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Just over a year ago I wrote a post about how QVC and the other home shopping channels maximize the spiffs they make on their electronics products, especially the computer products. The basic idea behind their system is to sell “packages” where they take a popular electronic item like an Apple iPod Touch, Wii, etc. and bundle it with some “dollar” accessories so they can charge more for the package.
Here are the accessories included in the QVC bundle: rotating case/stand; touch stylus; music speaker ball; ear buds; retractable audio cable; headphone splitter; screen protector with cleaning cloth; car charger; and $75 Zinio gift card.
Outside of the Zinio card (which I doubt many actually use), the other accessories look like you can grab them on eBay or at Frys/BestBuy for a few dollars. I will also bet that the hosts will never tell viewers that this is the old model.
So how much does the iPad 2 cost as “today’s special value” on QVC?
- 16gb WiFi model – $699 (DOUBLE the Apple Store price of $399)
- 16gb WiFI + 3g model – $849 (Apple Store price $529)
And on top of the price, QVC charges $15 for shipping!
Overall I generally like what QVC offers in other categories but SHAME ON YOU QVC.
When I was in college, I worked at The Wiz in NYC and early on I realized that selling the accessories was the way to make the big commission checks. Sure the IBM PS/2 computers provided a nice spiff, but the real checks came when you sold a surge protector, a mouse pad or a telephone wire to connect to a BBS. Except I never offered my customers crap, the stuff QVC jams into their package is stuff you will likely never use.
One of the ways QVC tries to justify their price is their “easy pay” plan. This payment plan takes the full amount and charges your credit card a portion each month. The television hosts explain in all caps (!) that this easy pay plan has no interest but in all reality, you are paying a premium price to get the monthly payments and in the case of the iPad 2 deal, you walk away paying a LOT more.
Before the Today’s Special Value went live tonight, the same package sold for $814.00 on the QVC website. That’s a whopping $414 over the Apple Store price!
If you want to buy an iPad 2, I suggest either buying it directly from Apple or Amazon. The issue with Amazon is that they are only selling the new iPad directly, the iPad 2 is through all third party companies. The same goes for the new iPad – Amazon is only offering it through third parties so if you need it immediately, go with the Apple Store.
Lastly, since the price difference between the iPad 2 and new iPad is so close, I very much suggest buying the newest version.
The latest installment of the ABC reality show Shark Tank hit the airwaves last night. You can read my full recap of the episode and all of my series recaps. Rick Hopper was the last entrepreneur on last night’s episode and he presented his creation, ReadeRest. The product is a magnetic clip for a shirt that holds a pair of eyeglasses.
Rick was seeking an investment of $150k for 15% of the company. Eventually he shook hands on a deal with QVC’s Lori Greiner for $150k for 65% of the company.
One of the interesting questions that surrounds Shark Tank is how long does it take from the filming of the show until the episode airs. Clearly there is some significant time between tape and air because the eyeglass holders have been on QVC since October 2011. My guess is that last night’s episode taped in the early summer of 2011.
This morning Lori presented the eyeglass holders, now called “Set of 3 Magnetic Glasses Holders by Lori Greiner” and the QVC host noted that about 15,000 orders were placed this morning alone. The item has 136 reviews and is “customer top rated”. Rick mentioned selling the holders for $10-20 each — QVC is selling a package of 3 for $25 including shipping.
Rick mentioned that he made all of the holders himself – Lori said this morning on QVC that the item is now made in a warehouse.
If you want to see how Lori presented the eyeglasses holder on QVC, click here then click the Videos link.
Lori talks up her QVC relationship on Shark Tank so it is good for prospective entrepreneurs to see her take a product from the television show to actually selling on QVC.
Television shopping channel QVC has been working to integrate the latest technology into their offerings for a few years. Last year they hired Courtney Cason, their first “multi-media host”. From what I can tell, Cason created a bunch of holiday videos where she interviewed the on-air salespeople and she also provides live chats during some of the fashion shows. The network has also created mobile apps for all of the major platforms so you can look for and order items anytime. Overall I think QVC has done a good job in the online space and certainly a better job than their competitor HSN.
I’ve been following a thread on the QVC community forums for the last week. The subject of the popular thread is, “Get rid of the Tweets, Blogs, FB’s and the F.F.”
The gist of the thread is that the on-air hosts are spending too much time pimping their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts instead of talking about and explaining the actual products. As I noted above, Courtney (along with a few of the other junior hosts) appears to be hosting many of the live chats and she appears on air to read some of the comments and to get other shoppers to participate.
