QVC Tricks Thousands Into Overpaying For Wii and Accessories

Reader Joe/Mordecai spotted an awful QVC deal on a Wii, a crappy game and some accessories.

He writes:

While channel surfing this evening I happened to skim by the QVC channel (around 6:50pm CST Sunday night) and noticed they were selling Wiis for the holiday season. The only thing that struck me as weird was the insane price they were selling this item.

Looking at the prices (on tv):

$349.00 + $13.97 S&H = $362.97

for the following items:

Nintendo Wii console retail (with Wii Sports)
Go Play Circus Star Games
Handgun Accessory
Golf Accessory
Tennis Accessory
Baseball Accessory
Steering Wheel

but seeing what these items are retail:

Nintendo Wii console: $199.00 MSRP
Go Play Circus Star Games: $14.99 (new at GameStop)
Wii sports pack (has all accessoies sans handgun accessory): $19.99 (new at GameStop)
Handgun Accessory: $5.99 (new at Sears)

All of these is $239.97 plus tax.

I wonder where they are getting this $140+ amount from. :|

Is QVC trying to cash in for the Christmas rush? All through out the show they were saying that the wii was going to be “rare”. They were also saying that the Wii had true HD output which is totally untrue (unless 480p is considered HD). It just seemed unreal to me. Oh, and they sold about 2800+ of these.

To confirm what Joe/Mordecai suspects, the Wii is not in HD and Nintendo has repeatedly said the slumping-sales system will not be hard to come by this holiday season.

In the time since he sent the email, QVC got crrrrrazy and slashed the price to a low, low $318.20 before tax, shipping and handling. Only an $80 markup?! They’re practically giving it away!

Comments

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  1. thetango says:

    This just in: QVC is a company that attempts to make money by selling stuff at inflated prices.

    *GASP*

    • thesadtomato says:

      @thetango: I didn’t know QVC sold brand name items like Wiis. Why would anyone buy a name brand game system off of a home shopping channel? I guess people who find TV-shopping exciting . . .

      • K-Bo says:

        @thesadtomato: Old Grandmas who watch QVC all day may have no clue how much it should cost, all they know is little Johnny and Susie said they wanted one, so they buy it.

        • GyroMight says:

          @K-Bo: Include my mom in that list, she loves watching QVC. Why? That is a question for the ages. At least I have her trained to call me before any and all electronic purchases. That way I can prove to her that QVC does not offer good deals.

          Although I will say we bought our 65″ DLP TV from home shopping about 3 years ago and scored a good deal on it.

        • "I Like Potatoes" says:

          @K-Bo: This is why, when my kids want electronics for gifts, I tell my mom exactly what to get and where to find it at the best price. I must admit, though…that Christmas that Wii’s were impossible to find, my mom had scored two of them in August and sat and laughed at everyone trying to find one. Go Mom!

      • Parapraxis says:

        @thesadtomato:

        “What does a banana cost nowadays? $10?”

        -Lucille Bluth, “Arrested Development”

      • xl22k says:

        Isn’t the internet basically a really big home shopping channel?

    • Karita says:

      @thetango: I’ve actually bought a few things from QVC over the past year. A dehumidifier and rice cooker that were the same price as everywhere else, but I was able to pay them off in 5 interest-free installments. And a printer that was on clearance for about $150 less than any other place. A lot of their stuff is wicked overpriced, but you can occasionally get a good deal from them.

      If you are looking for something specific, it doesn’t hurt to check them out. But I’ve never once watched the TV channel. I just check out their web site once in a while.

  2. Ronin-Democrat says:

    where is crazy eddie when you need him.

    _from=PL&index=22

  3. justagigilo85 says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if they did this to rip off old ladies who don’t do their homework on stuff like this (my mom, for example).

  4. bigd7387 says:

    I really hate these compaines because they end up scamming the older people. My parents who are in their 70’s fell for buying through one of these companies last year and it was hard to tell them that they had been taken but I felt it would have been worse to not tell them and let it happen again. Just like “Rent to Own” stay away from these places but they only stay in business because they prey on people who are either in need or are not knowlegeable about the products.

    • RPHP says:

      @bigd7387: I do not feel that QVC is well known for ripping people off. I think this particular cases is a rip off but I have heard of other people who have bought things from QVC who were quite happy with the price they paid.

      True other companies always rip people off however I do not feel that such is the case here. It seems to be just a bad instance for QVC here.

