…

    This blows.

  96. Sherryness says:

    Wow – talk about “Monster Madness….”

  97. faust1200 says:

    @clank-o-tron: No it hasn’t. Read the very first comment.

  98. philberttrw says:

    Guys, I am one of those craaaaazy kids that manages a RadioShack. I’m one of the first people to tell my customers that except in extremely long cable runs or other atypical situations, it’s not necessary to buy the best. I acknowledge the fact that everything comes at a markup. It’s a fact of life in our capitalist society. I have to pay my associates, I have to get the crap into my stores, and I have to keep the lights on. Not to mention, I have to factor in a loss percentage for all the dumbasses who haven’t worked an honest day in their life and decide to steal from my store. Blah blah blah, i know. After all that, I still tell people day in and day out that Monster cables are manufactured to wonderfully exacting standards, and that they’re really nifty looking, but they don’t work any better in standard home applications than our own store-branded stuff.

    Long story short is this: buy shit from people in stores that you trust. Don’t take people’s word for a product. Get to know your salesperson, and he/she won’t steer you wrong. I don’t lie to any of my customers. If I don’t know, I tell them. I don’t make anything up to sell a product I don’t have faith in. Oh… And stop dogging my company for trying to stay afloat in the world of online discounters and cheap bastards, would ya? When’s the last time you could say you’re actually PROUD of your employer? Hmmm?

  99. emax4 says:

    I used to work at Guitar Center and learned a lot about Monster cables. There ARE differences. Already people have posted comments regarding the warranty. If you break your cable for ANY reason after purchasing it from Guitar Center, your fault or not, you could bring in the damaged cable (with or without receipt as they can look up past purchases by name), and just walk out with a replacement cable. I don’t know if the same rule applies with Best Buy, Circuit City or other Monster retailers.

    Some people commented on the thickness of the cable. Monster cable or not, that can make a difference depending on the application. You never see muscle cars with tires from a Corolla on them, expensive jewelry held together by cheap tin, or the latest computers with a 5 GB drive. There are math calculations involved, but you’ll never see professional audio engineers using thin (not talking about price, just thickness) cables in high-end setups. Do you need those same cables for consumer audio and video? Most likely not.

    Keep in mind that no matter if it’s a home theater, live concert audio, or even a garage band setup; you’ll only sound as good as your weakest link. Playing a ’56 Les Paul sunburst with Monster Cables and using a guitar amplifier purchased at Wal Mart? The best you’ll sound is that from the Wal Mart Amp. The latest Mac using a vintage 13″ CRT monitor? The monitor is the best you’ll get. I can go on and on.

    Does price dictate quality? Not with everything. If you use standard RCA video cable from Monster to hook up your DVD to a TV, it still won’t be as crisp as non-Monster brand S-Video cable or a non-Monster brand optical cables to achieve a more desirable video quality.

  100. rabiddachshund says:

    I got eight 7′ Monster USB cables for $11 (including shipping) from woot.com the other day. Problem is what the hell am I going to do with 8 USB cables? Any suggestions?

  101. awperk says:

    this is such a common practice in retail. they don’t make money on tv’s and such so they make up for that in accessories. Finishline is the same way with their stuff. Shoes make little to no profit for them but insoles, socks, and shoe laces make up the majority of their profit.

  102. wildness says:

    Yes, Monster Cables are a rip-off…

    BUT, this piece is missing the whole truth that is right there in the list. Generally, a retail operation gets 40-50% off the retail price as the wholesale cost; in the end, they try to double the wholesale cost to make a GROSS margin of around 50% on an item – NOT profit as this list implies. The profit after they pay for the freight to get the item, the people to sell the item, the electricity to power the lights so the customer can see the item, the water bill so customers can **** in the store’s bathroom, etc. is usually less than 10% – actually 10% would be considered a huge success. This formula applies to $200 Monster cable as much as it applies to a $20 generic version that is just as good.

    So, yes Monster Cables are a rip-off – but you aren’t getting ripped off by the retailer, you are getting ripped off by Monster…the retailer is only facilitating the consumer dumb enough to buy them – yes, they push them, but they wouldn’t even carry them if people DIDN’T buy them.

  103. shift_nismo says:

    yea.. cables are crazy priced.. I do security and entertainment systems on the side and there is this company where we buy our audio cables are imported from japan.. TITANIUM.. crisp.. $10/ft? more? i frgt.. crazy..

  104. Caprica Six says:

    the cables are made in china and then assembled in their factory in Brisbane, CA (by south of San Francisco). Since they assemble in the US of A, they can still carry *made in the USA* It’s still all BS it’s still overpriced.

  105. mcowan3 says:

    @coan_net: I needed a 50ft HDMI cable in 24 hours and called Monoprice and placed the order with rush overnight delivery. I paid $84 total including shipping. The actual shipping was more than the price of the cable. The guy doing my in-wall installation (so I could play my xbox 360 through my theater system on the 100 inch screen) wanted to provide a cable from his source and offered me the amazing price of $170 (which is substantially better than any retailer). The money I saved, from not buying his product, almost covered the installation of the cable. Overnight shipping is an option and you still save an amazing amount.

  106. madanthony says:

    I think it’s great that stores sell monster cables at a super-high markup.

    The prevailing strategy seems to be pricing actual electronics cheap, and making it by selling-high margin stuff like cables. Which means that educated consumers like myself and the readers of this fine site can take advantage of cheap TV’s and printers, and the stores can make their money off sales of cables to other people.

    And yes, I too bought the $11 for 6 woot Monster cables. Hey, they have powerflow indicators, so they have to be good!

  107. mcowan3 says:

    When I show people the monoprice webpage and directly compare the prices with best buy’s or Circuit City’s website their jaws always drop. I forward them the cable wars posting and convince them that there is no difference that will ever make any difference to their viewing and listening pleasure. Same thing the with Pear crap that they try to charge thousands of dollars for pretty cloth wrapped cables. Who gives a rats ass if your cable is pretty, you’re not watching it.

  108. radikaled says:

    I love stopping people from buying cables in the yellow tag store by simply telling them about monoprice. I love it even better when I get to do that in front of store employees! >:) Bwahahah!

    Digital is digital FTW!

  109. Bobblez says:

    Wildness is right on spot. 40-50% Profit margin is what a small business needs to survive. By small business I mean the people who care about the customer, pay their employees more than minimum wage (plus give health insurance), and actually know something about what they sell.

    Big chains need less money to operate because the guys at the bottom get paid next to nothing, and there’s very few people at the top (in proportion to a small store). The Circuit City invention was to sell big ticket items (TV’s, Stereos, etc) for next to no profit as a marketing scheme, but make it up on accessories and service plans. Remember when Circuit City started selling CD’s for $5 less than the industry standard? Marketing not profit, make it up somewhere else. Best Buy works the same way, only they’ve got even more ingenious with financing schemes, cut rate home theater installations, really bad tech support, and gift cards!

    Online does’t have much overhead, so they just cut the profits on everything, and all of a sudden … anyone who sells anything for any more is a rip off.

    The reality is, most cables are equivalent to the Monster markup. The only difference in Monster is that there is a definite difference in their analog PRO MI cables. The true lifetime warranty on guitar cables is insane. It’s not a Guitar Center thing, it’s a Monster thing (it doesn’t cover all models).

    I never understood the whole Monster b!tchfest. If you don’t like them, then get something else. Circuit City and Best Buy are only trying to get you to buy them because it’s the most expensive line they sell, not because the markup is any more or less. Go to a real Hifi store and you’ll find esoteric brands for 10 times more. If Radio Shack dude posted their price list for all their cables I’m sure it’d show their $3 budget cable costing them $0.50. And that’s before even looking at the Radioshack markup on electronics components.

  110. iMike says:

    Monster sucks donkey balls, but 100% markup at retail is common across many merchandise types. Clothing and shoes in particular are a minimum of 100% markup (e.g. buy for $50 and sell for $100). That’s why out of season clothing/shoes are often sold at 50% off (or more). The merchant is just getting its money back.

  111. draffe says:

    The Monster speaker cables are just the same cheap gauge wire as the cheap cables, just a heavier plastic wrap. As far as getting a better cable at cheaper prices, check out the web for the Home Depot orange, striped outdoor extension cord. Cut off the ends and strip the cables yourself. You’ll have fat, thick, 14 gauge speaker wires for $12 per speaker or less! Great sound (not a measurable item imho), and you WILL feel great for your frugal ways while obtaining some of the best in sound..