Here are a couple of the interesting comments from the discussion thread:
- I also have no interest in FB or any other social networking site, and it’s especially aggravating on a shopping channel. Seemed even more disruptive last night on PMS. It reminds me of Romper Room when they start reading off the names of those supposedly participating with Tweets, etc.
- QVC is a TV HOME SHOPPING CHANNEL…..We can’t actually see, touch, etc the items we are buying so its QVC’s job to give us as much detail/information about the item for the customer to make a decision. I don’t care about what people I don’t know are doing, buying, etc etc. Just give informative presentations without the nonsense.
I’ve been a fan of QVC for a long time – I think they have always done a good job of being the tops of television shopping when it comes to the quality of their programming. Their sets and graphics are always improving and their hosts seem a notch ahead of competitors including HSN. QVC pushes their social media efforts and even hired “social media host” Courtney Cason earlier this year.
One of the things that is pretty amazing is how well they are able to take electronics and create “packages” which sell for a much higher price than the item sells for alone. Their packages remind me of my days working at The Wiz in NYC where every salesperson knew that the best spiffs were on accessories and rarely on the main products themselves. That’s why a computer rarely went out the door without a surge protector or mouse pad.
If you are wondering if anyone actually buys the packages QVC offers – they claim to have sold 7,500 of the iPod Touch 8gb packages this month.
I have two examples of how QVC maximizes revenue on their electronics sales — the iPod Touch and the Nintendo Wii.
iPod Touch – QVC vs. Amazon/Apple Store
The 32gb 4th generation iPod Touch launched today as a bundle on QVC for a whopping $426.80. Before we get to what’s included in the QVC bundle, the base device is currently selling for $299 in the Apple Store and Amazon is selling the iPod Touch device for $244 after $25 gift card. QVC charges a whopping $11 for shipping plus sales tax in all states.
The simple math comparing QVC to Amazon – QVC total price $474, Amazon total price $244. That’s a $230 dollar difference! You could buy a 2nd iPod Touch from Amazon for the same price as the bundle on QVC!
Continue reading “Here’s How QVC Maximizes Revenue on Electronics Sales” »
Back in June we wrote about home shopping channel QVC’s launch of their Android app. I noted that they were pushing the app hard on television. It’s interesting to see QVC venturing further and further into the tech space. While their audience skews older, there’s no doubt that people of all ages are embracing technology more than ever and in new ways (especially mobile). Some of their hosts have Facebook pages and other hosts are pushing their blogs for interaction with viewers during the live shows.
Last week QVC announced the hiring of their first “multi-media host”. Atlanta-native Courtney Cason was selected by QVC and will apparently be their online connection. It looks like a “community manager” position although most of those positions don’t appear in front of the camera as often as it looks like Cason will. It will certainly be interesting to watch how QVC promotes this new content on the social media channels. My guess is that Cason’s ultimate goal is to introduce a younger generation of buyers to the world of QVC, either on TV, online or on a mobile device.
Cason’s LinkedIn profile shows a lot of intern positions and she was also the winning number picker for the Georgia Lottery.
The overview page for Courtney notes, “She could pop up anywhere, like QVC.com, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Cyber Hosting, blogs – tell us, where do you want to see her?”
It will be an interesting experiment to watch and if it works, other brands that skew to older consumers might want to consider a similar strategy.
One of the interesting conversations I’ve had with a variety of folks over the past few months is whether Android mobile devices have hit the mainstream. I’d suggest that the new lineup of beautiful-looking, sexy HTC devices have pushed Android closer to the mainstream than ever before. Take the new EVO – it’s way sexier than my Windows Mobile Samsung Ace.
There was a big push for Android last weekend that I thought was worth mentioning. Home shopping channel QVC was promoting their new Android application like it was the special of the day. It seemed like every hour there was a push to get television viewers to install the Android application. It wasn’t a typical “download our mobile app” — rather they specifically referred to Android in the various promotions.
The app actually looks pretty robust – you can watch a live HD stream of QVC on the phone, place an order or search for items. I didn’t realize you could stream live video to an Android device.
I believe one of the reasons why Android is picking up market share is because of the range of carriers unlike the Apple iPhone which is locked to AT&T. In addition, carriers are offering incentives to buy an Android device and I imagine we will see more incentives throughout the balance of 2010.