      • Amish Undercover says:

        @RPHP: I agree they are not ripping people off. They are just aiming for the niche market of impulse buyers and addicted shoppers.

        QVC and HSN put up timers on the channel for how long the deal will last and also a ticker of how many items remain for this “once in a lifetime” opportunity to make their channels into participating game shows.

  5. blueneon says:

    It is a total rip-off as we all know. However, the only upside may be that one can pay for it in those 4 “easy payments” of $87.25. So possibly for one that does not have a credit card for whatever reason, and cannot pay outright for these items, this may be the way they can purchase this. Again, it’s not worth the inflated price when one can just save the money and then buy it, I’m aware of this. But it does give the above customer the ability to buy it. In time for Christmas too!

    • B1663R says:

      @blueneon:

      *****PLEASE NOTE*****
      If you meet the above criteria specified by blueneon,

      YOU CANNOT AFFORD THAT ITEM

      PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF OR CHANGE THE CHANEL!!

  6. Bigfoot-Angus says:

    I was in COSTCO on Saturday, they had at least 100 WIIs and they were <$200

  7. dwarf74 says:

    You should have seen the 10″ netbook they were selling, with a massive 1gb of RAM, for $450.

  8. Illusio26 says:

    There really isn’t any reason for the Wii to be rare anymore. It’s a 3 year old system.

  9. humphrmi says:

    They’re cashing in on the shortage of Wii’s last Christmas season. Grandmothers who couldn’t find a Wii for their grandchildren last year will see this and buy them.

  10. ShiningSquirrel says:

    So the op found the same thing online cheaper? GASP!
    I can’t believe this is even a story.
    Different places charge different prices, that’s why you shop around.
    For example, that “Go Play Circus Star Games” that the op says is only $14.99, is a good price, but there are retailers online selling it for as much as $55.99!
    As to it not being HD, nearly everyone claims it is HD, even Amazon.com. They even sell HDMI cables for it.
    If you do a little searching you can also find it even higher online, so maybe consumerist should use those prices and do a story about what a great deal QVC is offering?

    • Rachacha says:

      @ShiningSquirrel:
      “but there are retailers online selling it for as much as $55.99!”

      I did a bit of searching online, and was unable to find a reputable retailer selling the game for $56. The highest price I found was $43 at a site that I had never heard of and looked to be a scam. Care to provide a link?
      Go Play Circus Star Games
      [www.amazon.com] $16.49
      [www.toysrus.com] $19.99
      [www.bestbuy.com] $19.99
      [www.bizrate.com] $29.82
      [video-games.pricegrabber.com] $18.99 – $35.81

      Wii Console “nearly everyone claims it is HD, even Amazon.com”:
      [www.amazon.com]
      They do not indicate in their description that the console is HD. Yes, they do offer Component Cables, [www.amazon.com] but the specs clearly state 480p

      I did find and HDMI Cable for the Wii, but it states “Brand new non-OEM. 24K gold plated plugs. Great for multi console owners, Fully compatible with Xbox360,Wii,PS3,PS2. Supports (480i/480p);(720i/720p)&(1080i/1080p)technology. Actual resolution determined by console and television used.”

    • AnEternalEnigma says:

      What the hell are you talking about? This not an issue of simply finding it cheaper online. QVC is grossly going over the Standard Retail Prices that the manufacturers themselves set.

      I don’t understand why you keep throwing out that Google whatever you’re telling people to search through. All it’s doing is giving you information that’s making you look even more wrong.

      The Wii’s normal price set by Nintendo is $199.99. As for this “Go Play Circus Star Games” Gamestop, the company that keeps their games highly priced for the longest time, is selling this NEW for $14.99. Yes, the SRP set by the company’s publisher, Majesco, is $14.99, Also, NO Wii game that releases without any extra peripherals is ever priced above $49.99. EVER. Any sites you’re finding on your voodoo Google thing that is selling this for a higher price than $20 is a scam site or a site with the same overpricing mentality as QVC.

      As far as the HD thing, the Wii is most certainly not a high definition device. Nintendo even says this themselves. The highest resolution it can put out is 480p, which is not high definition at all. 480p is classified as “enhanced definition” (or ED). The Wii doesn’t even have a HDMI port on it, so I don’t know where you’re getting this HDMI nonsense. Likely, some bottom barrel third party company that sells cheap peripherals hacked together some converter with a HDMI connector on the end. The only people that would believe that a one-sided HDMI cable can magically convert a 480p signal to a 720p/1080i/1080p signal are people that are talking like you.

