Posts tagged - Apple 13.3-inch Macbook Pro - only $1599.99 (save $300) - today only! rip off AGAIN


It looks like are at it again with misleading retail prices.

I have blogged about FirstIn’s inflated prices before here, and also their misleading specs on products here. And yep they are at it again!

Today I see they have an 2nd hand (they say refurbished – but by who?) MacBook Pro for $1599 that they say saves $300. (In case the page disappears I have pasted a screen shot below).

Well I did a comparison with the only site I know always sells refurbished Apple gear – Apple NZ.  And I find their STANDARD price on this unit is $1527 (again image shown in case this link dies).  Now I will explain that the Apple product is a 2.4GHz processor, where as the FirstIn is 2.53, but Apple also have the 2.66GHz model, with a larger (320GB) hard drive for only $1699.  So that’s $200 LESS than the supposed standard price FirstIn claim, for a BETTER unit.  Take a look for yourself – Apple sell heaps of refurbished stuff all the time. So where is the $300 saving?  What’s this based on?   In fact it’s $72 MORE than Apple, plus Apple do free shipping, so that’s (up to) another $10 saved, depending on where in NZ you are.

It took me 30 seconds to find this price, so FirstIn cant claim they didn’t know.  This what they do for a living (sell stuff online), and they REPEATEDLY inflate their so called RRP to show larger discounts than are really there.  In this case they are actually charging MORE than a comparable unit. I would MUCH prefer to by direct from Apple – I trust them when they say its refurbished, and I also trust Apple’s pricing (coz they don’t mess with it, and they rarely discount). It goes without saying I don’t trust FirstIn.

Black and White Version: continue to be misleading on their pricing/discounts.  I don’t trust them.

PS: Click on either image below for a larger view.  Both images copied from their respective web sites at 1.15pm on 12 July 2011.

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FirstIn now misleading on product specs now


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Yesterday I blogged on how had misleading ERPs (which I am still guess is Estimated Retail Price, since they don’t explain it), and had a comparison with a genuine product from the manufacturer that was better AND cheaper than even the discounted price.

Anyway, today they are advertising a mini data projector.  The price looks OK, but doing a wee bit of homework (as I suggest anyone does) it looks like the product description is misleading, in a very major way.

It claims: 1280 x 768 RESOLUTION. However all the searches on this product says it’s a standard VGA projector (so 640 x 480) a MAJOR difference.  The reason I did this check is that almost all mini projectors are VGA only, so was quite surprised by the claim at the top of the ad (and it’s a major part off the headline offer).  Comp USA which has the product listed as currently unavailable, but has the full specs. And has the same info confirmed (640×480) in their 2008 review (btw, ’2008′ confirms it for me – its 640 x 480 for sure, as this means it was one of the first model of mini-projectors, which were all 640×480 or less).

How could they get it so wrong?  It appears they are confusing Compatible resolutions with Resolution. Further down in the ad is says:

Compatible resolutions: VGA (640 x 480), SVGA (800 x 600), XGA (1024 x 768), WXGA (1280 x 768)

Most modern projectors are like this.  They will WORK with an image from a higher resolution, and just downscale it to the resolution it uses (in this case 640×480).  I also note the lamp is not replaceable (as per the manufacturer’s web site), as this is a returned unit – how many hours are left on the bulb?   This is not a minor difference. Normal size projections that have 1280 x 768 or similar resolution often sell for 2 or 3 times the price of a 640×480 projector.  Image quality is everything with a data projector, and people pay for it.

Unfortunately do not allow comments on their web site on products (I guess they would have too many like mine!), so its not possible to warn anyone except via this blog.

As an aside I think their ERP is probably misleading too.  The FULL retail on this is only $US 359 (so $510 or so), and that was back in 2008 (the most recent price I could find).  So claiming $499 as an ERP is rather misleading – are they comparing it to a NEW product?  Why not say that!  The supposed discount they give is therefore because this is 2nd hand/re-manufactured, not because it’s a super deal.

Black and White Version: First in not only misleading pricing, but also misleading product info.

Click on image for larger view

Update: I just re-checked their web site and its VERY clear they claim great resolution display of 1260 by 768 for high quality, not just will play images that are a resolution of 1260 by 768 or similar.    Image on the right says it all.  Also their claim at any time or place is misleading.  These units are low power, and do not do well in well lit rooms (in fact hardly work at all!).  Not knocking the product, just the claims here – way over the top.

