Retailers, consumers and prices
If you’re tired of pushy salespeople who try to convince you to spend hundreds of extra dollars on an extended warranty when you buy a new appliance or computer, alternatives are emerging.
Many consumer advocates have urged against buying warranties, citing concerns about costs and difficulty in making claims. But now, companies such as SquareTrade and GreenUmbrella.com are hoping to profit by selling extended service plans for appliances and electronics online at lower prices.
They are hoping to take business away from big-box retailers such as Circuit City and Sears.
Warranties “is one of the last bastions where retailers can make enormous margins to make up for the fact that they are selling items close to cost or below cost,” said Steve Abernethy, CEO of SquareTrade, which partners with some sellers on eBay to offer extended warranties.