Don't let the MSRP fool you

Fri 20 November 2009

I ordered up a Nokia N900 the other day, and I have to say the preorder market for it is strange. Or perhaps, I don't participate in preorders often enough to know that this is common.

The price listed in the Nokia Store and press releases is around 650USD. But the retailers seem to be undergoing a reverse auction. Newegg undercuts Amazon by 30 dollars, resulting in a wave of cancellations at Amazon and new orders at Newegg. Then Amazon cuts the price further. Then Amazon is the first to post an 50 dollar manufacturer rebate earned by activating the Ovi Store (app store), and others rapidly follow suit. Obviously some people will game the system and preorder with every retailer and cancel all but the cheapest when shipping time comes.

At this point the price is around 200 dollars away from the MSRP; the amazon link above is currently listing at 479USD. It makes me wonder how big their markup was, or if they're taking a loss accidentally (or intentionally). Either way I have to say this recession has been great on my pocketbook.

I think when it arrives I'll use the winter break to make a location aware app for customer loyalty cards, as I'm tired of carrying around a billion bar codes in my wallet. Maybe I should bug a friend of mine with Android to show me how that one works.

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