I recently bought a TV and DVD player and needed a couple of HDMI cables to connect everything. I thought that I would buy them locally, but at the Staples and Verizon stores in downtown Berkeley, HDMI cables were priced at $20 to $50 each. That’s ridiculous! I went online and bought them from Monoprice. They sell HDMI cables for around $3. Their customer reviews are almost 100% positive. Monoprice is a major player in this business. It is where professional entertainment system installers get their cables. Check out their web site. They sell a lot of other stuff cheap too: chargers, converters, hubs, splitters, etc. I got some extra HDMI and USB cables from them, so if you need 1 or 2, see me, and I’ll give them to you.
Cashing In On Cables. The profit margin on cables is enormous. There are a lot of stores that sell home entertainment systems and intentionally lose money on everything they sell – except the cables. These stores make all their profit on cables, installation, and service contracts. The profit margin on TVs is very small, but the profit margin on cables can be enormous, and home entertainment systems have lots of cables. It is easy to understand how these stores make money. They sell you a TV at their cost but bill you $40 for cables that cost them $4. People pay close attention to the price of TVs, but not to the other charges. That is something that never changes. My father sold televisions back in the 1950s and 1960s. He didn’t make money on the TVs themselves. He made his profit on the related charges: the delivery charge (in those days, TVs came in big wooden cabinets), the installation charge (plugging in the TV and turning it on), the rabbit ears (the antenna that sat on top of the TV), and the interest (everything my father sold was on credit.) If someone had come into my father’s store, bought a TV, paid for it in cash and took it home with him, my father wouldn’t have made money on that sale. None of his customers did that though.