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December 10, 2012

Comments

Angelo

Oh, of course. But this is nothing new. Popular names (often the carcasses of bankrupt companies) have been hijacked and appeared on cheap imported crap for decades and decades. Sometimes, you get lucky and the goods are actually...GOOD. Other times, not so good. A really powerful name in electronics that I'd love to see come back is Quasar. That name must be available, legally, for someone to buy, right? I think it was a division of Motorola.

KE7CYT

Living in Tucson where there's a big retiree population, I've known seniors who bought new electronics branded with names they trusted from their youth - and discovered it was third-rate crap. Selling this stuff in chain drugstores is like spearphishing; targeting people who are regulars waiting to make RX pickups. It's good that many seniors have become web savvy and will inform each other regarding this.

Tom Welch

What consumers don't understand is that retailers sell products designed specifically for Black Fridays and Ciber Mondays sales. The products are cheapen versions with mostly reduced features. Outlet malls work the same way b/c there's not enough merchandise so outlet stores order merchandise designed to be sold at outlet stores.

Angelo

Tom: That's really interesting and I never knew that. It's funny----recently, I bought a TV set from Craigs List. It's a 32" Sony Trinitron from 2001. Yes, it's old and not a true flat screen----in fact, the things weighs over 160 pounds and I had to take the back of my entertainment center off because it wouldn't fit through the opening in the front----but I got it for $29.00. Anyway, the point is that when I Binged the model number of this particular Trinitron and researched it----I found that it's a "decontented" version. Yes, it's still a Sony Trinitron and yes, even at nearly 12 years old, the picture is beautiful (bright colors and clear). But it's lacking features such as picture in picture and incredibly, only has one set of inputs for VCR/DVD/AUX. I had to go to Radio Shack and spend another twenty bucks to multiply the inputs so I could plug in a VCR/DVD and game. I read that this set had a retail of almost $800.00 but a stgreet price of $700.00. Meanwhile, other 32" Trinitrons of that vintage sold for over $1000.00 and likely had a full complement of features. I'm now wondering if the one I bought was specially made as a doorbuster or something? Production date of my set is January 2001----making me wonder if it was a Super Bowl TV sale or after Christmas sale special----Presidents Day or something like that.

KE7CYT

I've fixed many a HP Pavilion desktop that had a "W" or "C" at the end of it's model number - indicating that it was custom made to be sold by WalMart or Costco. Usually the features are pretty nice; the typical failure is the power supply.

Like the house-model Pavilions, it's as if more and more electronics are manufactured in short production runs for a particular retailer or sales event.

Mitch

Looks like one company has bought many of these names. There are identical Android tablets out there from Uniden, Polaroid, and Emerson, which all come from Southern Telecom. I've also noticed a lot of Sharper Image branded products, headphones in particular, that come from Southern Telecom.

Angelo

I've noticed Sylvania, Craig and Jensen branded products at drug stores (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid). Everything from irons to TV signal converter boxes, etc. I bought a Jensen alarm clock that projects on the ceiling----with AM/FM radio. Pretty good reception, clear sound, but speaker that sounds tinny. It won't be confused with a Sony Dream Machine but I actually like it. I also have an Emerson radio that's a few years old----that has been terrific. Sometimes the cheapie companies that buy these names and rebrand their products put out decent products at low prices. But by no means can we have confidence in the names the way we might have at one time.

Tom Welch

Sometimes you get a lesser quality product b/c the manufacturer merely shifted production from one Asian country to another to save $$$$, never mind the fewer features you're getting. But as a rule of thumb you get what you paid for. Retailers have a lot of knowledge of the marketplace and power, so if you want wait in line at 3AM on Black Friday, be my quest.

Tom Welch

I want to respond to this statement: "Looks like one company has bought many of these names".

What most likely has happened is that one company has "licensed" the legacy brand names to produce a single product and sold under different nameplates. This is an old strategy used in the RV industry, for example.

KE7CYT

What I find interesting is that an established, still viable company like Uniden would trust a relative unknown like Southern Telecom to protect their reputation by licensing their brand name. Either Uniden has fallen on hard times and needs a cash infusion, or Southern Telecom makes some pretty solid products.

Tom Welch

Uniden needs the cash, scanners are not selling.

Gary

Amazon has dropped the price of the highly-rated Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" Wi-Fi tablet to $180:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=samsung%20galaxy%20tab%202%207

Gary

Here's a direct link to the product:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-7-Inch-Wi-Fi/dp/B007P4VOWC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355960901&sr=8-1&keywords=samsung+galaxy+tab+2+7

Yesterday it was $235.

Bill Bush

Kid salesperson at Sears was rather astonished when I specificallly asked about a Panasonic HDTV set. He did not remember that ever being a company he would have looked to for video. I have since purchased another one, and both are excellent. My Sony is good, too, 7 years down the line. I remember Jensen and Craig as good companies from my youth, but have seen nothing of value witt those names for many years now. My youth was a long time ago.

I cannot imagine going to a cattle auction like a seasonal day sale. You're sure to get something second rate, I think. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

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