Photo by jpockele
One of the things that I used to do when I went shopping for electronics was to buy the extended warranties. Since a normal warranty on an electronic device is normally 1 year, buying the extended warranty gives you piece of mind for an additional 2 years or so, right? And it can be yours for only $139.95! No thanks. I stopped doing this years ago after I realized that either A. everything I bought lasted a very long time with no issues or B. I replaced whatever I bought before I would have even finished the extended warranty period!
Retail stores make a ton of money selling you these extended warranties on everything from plasma TV’s all the way down to a cheap set of headphones. And while I can agree that you might want to think about an extended warranty if you are buying a $7,000 television, for anything in the “sane” price bracket, I would skip the warranty if I were you. Chances are that the product will not break, and even if it did, it would probably be because of something you did – which the extended warranty would not cover. These warranties are not offered by the manufacturer – the are from the retailers themselves. The manufacturer would not want to sell you a product that would break so easily, as word gets around easily nowadays about cheap and crappy products. Do you think Sony wants to sell you a TV that stops working after 13 months? No way…it doesn’t make for good PR.
I have bought a lot of high-ticket items over the years (although no $7,000 TV) – iPods, computers, expensive cell phones, stereo systems, satellite radio units – and not once have I bought the extended warranty for any of them. And not once have I needed it, either. So be careful and choose wisely when the salesman tries to sell you the extended warranty, as I would skip it except on the most expensive items you could buy…but even then I might skip it. It’s an added expense that you probably don’t need to pay for!