Giving feels good to most people. Unfortunately there is smart giving and there is well-intentioned giving that doesn’t really work out so well. A lot falls in to the later category unfortunately, especially in the US. In this article (which I have referenced before), Alanna Shaikh talks about how bad giving thinking often comes about and it’s very true. But, I’ve recently discovered a program that isn’t really giving at all.
The company in question is Pure Digital Technologies, the makers of The Flip video camera. These cameras have become quite popular as of late due to being very simple to operate and quite cheap. Seemingly being good guys, they offer their Video Spotlight program where any qualifying non-profit from the US or UK can buy one of their video cameras and get a second one free. Seems like it would be a pretty good deal for any group wanting to outfit themselves with cheap video cameras.
The one thing that isn’t really all that advertised on the the program’s website is the fact that you can only buy an old, green, 2 gig, SD model. That is the only one they offer and it’s $100. Nothing else in the product line can be bought through this program.
So basically, with a buy one, get one free, they’re giving people a 50% discount on their whole purchase. Again, it seems like a good deal, except for the fact that this camcorder is one of their very old models that they do not sell anymore and I doubt anyone would even want to buy given how cheap the newer HD models are. Also take in to account that that 50% discount is off the retail price. The wholesale price (which is what they normally get for these) is typically 40% of retail if not 75%. So, when you realize this, they are actually getting a good price on a product that they can’t sell.
Of course, for the end user, this could still be seen as a good deal, except for the fact that you can buy something like a Canon A470 for about $80 USD. That shoots mighty good still images and will also shoot movies that I bet would easily be on a par with that low end Flip.
What would make Flip look a great deal better in this instance would be to offer the buy one get one free discount on all their products. That would be decent. They’d still make a tidy profit given that they’re clearing what they would normally get for the devices wholesale, but they’d be giving folks an actual break. As it is now, this really isn’t a good deal for anyone but Pure Digital. Despite the larger size and use of tape in my Sony PDX10, I’m going to gladly stick with it for now.
Corporate giving... And the stuff they can't sell