  112. Arsenal6 says:

    300% markup at bestbuy YES

  113. ajones4 says:

    Wireless was all the rage at CES this year. Who cares about cables?

  114. BeenThere2.1 says:

    Monster cables are made at one of the approx 5 or 6 major cable companies in China. A few years back, Belden ([www.belden.com]) another cable company, bought the manufacturer in China. From what I heard, Monster didn’t even know.

    Somewhat ironic.

    Apparently it hasn’t slowed them down too much.

  115. j4sk868 says:

    This is so true. Check out the faq’s on this website. they may answer a lot of your questions. also they have extreamly reasonablely priced cables. just found it when i googled for a toslink cable. its a good find check it out.

    [www.mycablemart.com]

  116. laserjobs says:

    I have heard it all about how some cables are better than others and it is all marketing mumbo jumbo. For buying speaker wire the only thing that will matter is the gauge of the wire depending on the length of the run and the power delivered. You can go buy some cheap 18 gauge lamp wire and it will give you the same sound as the 18 gauge super special oxygen free copper with gold flake inserts and harmonic balancing (I made that up by the way). I have even heard people talk about skin effect in audio applications which is ridiculous. As for digital cables, you will know if it works or not based on if the signal gets through. Either it works or not. Companies like monster cable are based on marketing and prey on people who do not know any better or are easily “educated” to be sold on their product.

  117. merrittdanielk says:

    “A cable is either digital or it’s not.”
    This is precisely true, however, “the only difference between a “fancy” digital cable and a no-name one is the price.”, is completely wrong. Yes a digital cable is a digital cable but not all are the same. For example you buy a new 1080p tv and want that full 1080p signal right. well a cheap “non fancy” cable is not going to give you the full picture quality of 1080p, not even all monster cables will. the 800, 1000, and m series are the only ones that will, and its the same way for just about all cable manufacturers. so aside from the fact that this actually made it on the forum a little less ranting would have been nice.

  118. gfrazier says:

    I though this was a known fact. I use to work at Circuit City and all cables are marked up by at least 300%. You know those Belkin USB cables that they sell everywhere for about $24? They cost $3.99, because Circuit City employees can buy all products at cost. A bunch of guys use to buy them, then go next door to Walmart and return them. I bought them as stocking stuffers, made me look like a big spender. CC eventually put a stop to it by making certain accessories unavailable for purchase at cost.

  119. BugMeNot2 says:

    I use to work at RS and the most profitable item was 6ft Optical Cable for Audio. I noticed this because someone stole a Cable and I was sad because the cables cost $34.99, but the manager said not to worry about it. I wondered why and she tolled me: come over here and take a look at this. She showed me the RS inventory and pointed out that the cables cost $1.89, I was like, you got to fucking be kidding me…..that’s right, and batteries cost them like 22 cents and they sold them for 3.29. All this data was 4 years ago, so things are probably more jacked up.

  120. DeLarge says:

    For short lenghts I always go cheap, either digital or analog.

    For long runs, specially for speakers, I go for oxygen free, small gauge wire. Good quality speaker wire also uses a better quality plastic coating, giving it a longer lifespan. It stays flexible and rust free at the ends insted of rusted and stiff as it has been fried.

    All this is a matter of cost/staisfaction/perception. Companies are aware of that, they do their research and that is why there are $100+ cables, $4.00+ COFFEE and $1.50+ WATER BOTTLES.

  121. StevieD says:

    OMG, sombody made a profit.

    How horrible.

    Guess what, 80% markup is chump change compared to some other products sold in this country. And there is not a single industry in this country that doesn’t have a higher than other profit margins profit line.

    BTW it is those horrible profit margins that actually generate the pay checks for working stiffs.

  122. ripfire4 says:

    Ugh! This reminds me of an argument I had with a Best Buy salesman who tried to upsell me Monster cables as I tried to buy the generic ones.
    I don’t get it. I only asked where the HDMI cables were at so I can choose for myself. Instead he walks off somewhere and he hands me the Monster brand. He tells me that there’s less noise on the Monster cable so I get clear, crisp sound. Ooo. That ticked me off even more. I tried to school him on digital signaling, but all he said was that he heard the comparison test himself and he can tell the difference. Now how that hell can anyone argue with that!

    Oh btw, I said No THanks and picked up the generic ones. Heck, even those were pricy compared to monoprice. But when my bro wants to watch in HD right away, even a few days of delivery is not an option.

  123. shades_of_blue says:

    I knew this years ago, but it’s not limited to just monster cable products. I do my monster cable shopping on ebay, as I’ve got some killer deals that way.

    “MONSTER 16FT DVI-DVI CABL | $149.99 | $93.08 | $56.91″

    I got one of those off ebay for $22 shipped, new in box.

  124. aikoto says:

    This is absolutely true. Even on normal Belkin cables, Best Buy bought them for around 3 dollars and sold them for $20.

  125. aikoto says:

    @StevieD: Don’t be a douche. Using the “Your argument is meaningless because I can think of an even worse example” is poor logic and underhanded communication at best.

    And you have no idea if that’s what pays the working stiff. According to all the Walmart employees in history, it’s not the working stiff that sees profits, it’s the execs.

  126. shades_of_blue says:

    @gfrazier: BestBuy does similar, they only allow their employees to buy X quantity of X product before they require a full form on why you need to buy more than X amount. They started doing this because people were buying the greatly over inflated cost cables for sale on eBay.

  127. bryanoak says:

    After reading this article about what a rip-off Monster cables are, I’m so glad I decided to go with the DVI-HDMI Pear cable instead. Sure, it was $11,000 but at least I haven’t heard anything negative about them.

    Oh, wait…

  128. kable2 says:

    You think thats bad, look at the markup on eye glasses. Check out http://www.goggles4u.com and compare that to what you get charged at the local place.

    My mother was charged about $750 locally for a set of bifocals (they were not made right and costco wouldnt replace them…wrong prescription lenses were used). same glasses online $85 delivered.

    Oh and they tried to pull that monster cable crap on me when i went to future shop and bought a new printer. The guy actually tried to say that the cables would make the print better and faster because the $35 usb cable was gold plated and the data moves easier haha

    /he didnt know i am an electrical engineer
    //he also wasnt expecting the mini course on digital signals i gave him

  129. evilhapposai says:

    Best Buy did it all the time. The employee discount was the stores cost plus 5%. Not too unusual for me to walk out with $200+ sticker price for only a $20 bill. Mostly batteries, accessories, and cables were the big markups.

  130. Can-Car says:

    So, probably for the person that put on this “leak” think that Monster is a rip-off because it has an X% mark-up… Are we expecting companies to have a certain level for their mark-ups before their prices are considered rip-offs?

  131. backbroken says:

    OK. Now that Monster cable has been thoroughly destroyed, can we set our sights on BOSE now?

  132. rbb says:

    To all those people praising monstercable’s lifetime guarantee – WAKE UP! You paid for it! They can easily afford to giveaway a few cables because their mark-up is so high.

    How many times do you think your monstercable will fail during the time you own it? Once, maybe twice? And how much more was the monstercable in price compared to the equivalent from monocable.com? Double, triple, quadruple the price?

  133. I owned a High End retail and custom installation Audio Video store for the last 4 years. I just recently got out of the business.
    Yes, the cables are marked up a lot. some companies, if you are buying enough wholesale, it is a 90 percent markup. On the other hand though, your biggest purchase in your home theater setup is often marked up only 5 or 10 percent. Plasma and LCD tvs have almost no profit margin at the retail level.
    We would buy a TV from a distributor (who does make about 10 percent on a TV), and often would find it on sale online or at another retailer at a lower price than our cost.
    If we would buy a TV for display in our store we were pretty much eating a large sum of cash beause a month or two after we bought it, it was selling for hundredds of dollars cheaper than our cost.
    We needed to make money on accessories or else we were out of business.
    So yeah, it feels like a ripoff, but I think the bigger ripoff would be to buy thousands of dollars from a store like mine, (A store that you can call at pretty much any hour (I was on call)and we would help troubleshoot your problems, or come over and fix your problems.)And a few months later not have those people around any more to help you.
    Best Buy and Radio Shack on the other hand, are worthless. They can’t help you and sell garbage.
    Digital cables are pretty much all the same. If you are running analog though, there are definite differences.
    The law of diminishing returns certainly applies to analog cables. Once you hit a certain point, you are paying huge differences in price for just a minor (if any) improvement in sound.
    Whenever possible, buy your AV gear from a CEDIA member store. You can get better brands of equipment (compare a 600 dollar Sony receiver to a 600 dollar NAD receiver for example)at the same prices as the big box stores.
    The warranties on these brands are generally much longer, and the sound is infinitely better in many of the brands.

