August 14, 2011

Save 25% and Spend 88% More

Symantec Norton Ghost 15.0 (1 PC)Last week Ebates ran a Daily double for 25% cash back at Symantec.   When I saw the deal I was going to write up a quick post to tell people about the 25% cash back.  Thats a pretty good cash back rate. 25% back is a lot.. right?    It should be a good deal but its not a bargain if you end up paying a lot more in the end.

Symantec Norton has virus software as well as other computer utilities.   I would  generally recommend for virus protection that you get one of the free programs out there.   AVG is a good free virus scan.    On the other hand Symantec has some other good software like Norton Ghost which is an industry standard backup utility.     Symantec has Ghost 15.0 for $69.99.    When I saw the deal I figured at the time that there might be someone who wants to buy something like Ghost and 25% should be a good discount.   25% cash back would be $17.49.   That seemed like pretty nice savings.

But then I remembered that I'd bought a copy of Ghost years ago for dirt cheap on the internet.  At the time I think I bought a 1-2 year old version that worked fine for me but was considered obsolete.   I figured I should price compare Ghost.   Low and behold, you can buy Ghost 15 for $28.95 at   Amazon has Norton Ghost 15 for $27.95.   

So.. lets compare: 
25% off Bargain at Symantec = $69.99 cost - 25% cash back of $17.49 = $52.50
Amazon = $27.95

The price at Symantec after the 25% cash back discount is still about 88% higher than what Amazon has it for.

On top of that the version of Ghost at Symantec is a digital download and the version you can get at Amazon is a physical CD.   The download really should be cheaper than a CD since it costs much less to manufacture.

Its not like Symantec raised their price and then gave you a discount.   They didn't start at $30 then jack it up to $70 and then pretend like 25% off $70 is a good deal.    What we're seeing here is a full retail sticker price at Symantec.   Then they offer a 25% discount to their store.  Thats not unreasonable.  Some  chose to stick to high suggested retail  on their own store so they don't undercut the sales of their distributors.   Other companies like Apple stick to flat prices everywhere so if you buy it from Apple or Bestbuy or Target you're going to pay the same price.   I don't think there is anything really wrong with either way about doing it.   But in this case it really is important to know if the manufacturer has a high retail price for their own store or if the prices on their store are competitive with the prices elsewhere.

Of course there are other ways to save even more money.  You could buy Ghost 15.0 used on Amazon market for $14.95.    If Ghost 14.5 is good enough for you then you can get that used off Amazon market for $2.75.   Looks like Ghost 14 had some problems with Windows 7 for several users so if you're running Win7 you may want to go with the latest revision.    That doesn't really change the comparison of buying New via Symantec's own website versus buying new elsewhere.   But I wanted to mention it cause its yet another way to save a lot of money.

Bottom Line :  Make sure you price compare before you jump at a large sale price.

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