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Friday, January 14, 2011

BestBuy, Ortlieb Panniers, A Moral Dilemma

Friday, 1/14, 221#

Didn't ride, went shopping online instead.

Bike Forums is discussing a great deal on Ortlieb Panniers at Best Buy. Generally, those words - Ortlieb Panniers at Best Buy - don't belong in the same sentence.

Seems like Best Buy started selling electric bicycles, and is offering accessories for those electric bicycles. Apparently some BestBuy locations actually have (electric) bicycle sections. I really don't like Best Buy very much, given the way that they advertise laptops and if you indicate that you're not going to buy the extended warranty, the clerks are incentivized to tell you that they've checked but it's not in stock - it keeps their upsell rates within parameters.

Ortlieb Panniers are highly regarded. They're waterproof. water-proof. Your stuff stays dry. The rack-mounting system is considered the best.

I'd probably never buy myself a pair; the rear bags go for $165 "the pair" (as they say), and the front bagsgo for $143 at REI. The full set of four panniers is $305.

I got so excited I drove over to my local BestBuy and asked the youngster guarding the entrance, where is the electric bike section? He looked at me like I was a crazy person. "We don't sell bikes, this is BestBuy" he said. It appears to be a website phenomenon.

According to the BikeForums post, when the BestBuy website sets the quantity to 2, you should reset it to 1, because they come in pairs. The Forum also says that whether you order Black or Yellow, you're probably going to get Yellow.

The BestBuy price is $83 rear and $72 front, total $155 for four Ortliebs. It almost seems like they priced them as single units and they're shipping them as pairs.

Of course, the essence of any scam is the mark's greedy desire to get away with something, and I must admit this is something I'd like to get away with. I already have four panniers, they're Avenier Large Expedition panniers, they're in pretty good shape I think I'd get $100 for the four of them on CraigsList.

Now I'm thinking that I could upgrade to yellow Ortliebs for $50 after I sell my present panniers, and that's working on me.

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