  134. threewheel says:

    Those retail markups are not that high…that is pretty typical retail markup for most goods. The wholesale prices are really outrageous…being even higher than the retail price of monoprice cables. I assume that most retail stores operate on 60 – 100% markups to cover all their costs plus a reasonable profit…

  135. cef21 says:

    @emax4: There are indeed differences. But, the differences are often so slight that they are imperceptible to the human ear. If you took your Les Paul and played it through a nice Marshall stack, you won’t notice if you use a monster cable or some other cable, provided that the connections on both ends are solid.

    The thing that really determines how “thick” a cable needs to be is how many electrons you’re going to be pushing through it. Big speakers use a lot of electrons, small speakers use fewer.

    If you really need thick speaker wire, instead of blowing the money on a monster cable, just buy a long jumper cable. Nice beefy wire. Fraction of the price.

  136. MacJedi says:

    In the early 90’s I worked for an ad agency – one of our clients was Belden wire and cable out of Richmond, IN – one of the largest makers of wire and cable in the world. I got to go to the annual industry electronics show at the convention center in Indy, where Belden reps were chatting it up with people in the Monster cable booth. This was when a 27″ LCD TV was still $10k + mind you. The Belden rep explained to me that most of the cables Monster sold is made with Belden wire. He told me the only thing that’s different about Monster cables than anything else made with Belden wire is the marketing and packaging – and that’s what people are paying for. So this was never a surprise to me. I’ve never bought a Monster cable either.

  137. Bobblez says:

    After reading through all the posts, I really realize how incredibly stupid this whole argument is.

    There is an array of factors that go into play in cables.

    To simplify the argument by stating “the only thing that matters is the size of the cable” or “the only difference in Monster is a thicker jacket” is simply moronic.

    There are way too many cables and types of signals running through those cables to simply generalize. There’s a variety of Digital data, audio, and video signals. In analog realm you have audio: powered, unpowered, balanced, unbalanced; video: coaxial, rgb, etc. Then there’s optical, power, etc. Each type of signal has specific needs and those needs change depending on the equipment used, environment where being used, and length of run.

    For example: Guitar cables. The most basic type is a two conductor twisted pair copper cable with a rubber jacket. But then to counter electromagnetic noise you add a foil shield or better, a braided shield to disperse external noise to the ground. Take the Monster Pro guitar cable: they discovered that analog bass frequencies travel slower and towards the core of the cable and that treble travels faster and towards the outside. A simple braided cable over a long run will end up with a time separation (delay) between bass and treble. The Monster Pro has a solid core with a braided exterior on the main conductor, ENGINEERED to minimize audible delay.

    I was doubtful at first, but go to your local guitar store, set up with real guitar (ie. $1000+) and real amp (read Tube), and A/B between a basic cable and the Pro. I was stunned. Well worth $100 for a guitar cable if you care about sound. While you’re there, ask to see the kit Monster provides dealers; it has cut samples of all the cables so you can see inside.

    We’ve already established that the Markup on monster is the same as any other brand. The expense comes from the ENGINEERING. That’s right, Monster has ENGINEERS designing cables to produce better quality. Mabye this is more noticeable in some cables than others, and you certainly have to go to the higher end lines to fully reap the benefits, but its there and its legit.

    That’s not to say there aren’t other good cables out there, and if you’re connecting a $100 DVD player to a $200 tube TV, don’t even bother. But if you’re using High Fidelity equipment, and do care, the Upper Eschelon Monster cables are well worth the investigation.

    And there lies the other side … do not buy the budget Monster $20 cable and expect a great degree of difference.

    I appreciate the quantifiable study of Monster HDMI performance, but the oversimplification of this argument is rediculous.

  138. Pop Socket says:

    @belisle: Exactly. When the Monster HDMI cables are $99, they make the store brands at 60 bucks look good. I went across the parking lot to Target and paid $40 and still felt ripped off.

  139. Dude27 says:

    Always bought mine on ebay… always had the good price without the rippoff margins: be wise !

  140. image18301 says:

    Here’s something to consider: In an optical cable, doesn’t the purity of the strand have a relation to how correct the digital signal is put through? I would think that a cheap strand with many imperfections along its path is bound to deflect alot of the light signal and the end result may be wanting. If this is the case, then a higher-grade strand would be warranted and of course a higher price would be paid. Does this hold?

  141. Dude27 says:

    and for the quality, in my mind there is NO alternative to MC when you want quality. I bought one for my PS2 and one for my HDTV, both gives me incredible result compared to generic or cheap brand…

  142. Dude27 says:

    Best Buy, Future Shop (same company) are just plain bastards, don’t buy in these stores unless you want to be screwed…

  143. asphix20 says:

    I buy most my cables from monoprice.com

    The only cable I bought that is monster brand is my speaker cables going from my amp to my speakers. Thats not a digital signal and having high grade wire and shielding does make a world of difference.

    I did do my research ahead of tim eand got it at close to wholesale price though.

  144. sdancer says:

    The problem is the age-old audiophile phenomenon pushed to the mainstream. People will pay egregious amounts of money for stuff that’s labeled as making your multimedia sound, look or smell better.

    What Monster and other assorted China Plastic Peddlers do is a lower-priced variant of the 3000$ interconnect or mains cable scam, up to a certain degree. That degree is determined by two factors: cable length and required bandwidth. If you’re looking at analog interconnects, you can get to amazing lengths with very, very cheap cables as long as you avoid wrapping them around mains cables or routing them through your microwave. You don’t really need oxygen-free cable with gold-plated connectors that were manufactured by blind nuns during monsoon in a monastery in Nepal, unless you’re dealing with high frequencies. Just as well, most shielding is moot on low-frequency applications in benign environments.

    If you want, say, a 1.5m DVI to HDMI cable (which by the way has no active components whatsoever, it’s just two different plugs crimped on a cable), you might as well get the one for 5-10 bucks. If you need to hook up a projector to a computer that’s 20m away, you will want to get more expensive shielded stuff, but even there you can get away cheap if you pick something with a moderate price, i.e. you avoid the high price range and maybe the ultra-cheap stuff.

    Digital audio is another great winner in the area, since short-range runs can usually be made with the cheapest cable at hand, while longer runs (say over 1.5 or 2m) will require glass fiber (for optical interconnects, the cheap links are usually plastic and have a rather high attenuation, which may or may not cause problems with the transceivers on your equipment) or relatively good coax cable.

    As a general rule of thumb, you will pretty much NEVER want to buy the blister-packed stuff in the retail store round the corner (except at gunpoint). Look around on the net a bit, and you will certainly find a product that works as well and costs significantly less, even with shipping fees included.

  145. lfrogkisser says:

    A 100% mark up is common in retail. It’s called the keystone markup.

    Furniture is usually marked up 1000%.

    So are you getting ripped off? Yes, starting with the manufacturer and it snowballs.

  146. FLConsumer says:

    When it comes to cables, there IS a difference in quality between cable. Is Monster Cable the best stuff out there? Absolutely not. It’s pretty good but by no means the best and definitely not the best value.

    In terms of digital signal, yes, cable CAN make a difference. CAN being the key word. The question becomes how many errors are you willing to tolerate in the bitstream? The current encoding algorithms have error correction in them, so you’re not going to see a noticeable degradation of video quality if only a few bits here & there go missing. For some people this is acceptable, for others this is unfathomable.

    When it comes to wire for analog sound, now we’re starting to talk about where the wire does make a noticeable difference. I’ve been a broadcast/recording engineer for the past 15 years and I hate to break it to people — most people would cringe if they saw what the wire used for pro recording looks like. It’s thin, no gold connectors, no fancy packaging. In fact, the last radio studio I built used Cat5e wire for everything but microphones and instrument pickups. For those we used various Belden wire w/Neutrik connectors. Even in the “high end” studios, it’s just more Belden/Clark wire.

    For speaker wire, 99% of the people out there can get away with a nice lower gauge lamp cord and will get all of the performance of the fancy wire. I’ve even tried 12 gauge Romex with my speakers, but did notice a slight rolling off of the high frequencies above 20KHz, but most people don’t have equipment capable of reproducing that portion of the frequency spectrum.