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Click on image for larger version price rip off (again!)


I recently blogged about and their inflated ERP (which I can only guess is Estimated Retail Price).  Before that I did the same thing on why pay pricing.

This time I have 100% proof they inflate their prices.   In my 1st post I found a refurbished iMac for sale that, by comparison with the official Apple store pricing, has an inflated ERP.  Since that example wasn’t an exact match (i.e. the Apple offer was better, but cost a tad more), it wasn’t 100% cut and dry case.   But this one is – got ya Firstin!  This time it’s an open and closed case.  Guilty as charged!

Today the advertise a 20″ iMac for $1799, claiming an ERP of $1999.

Well that’s bullshit. Apple’s own web site in NZ has a 21.5″ (so a bigger screen and a whole generation ahead of this model) for only $1699.  So not only is the ERP inflated, but for $100 less than the supposed special you can get a better computer (on every level) from Apple directly.  And if there is one sure way to measure ERP, it would be against Apple’s web site (as they don’t discount much).

Detailed summary of differences between’s offer and Apple. Winner
ERP $1999 $1699 Apple
Actual price: $1799 $1699 Apple
Screen Size


1680 x 1050 resolution


1920 by 1080 resolution

Graphics Card

ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT

128 MB

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M


Memory 2 GB 4 GB Apple
Hard Drive 320 GB 500 GB Apple
Processor 2.66 GHz 3.06GHz Apple
Keyboard Mouse Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse (both wired)
Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse Apple
OS 10.5 10.6 Apple
Shipping $15-$25 Free Apple
Warranty 1 year return to base (FirstIn) 1 year return to base (Apple) Need I say?

There are lots of great price comparison sites around like PriceSpy, and even Google is a good resource if you know how to use search engines properly.  Never trust a claimed ERP/RRP from these kind of sites without checking another source first.

Black and White Version: Be be very wary of any ERP/RRP/Savings claimed from web sites.  Do your homework 1st.

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A while back I blogged about the misleading prices shown on a New Zealand web site 1-day.

Well today I saw another classic misleading “ERP” (estimated retail price I can only guess) on a similar site (it’s up today only).  Image on the right.

This was for a refurbished iMac 24″.  The supposed ERP is $2499. Now I know my Mac prices, so thought that sounded steep for a refurbished unit of that age (24″ are the last generation).   So I checked on the NZ Apple site, and for $2499 I can get so much more than this unit (and for a lot less you can get better on most specs).

Heres what you CAN get for $2499 from apple.

Heres a comparison table. (I have edited the text on each so they use the same terms, but not changed anything).

First in offer

$2499 ERP (selling for $2199), refurbished 24″ iMac

New Zealand Apple Store

$2499, refurbished 27″ iMac

New Zealand Apple Store

$1699 21.5″ refurbished

  • Mac OS X 10.5
  • Intel Core 2 Duo  2.8 GHz processor
  • 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM (supports up to 4GB)
  • 320 GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA hard drive
  • ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics w/256 MB GDDR3 memory
  • 24″ screen
  • Wired keyboard, mighty mouse
  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • Intel Core Duo 3.06GHz processor
  • 4GB (supports up to 16GB)
  • 1TB Serial ATA1; 7200 rpm
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
  • 27″ screen
  • Wireless Keyboard, magic mouse

  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • Intel Core Duo 3.06GHz processor
  • 4GB (supports up to 16GB)
  • 1TB Serial ATA1; 7200 rpm
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
  • 21.5″ screen
  • Wireless Keyboard, magic mouse

So, for a start, the $2499 ERP is totally misleading.  For $2499 you can get SO much more machine than they claim – a whole generation up (i.e. latest generation), faster processor, 3″ larger screen, double the ram, more than three times the hard drive, a new wireless mouse/keyboard combo, and a better graphics card.   Even the special price of $2199 seams like a rip off since for $500 LESS you can get a machine that is FAR higher in specifications in every respect except it’s 2.5″ smaller screen and graphics card (and this unit the latest generation from Apple too, not like the one from First in).   The later gen units have extra wee benefits like having dual-link DVI inputs, so you plug your laptop in and use the monitor from the iMac. Either way, the ERP is just wrong.

As an aside, both the $2499 for the 27″ is a SUPER deal, as is the $1699 for the 21.5″, but I guess it all does depend of if you like (or need?) a larger screen.

Black and White Version: The claimed discounts on so many of these “super deal” web sites are way over inflated.  We warned!

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