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  • Carl Vehse

    This kind of thing is done in all business. Check cereal boxes at different competing grocery stores. For an apparently same box size, different stores have different printed (and presumably actual) net weights that differ by an ounce or less. And just try to find the exact same car at two different dealerships. One local dealer proclaims, “If I can’t give you a better deal for the same car I’ll just give it to you.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • jesse demers

    all tvs come in several versions. i fix them all day. the first run may be called 01 and be from april to june, the second may be 02 and be from july to oct etc. to order parts, i need to have the version number, or you can use the serial number to find out what part fits. the factories change the models over the course of months to save money, make improvements or just run out of supplies to make a second run. its not just tvs, even cars and other things change thruout the manufacturing run. did the prices change? i didn’t understand that part.

    • gregge

      One thing car companies do is put lots of leftover discontinued versions of parts into vehicles sold for rental fleets, especially near the end of a model year. I have a 2004 Dodge Dakota with the 4.7L V8. Midway through 2003 some changes were made to the engine block but my 2004 has an early 2003 engine block. It also does not have antilock brakes (which made the new front bearing hubs much cheaper yay!). It was originally a Hertz rental. Hertz don’t care their trucks got ‘old’ engine parts. They got a deal by buying a lot of them. I’ve run into things like this on cars many times, running into things that aren’t supposed to exist. My 1997 Taurus has the DOHC V6 and is supposed to have an 8,000 RPM tachometer. It has the 7,000 RPM tach that supposedly only went with the pushrod V6, but it does have the correct 120 MPH speedometer. I’d bet it was originally a rental or other fleet vehicle and the purchaser saved a few $ per car on the lower RPM tach.

  • gregge

    Wal-Mart does a similar thing, especially with computers. They have the manufacturers put together a system with a feature set available nowhere but Wal-Mart, thus they never have to price match on a computer.

    They’ve also done that with metal detectors and several other electronic items. Most manufacturers who play along with that game put a WM in the model number, usually at the end.

    • bobdvb

      I’ve worked for an electronics manufacturer and it is quite common to offer a unique variant to a retailer if they commit to the volume. I’ve never seen SKU splitting as a tactic especially as they are fulfilling orders, but I would suggest that this is more a stock control issue, or perhaps a generation issue. This kind of suffix has been used to indicate a similar specification model but where the panel itself came from a different source, as you say most customers don’t care if they have two different production runs.

  • Austin

    As a former Circuit City employee, a PC tech specifically, I can attest to this kind of thing as well. People would bring in ads from Best Buy or CompUSA, or Frys, and ask if we had that model for the same price. Almost always, we would have that EXACT computer spec wise, as well as cosmetically identical, but it had a single digit at the end of the model number that signified what retailer it came from, and thus prevented us from price matching. I suppose it kept the other retailers from having to do the same. Conspiricy much?

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