  147. StonegateGuy says:

    Get a job at your local best buy and buy a HDMI cable (or any cable for that fact) and you will see the horrible markup on cables. I have no problem with a little markup, obviously the stores need to make money but seriously… Best Buy sells a Rocketfishâ„¢ – 8′ HDMI Cable for 79.99 …. after the employee discount … about 7.00… I need to get a job there so I can afford my electronics addiction… lol

  148. sdancer says:

    @image18301: Yes, no, maybe. Unless you’re moving the cable around a lot, that shouldn’t really be an issue with most everyday applications that use optical data transmission. Mostly, that would be TOSlink or other rather primitive stuff. In those cases, you can pretty much say that either all data gets through or you don’t achieve a connection at all. Nowadays, even plastic fiber is produced at a very high quality standard, so the chances of getting a “glitchy” cable are very close to zero. The audible results would then also more likely be silent periods of several 10ths of a second starting and ending in ugly and quite loud clicks rather than arbitrary corruption.

    You’d want to use coaxial connections for digital audio anyway, since those offer a higher bandwidth that optical connections.

  149. pibbsman0 says:

    @rabiddachshund: Christmas presents!

  150. pibbsman0 says:

    Btw, the Monster Cables have wider pathways for the digital data. It helps around corners. The 0s make it no problem because they are round, but sometimes the 1s get stuck in the bend. LOLS.

  151. mike says:

    If you think Monster cable is a great deal, I’ve got some pristine ocean-front property in Kansas I’d love to sell you.

  152. GOKOR says:

    I love all the stuff on that list that Radio Shack doesn’t even sell. Either way, yeah, it’s retail, no one is going to sell an item for what they bought it for. However, a lot of their stuff at Radio Shack they only get a 1 or 2% markup, meaning the 249.99 you get your ipod for, they’re only getting a few dollars on for selling it to you. They want you to buy accessories at any retailer because that’s how they make their money.

  153. Grandjester says:

    I have torn the head off many a RS saleman who tried that crap on me. I work in the Pro A/V Industry and Monster Cable is the greatest fraud ever perpetuated on consumers. They have tested a LAMP CORD against Monster and the pros could not tell the difference.

    As for HDMI, it is a STANDARD not a CABLE. So any cable sold with that designation is just fine.

  154. DeLarge says:

    @Bobblez: I agree with you when you state “There is an array of factors that go into play in cables”. So in my case I ran my very own subjective test that bring my own rule of thumb: short run, go cheap; long runs, buy the best wire you can afford or make you feel that you are making a fair bet.

    Let me explain further:
    Because cheap wire and cables are… cheap, I bougth both cheap (CC) and some “high end” Monster cable (MC).
    I ran listening tests using CC vs. MC blind test (friend helping me) and found that short runs for interconnecting devices: DVD, CD player, reel deck (yep, I have one and I use it) to the receiver. There is no audible difference for me.

    Long run speaker cable is a whole different history. I had already installed CC in my HT (about three years old). So I ran the same test with brand new Oxygen free cooper wire. Blind test again. Results?: THERE IS a difference, not only in sound reproduction but it was measured as a full 1 dB of loss (using a Radio Shack decibelimeter).

    I also note that CC (three year old then) plastic coating was becoming hard. My now two year old rewiring is flexible as new.

    Run your own tests, and make the best selection that fills your ears and eyes and fits your pocket.

    Time changes rules of thumb. I remember the Hi-Fi one that said: “50% for speakers, 50% for equipment”.

    .
    I agree that every component on a system whatever it is affcts/modifies the final result.

    If you have a Buggati Veyron, you can put low octane gas, probably you are not going to reach top speed by, say, 10 or 20 miles…. but you are still well over 200Mph!!!

    Or you can go and put some speed index N tires (up to 87 Mph) in your Veyron and save some serious buck on tires. But you can’t really enjoy the full experience because you will blow your tires (an sure you too) if you go fast.

    In any case. It is a matter of pure and personal choice.

  155. GOKOR says:

    @kable2: 1. He can’t do anything for you about the price of the cables he is selling you. 2. He’s only going to know what his supervisors tell him about the cable and sincerely not care about your whole lecture, meaning you’re making yourself look like a douche.

  156. StevieZ83 says:

    you can’t really make radio shack the bad guy here, at least we sell our own brand of cables too, which is much cheaper than monster, bby and circut city don’t, or will even try to not sell it to you.

  157. Swoop41 says:

    @Gorky: Not to mention money is lost on most laptop sales.

  158. Benjo says:

    Hey, wow. Moster Cable is overpriced. That’s the news of the century.

  159. Swoop41 says:

    @StevieZ83: Actually at Best Buy they will try to sell you their private label cables first, because there is more markup in them.

  160. Swoop41 says:

    @StevieZ83: Actually, at Best Buy they will try to sell you their private label cables and accessories first, as they are more profitable.

  161. Dude27 says:

    MC is overpriced at big retailers, but not if you’re clever enough to find yourself on the internet. I bought my MC Ps2/3 component for 12$ and 5$ shipping. I tried it versus my generic mad catz component: I put the mad catz in my trash… and I now enjoy a cleaner (less jaggies, less flickering, richer and more defined image on GT4 in 1080i with my PS2

  162. cygnusx8 says:

    Yes Monster cables are a rip off but it seems everyone has singled them out. They are not even the worst offenders. Take a look at Nordost which sells 1.5m Valhalla cable for around $5,000 or on the extreme side look up Transparent audio Opus MM cable which is about $30,000 for a pair of 1.5m speaker cables. Now those are some profit margins!

  163. OMG Consumerist!

    What’s next? Designer handbags don’t really cost thousands of dollars to make? Kobe beef isn’t really that much better than regular beef?

    Shocking.

  164. spruance says:

    Ugg, so many half-accurates in the comments.

    The statement made in the post itself is 100% accurate, with one catch: “Here’s the thing: digital cables, by definition, have no signal loss. A cable is either digital or it’s not.”

    That statement is entirely true, but IF and ONLY IF the signal reaches the other end not degraded.

    There’s a number of criteria that a cable is measured against, including cross talk, ingress noise, and attenuation. All three indicate ways that by the time the signal reaches the other end, the signal is unreadable, and so the signal is definitely “or not”.

    I have a 6′ HDMI cable that degraded from perfectly functional to doesn’t work in about 3 months. The cable itself is physically fine, it didn’t break or anything. The signal is just so badly attenuated that the receiver can’t decode the output and provide video or audio.

    So, what am I saying? Buy good cables, but not stupidly expensive ones.

    Gold plated connectors are never the answer. While connection points are where you lose the most signal strength, your connection is specified by end to end performance. If you (the maker) require gold to make the end-to-end signal within spec, you built the cable wrong.

    I’ve had extremely good luck with monoprice.com’s cables. A replacement HDMI cable cost me about $6, and i’ve used it for two years now happily.

  165. cenobyt says:

    Hi all,

    The title of this is somewhat misleading. You can’t just say 80% markups because people read that as a rip off. It’s not. No one in retail will ever look at that, nor should we. It’s all about margins (profits). That’s how companies stay in business. When they’re gone because they didn’t make any profit then we bitch because our favorite store isn’t there anymore. Almost all Monster cable gets the retailer about 45-50% profit. That is standard for almost all accessories. Once you pay the sales guy/gal who sold it plus all of their benefits plus the bills etc, maybe you’re at 20% profit. Now sell a TV which is on sale for some stupid price and guess what, you lost money even with that Monster wire thrown in at it’s 80% markup. Just doesn’t hurt as much.

    This is the same for all game systems. if you can’t sell the game or the extra controller then you lose money.

    So if making a slim profit in the electronics industry is unacceptable to you then perhaps as others mentioned, stop your bitchin and buy the cable on ebay.

  166. moro5150 says:

    I thought the price was due to the LIFETIME WARRANTY.
    I used to work at a musical instrument shop and always saw the cost ridiculously low, compared to retail. But I was also instructed to: “even if someone buys a cable and walks out the store and burns it, and turns it back, we have to give him a new cable” NO kidding. Store policy back then… The question is..
    Do they still have the lifetime warranty for ALL cables? or was it only instrument cables AND is it really worth that much

  167. bbbici says:

    I was under the impression that 100% markup is the norm in retail, for everything.