      My conclusion? You must work for QVC.

  11. gparlett says:

    QVC is simply a tax on the stupid. It’s hard for me to have much sympathy for people who actually buy stuff off this channel.

    • skylndrftr says:

      @gparlett: I see and understand the point. However I have caught myself a few times just stuck, listening in abject horror, as people call in and gush to the hucksters. They do an amazing job of making their viewers think that they are friends and they actually need these things. It makes me sad because you realize how little the viewers have beyond this channel…

  12. riverstyxxx says:

    I see QVC is doing what it does best..
    Their market is lazy, sit-at-home bored overweight housewives that stay up until 3am who don’t know how to leave the house and check the local walmart for a better deal.

  13. pb5000 says:

    I have a hard time feeling bad about this. QVC is a business and they are entitled to make money any way they can, and while this may seem dis-tasteful, I don’t view it as unethical. QVC is not required to do your consumer homework for you, and there are likely people who know how much these things cost but bought anyway because $140 was worth the convenience to them.

    The MSRP is the Manufactures Suggested Retail Price, if QVC can get people to buy it for more, so be it.

  14. SonicMan says:

    Hey, what is the big deal here. You are going to GameStop for prices. How about Looking at the MSRP for these items?

    I thought wii games would normally retail for 49.99
    So you have the Wii 199.99
    The Game 49.99
    Gun 19.99
    Sports Pack 29.99

    Ok it still comes to about $300 Only about $50 more than you would expect to pay at $349

    • outlulz says:

      @SonicMan: Games have universal price drops, especially shovelware like that piece of crap, where almost all retailers sell it at a lower price. Go look at every other retailer and you wont find one selling it for $49.99 because they know no one will buy it at that price.

      [wii.ign.com]
      The MSRP for the game is only $29.99 by the way.

  15. Cameraman says:

    I’ve been in Crazy Eddie’s house in Brooklyn, to give him a price estimate on repairing/replacing.. well, I won’t tell you, because I like being anonymous on the Internet, and there is a non-zero chance he’s reading this website. But my point is, just because his prices are insane, he thinks everyone else’s should be, too. Dude needs to lay off the cocaine. Nice house, though, big driveway.

    • SkuldChan says:

      @Cameraman: So how many people do you think he has coming by his place to do repair estimates?

      I personally haven’t had anyone do that all year and could probably remember the one person who did come by if needed.

  16. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    The wii is capable of 480i, which makes it “EDTV” or enhanced definition TV… definately not full HD. That’s a minimum resolution of 720.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      @WiglyWorm must cease and decist:

      The Wii is capable of 480p which is EDTV.

      480i is SDTV.

      It seems like you probably knew that and it may have been a typo, but I thought it prudent to correct you so as to not confuse others.

    • scoosdad says:

      @WiglyWorm must cease and decist: Well from the photo accompanying the article, it appears they were demonstrating it on a widescreen TV (but in stretch mode), and as everybody knows, anything on a widescreen TV must be HD!

      /sarcasm

      Oh, and they sold about 2800+ of these.

      Did the OP know that from the count-up thing on the screen as it’s being sold? Does anyone else besides me think those are nothing more than simulated inflated figures designed to generate excitement and hype?

  17. JohnDeere says:

    i just bought 2 wii steering wheels from meritline this morning for $0.75 each with free shipping from hongkong. surely if its coming from america it should be cheaper.

  18. The Marionette says:

    I remember when pokemon cards were really popular and they were selling them for an incredibly ridiculous price.

  19. Elcheecho says:

    once i was watching HSN hawk a philips blu-ray player with profile 2.0.

    their explanation was that with the ethernet jack, you can download new information and features onto your Blu-ray disc player.

  20. vastrightwing says:

    I’m still waiting for WII prices to hit about $49

  21. Cameraman says:

    Well, this was back when gas was just under two bucks a gallon, so water under the bridge and all that. Still, I’m sure he didn’t get more than three estimates, tops, to repair that particular chunk of house, and he may still be able to guess. Also, I’m just paranoid. If it had been more recent, I wouldn’t have brought it up at all.

  22. Dyscord says:

    I’m reminded of when the local pawn shop was selling PS2s for $300 back during the chirstmas season of 2004. They claimed that it was in high demand and that the only other way you could get a PS2 was to order it online.

    The local stores DID have a bit of a shortage, but this isn’t the early 90s. Buying something online wouldn’t have really been a problem. Also, they were selling a USED console for double the price of a NEW one.

    I always found that whole exchange funny.

  23. JollyJumjuck says:

    QVC overcharging for the Wii? I thought Nintendo was already doing that, at least until their recent price WAAAAY overdue price cut.

  24. lannister80 says:

    Yup, 480p = EDTV

    1080i and up is HDTV

    1080p > 720p > 1080i > 480p > 480i

  25. michelsondl says:

    I have an aunt that watched QVC all the time and has been looking for a Wii. Now I have to call her to see if she bought this, and if she didn’t then make sure she doesn’t get it next time.

  26. shiftless says:

    It’s not a bad deal. It’s something called the “idiot tax”. If your slug-like body has nothing better to do than watch QVC all day and are unable to do simple math on popular products that have existed for over two years then this is one of the many consequences of doing so!

  27. DanGarion says:

    This title is just as misleading as QVC. They aren’t tricking anyone into anything. They haven’t placed a gun to any ones head and forced them to purchase the items. Whoever calls and orders it from them should know what they are paying for and place no blame on overpaying on anyone but themselves…

  28. nstonep says:

    At least they aren’t padding for shipping. To ship all that crap (and it is ALL crap) at least 15 bucks ;)

  29. RomeoCharlie says:

    So… where is the “trick” in this story? QVC has customers that are willing to buy something without doing research into its actual cost, and it’s a trick? The only sketchy thing I see is that they falsely claimed that the Wii is in “HD.” And from the article, it sounds like this was just a spoken thing by one of the on-screen salesnerds, so it could have been a legit mistake.

  30. QquegChristian says:

    I think they are selling it with 2 wiimotes, though their website is hazy on that. If that is the case, the price is only somewhat terrible.

    There is one added benefit to purchasing from QVC and a good reason for their inflated price on the wii… you can return all of it after you get sick of it in 2 weeks.

    Seriously, QVC has probably the best return policy of anyone. 30 days, no questions asked, on anything, open and used or otherwise.

    Gamestop would never take back an opened videogame.

    You should read some of the reviews of things like jewelery or just about anything on QVC’s website and how many people return things.

    Vendors have to take back all of the returns unpaid, thus they have to charge a higher wholesale price up front to cover that.

    I’m not saying this isn’t normal in all chains of retail, but television shopping channels have much higher return rates… basically, they have a very high rate of buyer’s remorse. Since it’s always on, there’s always something better to buy and since the return policy is so good, they can pick through the purchases and return their least favorite of the things.

  31. DrXym says:

    It was stupid to pay over the odds when the Wii was (inexplicably) a hot selling item. These days it’s just insane.

  32. madanthony says:

    @pecan 3.14159265:

    But paying a premium for something that is nearly impossible to come by is understandable, if not the best financial move. Paying a premium for something that is in stock at every mass market retailer in the country, not so much.

  33. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @madanthony: But it was the shortsightedness, you know? It was only a matter of time before the craze died out and supply could catch up with demand. But they had to have it right then and there.

  34. K-Bo says:

    @thesadtomato: My grandma would because she didn’t drive, and if she saw something the grandkids had been asking for, it was either wait for my grandpa to drive her, and have him see how much she was spending, or just buy it by phone and be done with it. Basically, a shopaholic will buy anything anywhere if they really want it, often without doing researching, since that’s not the fun part, the buying is.

  35. mazzic1083 says:

    @ModernTenshi04: I’m just going to give you props for getting a wii at launch

  36. remington870_20ga says:

    @idip: Ugh, you should have seen it when my step dad years back waited till the last minute to buy his spoiled rotten son a slim ps2 when it first came out. 2 DAYS BEFORE XMAS, he had me buy a slim PS2 off ebay and overnight the sucker. Its almost went up to about $700.

  37. rinse says:

    @jpdanzig: “an eyeful in the bargain” …nice euphemism! :D

  38. ShiningSquirrel says:

    @outlulz:

    Do a search using google.com and thisr shopping function.

  39. nybiker says:

    @PsiCop: Yeah, they sure don’t. If his came on nowadays, I might actually stop the vcr and watch his 30-second spiel (& then FF through the rest of them). Did you see the size of the cell phone he had? Talk about a brick.

  40. PsiCop says:

    @nybiker: Yeah, I saw that, it was a brick with an antenna!

  41. tonberry says:

    @DangerMouth..Passed the Audition!: Great, send me $49.99 and i will make sure NOT to send you this game, otherwise, you will be receiving this game!

    *disclamer: i will not send this game either way.