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