  168. cenobyt says:

    Also for those that have no idea how to figure out what a retailers profit is, here is the formula;

    (retail-cost)/retail

    So as an example
    Item | Retail Price | Wholesale Price | Profit Margin
    MONSTER BLK TLIT MNT-37IN | $179.99 | $109.74 | $70.25

    (179.99-109.74)/179.99= 39% profit

    Not that great considering this is an accessory on a retail floor. Most other mounts exceed the 45%-50% mark.

  169. ZerothOfTheLaw says:

    Yeah, this is pretty much accurate. I work in the canadian version of Radio Shack, The Source by Circuit City. We carry all the same stuff, and often, when converted, have the exact same profit margins.

    An example would be an “Ultimate HDMI Cable”, 16 feet long. It sells for $160 CAD, when Wholesale is about $16. Its not a monster cable either, but our store brand.

    How else are we supposed to make money, when our TV’s only have a profit margin of $50 or less? When our computers make us less than $10 profit? Thats not even taking into account employee wages, power, rent, transportation… We need to make a profit somewhere.

    Then again, I’m not really apologizing, but justifying the actions of companies. They have to make money somehow, right?

  170. MYarms says:

    Best part about knowing a Best Buy employee? Buying cables that normally run between 50 and 70 bucks for 3 dollars or less.

  171. xbigdoggx says:

    Those prices with the exception of the ones in the negative are not wierd at all. In fact those prices are actually very good considering. Im not by any mean saying monster is better than any one else or anywhere near worth the price. But the standard in retail is to take a cost and double it. It is called keystoning. The one thing that consumers always forget is that the cost over wholesale is not all profit. A store has costs to operate.
    Employee cost.
    Utilities
    Rent
    Inventory
    Insurance
    and numerous other things. Really go talk to your local anything store. I would bet 6 figures nearlly all of their products are marked double what they pay. I know I have had a small retail store for 20 years and if I make a 50% margin which is double cost. I actually take home maybe 12% So of $100 I make on a $200 item after paying all expenses I make $12 so if I have a $2000 day which would be probably what a radio shack makes in a day. The owner of that store probably made $250 so the owner essentially makes $25 an hour and thats hardly the kind of money rip off artists make. Really monster would be the rip off for charging so much but maybe that is just proportional to their costs. The gold and this and that may be questional as to whether or not it helps but if they feel it does and they spend the extra then they probably have to charge more.
    Anyway my point is they are all hardly ripoff people. If they are you should see margins at your local grocery. It would blow your mind. $0.10 Apple for $0.50 or even a dollar thats 80% and 90% margins Thats 500 and 900% markups.

  172. raistlinmaj says:

    What the hell is Radio Shack doing in business anymore? Do they still sell Olympus crap? Yay for Radio Shack selling crappy ass Aquos LCD’s for a rip off amount. I only go to Radio Shack (and it is a shack) for connectors. That’s it. Who is their right mind goes there for anything else? Crappy overpriced shit they sell. Doesn’t surprise me that Monster licks their chops having them sell their crap. Radio Shack and Monster cables. Oh the irony.

  173. dlab says:

    I rarely disagree with stuff that Ben posts, but as a musician, I object to the claim above.

    Yes, expensive HDMI cables ARE a rip-off, because of the the very definition of digital technology. Cables for analog use are an entirely different story — quality affects the amount of shielding used, thickness of the insulation, and the quality of the connector hardware as well as the actual solder points between cable and connector. Monster cables have the most beautiful solder points — high-quality cable joined with beautiful gold-lated hardware wrapped in heat-shrink rubber tubing. I started them after years of re-soldering generic guitar cables that would only last me 2-3 weeks before going bad. I still use the 20-foot, 1/4 inch angled jack Monster cable I bought 8 years ago as my primary cable going from my guitar to my amp, and it still sounds as good as the day I bought it.

    And finally, Monster cables have a lifetime warranty — if they go bad, send ‘em back and get another one.

  174. Add another vote to monoprice.

  175. aliencam says:

    prety much every cable has a monster markup on it. the best place I go to buy cables is [cablesforless.com] i actually often find cables that i like BETTER there than i can find in the store (little things like better protectors on ethernet cables, and things like that)

    and i found a 25 ft “high quality” HDMI cable there for $35.85, so not as cheap as under $20, but still really cheap.

  176. badgertale says:

    I don’t know why wveryone is bitching about the difference between wholesale and retail. There is supposed to be mark ups as much as 3x the wholesale price. That’s how they make a profit whether it is in accessories or not; it all depends on what the market will bear and what you think items are worth. Flashy claims and marketing are what it’s all about, baby (a-la George Costanza)!

    Do your research! Doesn’t hurt but it does take time.

  177. Skeptic says:

    BOBBLEZ AT 09:39 AM
    After reading through all the posts, I really realize how incredibly stupid this Take the Monster Pro guitar cable: they discovered that analog bass frequencies travel slower and towards the core of the cable and that treble travels faster and towards the outside. A simple braided cable over a long run will end up with a time separation (delay) between bass and treble. The Monster Pro has a solid core with a braided exterior on the main conductor, ENGINEERED to minimize audible delay.

    Ahem. Electricity travels at near light speed. There is no way on this earth you heard a phase problem with the analog audio signal traveling down your mono guitar cable.

  178. SillyBrit says:

    > Here’s the thing: digital cables, by definition, have no signal loss?

    Ummmm, that’s a VERY limited view.

    Data sent digitally 1’s and 0’s is represented as a voltage. You *will* lose a voltage over most cables, it’s fundamental physics. Lose too much of the ‘difference’ between the 1’s and 0’s and you will have a job differentiating between those two states.

    If you look at the testing done on this the “higher quality” cables (especially longer cables) have usually give a much sharper image due to there being less loss involved and therefore less the TV or whatever hardware you are use has to try and ‘guess’ at to repair the image.

    I still don’t think it by any means justifies the ridiculous markups involved though!

    The question you have to ask is whether the length of cable and picture quality you want justifies spending extra to get more than the basic cables. (In the case of that markup though, maybe when I get the 60″ flat screen and win the lottery).

    As always, do your research before buying.

  179. Skeptic says:

    BY MYARMS AT 12:35 PM
    Best part about knowing a Best Buy employee? Buying cables that normally run between 50 and 70 bucks for 3 dollars or less

    Best part about monoprice? Not having to know a Best Buy employee…

  180. helloitabot says:

    “Here’s the thing: digital cables, by definition, have no signal loss. A cable is either digital or it’s not. As long as its built to HDMI standards, the only difference between a “fancy” digital cable and a no-name one is the price.”

    Here’s where you are wrong. Each type of digital cable/transmission protocol has a different length at which the signal could degrade significantly enough to confuse a 1 with a 0 at the receiving end. At a certain length ALL digital cables will cause errors. That’s why they don’t make certain cables past a certain length. USB, Firewire etc all have a maximum length. For an HDMI cable of 6 feet or less, it probably is impossible for this to happen even with the cheapest cable. But buy a super cheap 50 foot HDMI cable and you may see artifacts on your screen. The electronic pulses that represent ones and zeroes can only travel so far. This is also a bigger issue with S/PDIF digital audio connections which use regular red/white RCA cables. When digital signal is transmitted through wires, it uses a different impedance than regular audio and they have cables designed specifically for this. That being said, all monster cables are a rip-off even ones for analog audio.

  181. IndyJaws says:

    Radio Shack’s actual cost is considerably lower than listed here. As others have pointed out, they take their net cost and add in overhead (shipping, inventory costs, advertising, etc.) to get a “wholesale” price.

    I remember back in the 90’s when I sold computers…a 6′ parallel printer cable retailed for $14.99 and had a wholesale cost of 16 cents and a net cost of under a dime. Sad thing is, we made more profit on the sale of a printer cable than the computer, monitor and printer combined. And customers always wondered why we didn’t just toss it in for free!

  182. flashing12 says:

    @unklegwar: I was about to make the same comment….my company is a monster distributor and either the kid who sent in this list is full of crap or Radio Shack’s buyer should be fired because the wholesale pricing is wayyyy too high in most cases

  183. kpfeif says:

    My favorite comment regarding Monster Cables by a BB employee [regarding a optical digital audio cable]…

    Him: Ugh, you’ll want to choose a Monster Cable.
    Me : Why? It’s optical – it uses light.
    Him: Yeah, well, Monster’s Cables are faster.
    Me : The light goes faster?
    Him: Yeah.
    Me : If Monster has figured out how to make light go faster, they’d better get into some other business other than audio cables.
    Him: [confused look]

  184. settsu says:

    I greatly appreciate what Consumerist does, but this is far from an exposé. While Monster products’ mark-up is quite healthy, it’s not exceptional for consumer electronics accesories.

