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back to article Bargain! Desperate Comet SLASHES price of £4,400 iPod Nano

Comet has generously slashed 97 per cent off the price of an Apple iPod Nano, touting the pocket-stroker at £129 rather than an eye-watering, er, £4,444. Until now the chain's clearance sale may not have impressed deal-hungry shoppers, but this saving was sadly too good to be true. The photo below shows a standard Nano model on …

COMMENTS

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Anonymous Coward

They probably set it using their auction process first

The "ingenious" idea of running _ALL_ discounted and ex-display stock through their own auction is IMHO what killed them. They ended up burdened with larger and larger quantities of stock which was not going anywhere.

So the iPod may have had that price tag at some point (after some prankster messed about with the auction site). You can guess what was its probability to sell.

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Sad

I don't like to see any business go under; it reduces competition & choice, leaves a number of people without jobs; and we all lose a bit because of this.

But it's sometimes difficult to be sympathetic when people bring these things on themselves by poor management, bad business decisions and a failure to adapt to changing conditions. Comet service may not have been quite as bad as Dixons / PC World, but hasn't been good for sometime.

All of the staff that I came across in the last 10 years were very poorly trained; on one occasion, I had to show a guy how to complete a transaction on their till system because he got himself stuck. They had limited knowledge of their products and often gave very poor advice.

I started in retail at the start of the "Pile it high, sell it cheap" concept; I was just leaving when the box shifters realised that customers were beginning to expect more. Comet never got on board with that; neither have some of the others. The end result was / is inevitable.

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Facepalm

Re: Sad

My favourite was telling a Comet sales assistant that "Yep, I'll take that laptop". He immediately starts trying sell me an extended warranty... "Why would I want that?" I ask. He pokes at the back of the screen, sending ripples across LCD and tells me it's not very well made. