Blog / Random thoughts and musings.


Cable mark-up

We recently purchased a Sony Playstation 3 at Best Buy, after last month’s $100 price drop was announced. The PS3 uses HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) to connect to HDTVs, and the salesman at Best Buy was quick to point this out. He pointed to the HDMI cables next to the PS3 and said we should get one. The six-foot-long cable was $99.95. After telling him “no thanks”, we were pointed to a different shelf with some $59.95 HDMI cables. After searching the store and finding that these were the cheapest HDMI cables that Best Buy sells, we declined again. $60 for a short cable to hook up a component to a TV still seems pretty absurd. Once home, a quick log-on to revealed a plethora of HDMI cables for sale from different online stores for… substantially better pricing. Three days after ordering, I had three very sturdy, perfectly functional six-foot HDMI cables for the whopping price of $0.75 each. Yes, seventy-five cents. It feels like what Best Buy is doing should be a crime, but as long as people are willing to pay a 10,000% mark-up on items, I’m sure nothing will change.

If you’re looking for HDMI cables, the place I ordered from was They shipped the order the next day, and it arrived three days after that. The cables are much higher quality than I expected.



  1. Sergei
    August 21, 2007

    There was an interesting writeup on Gizmodo about HDMI cable testing a while back. Their conclusion was that for short distances, cheap cables performed just fine most for the most part (but not always). Links to the story:

  2. techno
    August 23, 2007

    i like monoprice for cables. not as cheap as you found, but still good prices and great cables.

  3. timojhen
    January 19, 2008

    interesting that even places like walmart are horribly overpriced. I’d be willing to pay some premium for being able to get it today (just won an appleTV in a drawing and can’t plug it in), but the premium for buying it in person is so high I ended up ordering online as well.

    No instant gratification, doh!