    While I can’t recall the exact dollar amounts, I do remember the surprise/shock when looking up employee pricing, especially on house brand items, during my short stint at the “Big Blue” electronics chain. If my memory serves correctly, think margins of at least 200-300% for common items (batteries, RCA cables, etc.)

    How about keeping the focus on things that have an affect on day to day life, like monopolistic utilities, health insurance, or almost ANY staple food item (don’t get me started on bread, cereal, et al…)

    Keeping consumers from being duped by their own naivete is all good, but c’mon modestly high profit margins on HDMI cables is a little too “Local Nightly News”-shocking.

  185. flashing12 says:

    @bbbici: Nooooo, not everything. Flat screen TVs on sale are often at or even below cost making high margin accessory sales and extended warranty sales critical to stay in business. Unfortunately declining ASPs (average selling prices) on electronics makes it impossible for everyone to make a fair profit…stress the word fair. If no one makes a profit, then no one stays in business. It’s the way of the world!

  186. mergedwarrior says:

    I thought everybody knew this.

    I always buy cables online, Bestbuy wants 60 bucks for a 8 inch SATA cable from Dynex. Seriously.

  187. wjenning says:

    OK…time for a reality ‘reality’ check.

    It is common practice in nearly ALL retail to “keystone” many products. This is trade speak for ‘margin’. Non-loss leader products (um, think bread, milk, eggs, etc.) that are commonly bought, have lower margins and lower markups. But many products sold at retail are offered at double to wholesale cost. That’s standard.
    There are variable in all trades….check out vitamins, health & beauty aids.
    Monster cables may or not be a ‘rip off’, but that isn’t an argument made by ‘revealing’ the difference between wholesale and retail. The cables are a rip off if they do not provide any advantage in relation to their expense. Radio Shack is a rip off if they add undue markups on products that don’t do what they claim or do not outperform lesser priced options. But wholesale and retail practices do not, in themselves, constitute ‘fraud’. Grow up.

  188. dangj307 says:

    “Here’s the thing: digital cables, by definition, have no signal loss. A cable is either digital or it’s not. As long as its built to HDMI standards, the only difference between a “fancy” digital cable and a no-name one is the price”

    This isn’t entirely true. You can get sparklies in digital cables. HDMI/DVI wires can’t dream of having 200ft lengths like good component wires. Please retire this myth.
    [forum.ecoustics.com]

  189. bigzdotorg says:

    I used to work for BB. Not a fan of Monster in particular, but that’s besides the point. Is it that difficult to comprehend capitalism? For that matter, marketing and branding?

    As a society, we do not value one cable the same as the other – if so, there would be no Nike, LV, Mercedes, Coke, etc. etc.

    For every major brand / product out there, there is undoubtedly at least another ONE that is the same, if not better.

    If you thought that Monster was making cables for the benefit of the world, then, well, good for you. They’re here to make money – and I imagine, so are you – so get over the fact that someone else is doing it well.

  190. NoBSsteve says:

    @MANTARI:
    Your friend is right, frequency-dependent transmission of digital signals is known as dispersion, and is a type of transmission loss that causes distortion in transmission lines that cannot handle the applied frequency range of the digital data. This is exactly why “digital lines are lossless by definition” is false. When dispersion happens, you put a square wave in on one end and get a rounded waveform with a smaller amplitude on the other end. Signal correction tries to correct this by looking for areas of the waveform that are significantly higher than others and defining them as a digital 1.

    Also, whoever it was that mentioned the sales rep talking about the bass signals traveling over the surface of the wire (I don’t remember who it was because there are a lot of posts here), the rep was actually correct. Except that it’s not just the bass signals that travel along the surface, it’s all signals. In a transmission line, electrical signals only travel along the surface of the wire. Bigger gauges provide more surface area. Stranded cables provide a bit more surface area in an equally sized cable due to the additional surface area of the individual wires.

  191. thetard says:

    I generally agree with the theory of if its a digital cable any kind of signal loss between brands will inaudible. As far as anything analogue that uses copper goes Monster cable does make a difference, especially in the pro audio realm, I have tried several guitar cables and monster is one of the best, the only noise you get comes from where it should… the guitar. I worked electronics retail for seven years so this article was not a surprise at all for me. Virtually all of the accessories you will find at any electronics store has these kinds of mark-ups, from the cheapest to the most expensive. Like other people here have said “it’s were they make their money”.

  192. oachalon says:

    I am really enjoying reading all these comments. I work for a small electronics company and one of the items we sell is audio video cables. The chinese manufacturer we get our cables from is the same one that belkin gets their cables from. Monster also gets a majority of cables from them. They also make the av cable that comes with the nintendo wii. As an example our cost for a 6 ft hdmi cable is $3.57. Same cable as monster cable and belkin, my company just doesnt have their name on it and we just get it in standard black color. I guarantee monster cables cost is even less. So people saying that monster cables are better quality than another companies cable is wrong, they are buying them from the same chinese manufacturer. (Monoprice gets their cables from a different manufacturer but still very nice cables). Also I have to laugh about people talking about their lifetime guarantee and they have no problems replacing it. Of course they will replace it no probhlem you just paid $100 for a $1.50 cable. It reminds me of the movie tommy boy.

    Tommy: Let’s think about this for a sec, Ted, why do they put a guarantee on a box? Hmm, very interesting.
    Ted: I’m listening.
    Tommy: Here’s how I see it. A guy puts a guarantee on the box ’cause he wants you to fell all warm and toasty inside.
    Ted: Yeah, makes a man feel good.
    Tommy: ‘Course it does. Ya think if you leave that box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter.
    Ted: What’s your point?
    Tommy: The point is, how do you know the Guarantee Fairy isn’t a crazy glue sniffer? “Building model airplanes” says the little fairy, but we’re not buying it. Next thing you know, there’s money missing off the dresser and your daughter’s knocked up, I seen it a hundred times.
    Ted: But why do they put a guarantee on the box then?
    Tommy: Because they know all they solda ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That’s all it is. Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for right now, for your sake, for your daughter’s sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality item from me.

    They can send you all the replacements you want because their margin is so huge.

    Everyone have a nice day and save your money buy the cheap cables they are the same.

  193. thetard says:

    @laserjobs: Actually strand count matters too. The electrons actually pass through the outsides of the copper not the center. The more strands there is the easier it is for the electrons to bounce from strand to strand as they move down the wire. If you had just one center conductor it would be much harder for the electrons to move down the wire.

  194. x23 says:

    @Dude27:

    and for the quality, in my mind there is NO alternative to MC when you want quality.

    agreed. people come up with all sorts of inane justifications for being ripped-off.

  195. Dude27 says:

    I do not feel ripped off when I bought it (PS2 component) for 12$, I would have felt ripped off if for the same exact cable I would have paid 4-5x this price at Best Buy.

    I felt ripped off however when I bought the mad catz component cable for 15$ in a EB games which compared to my new MC is completely crappy…

    Of course, MC is not the finest cable out there especially if you have 2000-5000$ to put in a cable, but for me it provides sufficient high quality to be very happy… for a fair price online…

  196. mavrc says:

    Back in the day when I had my own retail computer shop, it was fun to buy an IDE cable for $1 and resell it for $9.99 (plus tax, of course.)

    Cables have always been exceptionally high margin items. Just buy the damn things from Amazon or Newegg or something. You can get 2 cables for 1/8 of the price of one Monster Cable and have a spare on the shelf if one of them breaks.

  197. HeartBurnKid says:

    I’ve run my computer monitor with a generic DVI cable and with a Monster cable, and noticed no difference whatsoever. This may not exactly be a scientific test, but it has all the meaning in the world to me.

    (And no, I didn’t pay Monster’s outrageous prices — I got it for $10 from a local outlet store)

  198. nick_r says:

    All I know is, $15-20 is about right for an HDMI-DVI cable.

  199. lorensingley says:

    It is kinda unfair to say a 20 cable is not as good as a 50-90 dollar one because there are differences in the spec the cable has been built to meet. Yeah, you just bought a 10-15 dollar HDMI cable, thats great, but will it pass 1080p with 12 bit deep color support? Will the signal be consistent past 3-4 meters? A lot of cable supprisingly have those problems.
    There are high and low grades of HDMI and people should be aware so they don’t waste time and money if they have nice gear. DVIgear.com is a good source for learning about these differences.

