Feb 1, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
I knew what was on the radio was too good to be true, but my crew seemed to buzz about it most of the morning so I agreed to go up and see what it was all about. I was looking for a laptop for my daughter and they said they had laptops starting at $150 so I figured that was my motivation.
I walked into the event center at the expo grounds with 50 or more people waiting in line to get in the building. I asked one guy who came out what he thought and he said that it was ok, so getting to the front of the line, I plopped my $7 dollars down and went inside.
The first booth that I came across seemed loaded with cheap oriental stuff and to no surprise the salespeople were all oriental. There were some neat looking knives and swords if you like that kind of stuff but all the rest looked very cheap.
I then targeted the booth that had the computer equipment along with loads of other electronic gear. Fighting through the crowd, I came to the laptops. Peeking through, I spied a few of the prices that seemed to be in the $400 range. And then I sighted the show specials, you know those items that they talked about on the ads. The stack was in the middle of the room. A single hand written sign designated them "Show Specials". A stack of old laptops and desktops that looked ancient. I shook my head and headed back over to the line of "better" laptops. The cheapest was around $300 with the most expensive closer to $700. Looking closer, I could tell they too were ancient as to laptop standards. I looked around at the rest of the electronics and did find a couple of items that looked interesting but everyone of them had no price on it. I would have to get in this big long line just to find out what their price was.
I gave up on the electonics and then went looking for something....anything that would save me the entrance fee. I went from store to store but to no avail. I stopped at one small kiosk where a spanish speaking barker was yelling out, "Great prices! On sale today!". It reminded me of being down in downtown Tijuana again. Someone pointed out a video camera that he had in front of him and asked the price. "$150", he stated. I reached over and picked up the camera. It looked like a mini dvd type and that was a pretty good price and it looked like a name brand. A closer look showed the brand that had a letter differing from the name brand and to no surpise, no place to open up the side to load the mini dvd. It was actually one that you place a memory card into or just hook up to your computer. It was just made to look like a mini dvd camera to fool the unsuspecting.
After an hour, I gave up and left. As I slowly walked back to my car, I listened to others who walked around me back to theirs. I was listening for their comments and boy did I get an ear full. I don't think I have ever heard the "f" word so much since back when I was in the Navy. I still have a hard time hearing it from a woman. As I started to get in my car, a young girl was spouting it out to what looked like her mother. "We just stood in the ______ line in the _______ cold and then paid out 7 _______ dollars each for what? We got _______ nothing! What a _______ rip off!". I shook my head as I closed the door and started the engine. I wondered if the mother just tollerated the words or did she teach them to her.
If this reaches one person who decides better than to be fooled by this ruse, it will be worth it. Save your $7 and put it to good use. Like a movie or something. Or come see me and I will give you a burger for it. I guarantee you will be far more satisfied.