  200. dognose says:

    Yeah, that last column should be “profit” profit margin is a percentage. [www.teenanalyst.com]

    Even Radioshack is getting ripped off on these prices though!

  201. sudonihm says:

    The writer clearly has never bought a pair of pants – markup in clothing is 200% and more. 80% markup is at the low end of the scale.

  202. dohtem says:

    @philberttrw: Sorry but this self righteous act will not fly with us.

  203. HeartBurnKid says:

    @lorensingley:

    Yeah, you just bought a 10-15 dollar HDMI cable, thats great, but will it pass 1080p with 12 bit deep color support?

    Yes, it will, if it meets HDMI specs.

    Will the signal be consistent past 3-4 meters?

    This may be a sticking point with some cheap cables, but if that were the concern, then Monster probably wouldn’t sell 2m cables.

  204. StevieD says:

    OMG, somebody made a profit.

    My McD’s lunch included a softdrink. Ever checkout the profit margins on fountain drnks? Why the huge markup? Maybe it is to make up for less profitable items?

    BB/CC and every other electronics vendor, both B&M and online, have their own need to balance their loss leaders with more profitable items.

    Everybody does it.

    Hells Bells, way back when, I clerked in the hospital purchasing dept, the vendors would GIVE us the $100k piece of equipment if they could SELL us the consumable products. Wanna bet they made up the give away with the consumables?

    I bet if we really checked out MC’s product line we would find price leaders and give aways throughout the product line. MC makes up the loss leaders with healthy profits on other products.

    More power to them.

    Where do I buy some MC stock?

  205. edrebber says:

    The next time the logo shirted lying machine at one of the big box outlets tries to sell you Monster cable, request a demonstration to prove the difference. It would be pretty simple to hook up the OEM cable, view the output, hook up the Monster Cable, view the output and then make your decision.

  206. edrebber says:

    @StevieD: I always order a cup of water and then fill the cup with soda.

  207. Mr. Gunn says:

    No one’s going to read this way down here, but Ben et al, next time please put that kind of thing in a google spreadsheet or something. You can even generate HTML from it and then embed that in the body of the post if you like.

  208. pionar says:

    @GORKY:

    Trust me. I work for a retailer and trust me, there is more than $75 profit in a tv. The average profit margin in an HDTV (at least name-brand ones) is about 20%-25%. So, on a $2000 tv, you’re looking at about $400 profit.

  209. pionar says:

    @EDREBBER:

    I haven’t seen the diff between Monster and non-Monster high-end cables, but there’s definitely a difference between low-end HDMI and high-end HDMI. I work at a regional A/V store. When we put a Acoustic Research ProII HDMI (6 ft. – $95 retail and equivalent to the old Monster 400) cable up against an Entertainment Series HDMI (AR’s entry-level, $50 retail), the ProII produced significantly less digital artifacts (pixelation) than the ES cable.

    We used 2 Samsung BD players and 2 LNT5265F’s, side-by-side.

  210. ariefbm says:

    Is this new 4 you?

    This happens all the time. For example, (I shit you not) you know those tshirts they sell for 20-50 bucks? It actually costs about 5-10 bucks to make. But then again you have the shipment issues, store rent, and store staff. (Just calculate their salaries if you’re bored) (oh, and those 3 for $10 tshirts? about a buck to make)

    You want to know how people manage to distribute those stuff for 5-10 bucks? Pay minimal wages (to sell stuff at minimal profit margin). 80 bucks per month. YES, THATS RIGHT EIGHTY BUCKS PER MONTH. Suffice to say starbucks are delicacies that most people can’t afford. Everybody is in the cut throat business, so you can’t up the profit, suffice to say the places people sell is out in the street with no air conditioner.

    So tell me how many of those monster cables do you buy in 5 years? Just one? so it’s a profit of 80 dollars in five years to them?

    Keep on buying those cheap bargain stuff, and your economy will be on par with China’s economy. You will have the same salary and then these complaints will be justifiable.

  211. DiZBeDaMiT says:

    i worked in RS for a year and a half and the thing that is more sad is that none of that profit was given to its employees, we would probably see 2% profit.

  212. bksteve says:

    I almost bought a monster hdmi cable.. for like $60 bucks no less. I went home did a quick search and found the same type cable (acme brand) for $5!!!!
    The website I bought it from was http://www.monoprice.com

  213. dragondorm says:

    @humphrmi:
    I argue that. I always try to lead customers to what they need need, not what makes me look better with my manager. I learned long ago if I do that I’ll see my customer come back over and over again and I’ll make more money in the long run.

  214. dragondorm says:

    Buying from e-bay is fine if you don’t mind paying $12 for S&H when if you turn around and take that packaged box up to the post office to get a quote to ship to the shippers address and true shipping costs 2.98 then you can add 1-2 dollars more for the packaging. Most sellers make their money on the S&H because if you buy somthing for 10 dollars on ebay the sellers final value fees are on the $10. then they charge you $12 for S&H. E-bay gets none of that. That’s why I like to pay via paypal and that way they get stuck with more fees. I hate high S&H.

  215. dragondorm says:

    @dragondorm: I ment ‘I can’t argue that.’

  216. foxmajik says:

    No, I never wondered.

    Learn how to use jump cuts.

  217. Mr_Nowitt says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is? Every business has mark ups. You think that’s bad, you should see markup on coffee, or food. Starbucks is at what $.15/cup of coffee and what is the average ppa? You’re soft drink at a restaurant is outrageuos comparitively to what you pay. It’s just business.

  218. Keat says:

    “It’s not true that ‘digital is digital’ and that the cable quality is consequently irrelevant.”

    The “digital is digital” phrasing is an over-simplification of the argument. Monster’s marketing claims that by using other cables, there will be a subtle loss in quality. That just does not happen with digital signals. You either get perfect quality or drastic problems.

  219. Uglyshoe says:

    Is there a site like this for Guitar Cables… they be expensive and I have a feeling they follow the same priceing structure.

  220. shenanigrams says:

    per previous comments, the moron who wrote this needs to lose his job. retail vs wholesale? so who’s profiting on that spread. sounds like radioshack by my logic, no? that’s why radioshack is irrelevant and going the way of CompUSA and (cough) Circuit City and why cables (including Monster) are much cheaper.

    actually, it’s this sort of shoddy pseudo-journalism that is making the consumerist irrelevant. time for the consumerist to pick it up a notch and, at the VERY least, do some basic homework.

    a 12-year old would have done a better job on this.

    having said all that — the proper story (with some investigation) would probably still have revealed that monster has an 80% spread on cables — seriously, a cable from china? so radioshack customers are effectively paying a 90% to 95% mark-up on actual product-cost. are you feeling like a liz claiborne customer yet RS shoppers?

    let’s hope US shoppers gain some sense and start battering in the margins of both the Apple/Microsoft’s and Radioshacks/Best Buys by buying other things and elsewhere. your stupidity is bringing the dollar down.

  221. Android8675 says:

    People, don’t buy it if you don’t like it. I’m sure major retailers can just raise prices on everything else to make up for the loss of accessory sales.

    Hint Hint, if you work at a major retailer (ie-not Radio Shack) you can get monster cables at “cost”. (Personal use only of course)

    @rabiddachshund: Braid them, they make a bold fashion statement among the geek-elite.

  222. shadow735 says:

    anyone that has started a retail business knows this is normal, wholesale is marked up 100% or less. Its called a business and trying to make a profit, there are expenses accoociated with running a business.
    100% mark up is normal unless you are a huge retail business then they markup percentage decreases to encourage people to shop there rather then your local mom and pop shop.

  223. xiLLeNtz says:

    rocketfish is even higher.

    they’re 69.99CAD at canadian bb,
    staff gets them for about $10.00,
    a bit less. and that’s after taxes.

  224. gover57 says:

    @omyard: actually the plating makes very minimal difference – it’s the make up of the while wire that would matter. copper, silver and gold conduct so closely to each other that it would be negligable to 90% of the world’s a/v electronics.

    best buy sucks too, just to make a random comment here about markup. they whined a lot when i bought my 42″ lg plasma last boxing day – had a flyer for Leons saying it was $1699.99 and Bestbuy;s price was 1899.99… they whined it was below cost, but i replied that it is their store policy to match a competitor’s price, as long as the competitor had it in stock…(leons had 14 left…lol) the manager gave us a hassle, but we still left with a tv and 5 year warrantee for less than their floor price…

    Oh, and i don’t use monster cables, just the ones shipped with the units, and the HDMI from my satellite box is just as clear in HD as it possibly could be. audio cables are generic speaker wire, and they sound perfect. my dad got rooked into monster cables and trying to bother with their short lenths in the kit was a pain to the point it wasn’t worth it. he gave up when he couldn’t squeeze the extra 2 feet he needed to get the rear surround hooked up…

  225. edelRSX says:

    true for digital, but there are varying arguments for NON digital cables… namely speaker cable, component video, guitar cables, etc. For a toslink (optical) hdmi, or digital co-ax sure maybe its a rip… but even with digital there is still the quality factor. lifetime warranties are nice, and given the fragile nature of optical cable I like that. The same goes for their guitar cables. They are considerable thicker and I noticed a CONSIDERABLE difference between that and my prior cable. for 50 dollars for a 20 ft cable I have no problem, im pluggin it into a 3K PRS and a Marshall Tube amp. I’ve tried the ‘budget cables’ and the budget 3inch and 5inch pedal cabels and they just dont last, and the connections are shoddy. they’ll cut in and out and they degrade quickly. Bought one monster cable guitar cable way back when they were introduced. it died after 4-5 years of use, went to GC with receipt and cable, they gave me a brand new one of the “newer” version without ahassle. its just about the only thing good about guitar center.

    but then again how is this any differentfrom anythign else? should we stop people from shopping at Needless Markeup I mean Neiman Markus entirely? Kill of BMW? the same goes for apple. they charge 700 for upgrade by 2gigs of laptop or desktop memory right now. odd seing as I can buy ddr2 8500 4gigs for under 200 total. Should we stop people from buying food at airports? at movie theaters? buying gas on the interstate? food at the fastfood joint at the rest stop on the highway that jacks up the prices 2x normal or more? as long as there are people stupid enough to buy the junk and think they need it, someone will be selling it to them. afterall what would yuppies do if they couldnt brag about how much money they wasted on a random insignificant piece of crap.. i sadly wouldnt be surprised if i started to see “designer” rubber bands, paper clips, batteries, plastic bags (paper, plastic or DolceGabana?), cdr’s, and garbage bags.

  226. BassNotes says:

    Accessories have high markups. That’s not news. Monster Cables just has stupid high prices based on misleading marketing. Call it a tax on ignorance, if you like.

    If you believe that electricity travels only on the surface of a conductor, you pay a tax to Monster and the retailer for their having fooled you.

    If you believe that Monster’s high prices are because of “engineering costs,” you also pay a tax to Monster and the retailer.

  227. meneye says:

    I don’t understand why this markup is so bad. If an item retails for 100 bucks the company will probably get it for 50 and sell it at retail. That is a standard healthy profit margin. Big deal. I work in a bookstore and I can say it’s a double markup on almost everything.

  228. jazzdonkey says:

    Funny thing, I used to work for RadioShack at the time when they first started selling Monster Cable. So my manager and I went to a seminar informing us about the “benefits” that Monster Cable provides. One of the demonstrations focused on the tonal quality you would recieve from Monster Cable by comparing 12 gauge Monster Cable to something like 18 gauge or 22 gauge “other” speaker wire. Duh.

  229. wimawep says:

    Digital signals of any significant bandwidth are placed on an rf modulated carrier usually in the 3 or 4 megahertz range. This is why HDMI cables are relatively expensive, very good shielding must be used to prevent the modulated carriers from doing what modulated things do best ie radiate off into space. square waves were long gone, even before modulated carriers came along. @Skeptic:

  230. flyboy843 says:

    Well after you have beat the living daylights out of the salesmen so you can pay 2 or 3 percent over cost for you plasmas, there has to be something that can make some profit to keep the goddam stores open. Waddya want, below wholesale on everything. one’s got to make a living! Jeez!
    Average out the deep dicount you got on the electronics with the attachments and you’ve still made out pretty well. friigin’ cheapskates. Don’t bother asking for any technical help as the stores can’t afford to pay anyone with any real knowledge, expertise and experience.

  231. mike says:

    But…but…Monster cables are gold plated. That makes the digital signal supercharged so that it can go into speakers and produce surround sound…

    I lost it…

    • Anonymous says:

      Gold plating is for two things only. It eliminates corrosion in the long run and people think it does more. The only real reason if the first. Silver is the best conductor (even tarnished silver) but with impurities in it (jewelry silver) it can sound harsh. So “but” the gold, but not the silver.

  232. spaceace76 says:

    As an RS employee, I’m a bit puzzled at this. Two reasons:

    1. We have a function in our Point of Sale system that can tell us what the margin is for every/any item in the store, just as the listing shows. However, it doesn’t organize things nicely as shown. You’d have to either find each item in the store, type in their stock numbers one by one and copy each down, or type in “monster” on radioshack.com to see a list of all the monster products and THEN type the listed stock numbers one at a time to find this info. So, this guy looked all of these items up, typed them out, and emailed it to you guys? It sounds pretty tedious to me. Also, you can only perform this extra-special function from the backroom computer, while clocked in, so you’d have to work all this out while waiting on customers.

    2. We seriously DO NOT sell this many monster products. I work in one of the largest RS’s in my district, we’re larger than most mall stores in fact, and we have maybe 50 monster products total. There are a few speaker cable rolls, lets call it 5, about 20 a/v cables of various types and lengths, we’ll call that 25 for good measure, the “iPod” cables, 3, the 2-3 FM transmitters that we get in stock on occasion, the monster screen cleaner, the monster surge protectors, 5, and the 3-4 speaker cable connectors. That’s 46 Monster products. The article lists 215?!?! No way we have that many monster products, even if you count products we don’t carry anymore that haven’t been removed from the system (there are about 20 listed in the article), there’s no way we have 215 monster products.

  233. Anonymous says:

    Where to begin? Quality electronics (non Japanese) have dealer profits of 30% to 50% of the selling price. That is similar to or less then your clothing purchases. Monster has always been known to be mostly generic sort of quality. Other quality brand cables, when used on quality electronics produce substantially better sound then generic cables. I am not saying everyone should buy them and definitely don’t if you only listen to rock or rap (just not recorded well enough), but the improvement is there and to think not is to still believe that all CD players sound the same because they are digital. (If you think that, then go to a quality store and compare in a blind test.) Enjoy the music … and video.

  234. Anonymous says:

    As someone who used to work for a retailer processing RTV’s (Return To Vendor) on store and customer stock, I can tell you one place where Monster cable shines is customer service. The joke around the store (10 years ago) was you can run your cable through a wood chipper on purpose and Monster would replace it, and I had seen this happen time & time again (mostly with damage from touring or by pets/pests/kids). On top of that, I have found that Monster cables that have been put through the wringer not only last longer but sound better longer.

    Also, I recently purchased some discontinued Monster cables from eBay to replace some no-name cables that didn’t do the trick. Seems there are a crapton of generic cables for S-Video/Composite/Stereo Audio cables for NGC/N64/SNES that are wired the wrong way, so you get these nasty diagonal lines all across the screen. If I had gone with Monster (the only option out there on eBay these days), I wouldn’t have paid the worthless cables + shipping experience tax.

    I’ll agree that they are overpriced (I won’t buy them new, and get 98% of my cables that I don’t make myself from the websites mentioned in the above article), and that they are in most cases no better than regular cable out of the box, but I think that quality goes a bit further than just initial performance.

  235. masterasia says:

    I went to Best Buy once to buy a 10 foot HDMI cable about 4 years ago when HDMI just started to become main stream. The Magnolia guy told me it be $180 and they had to order them so I can pay for them now and pick them up later in the week. I laughed and said I’ll be getting it from Newegg for $10. I don’t buy much from Best Buy anymore unless I really need some DVD-R or CD-R.

    I still regret buying that 4X $240 DVD burner from them when they first came out. Two months later they were down to around $100 when the 8X came out.

  236. oneinnet says:

    In viewing the comments this list seems full of folks who just want cheap not quality. What happens when you have a 50′ HDMI cable installed in walls after drywall and it does not function correctly. I wonder if these suppliers of Cheap Cables would pay for the repairs? Monster Would and has when I had a cable failure….

  237. BjornOlafson says:

    The pro-audio cables from monster with 1/4″ TS connections used in musical applications are definitely worth it seeing as they usually carry analog signal. Shame they like to price gouge with HDMI and digital entertainment applications…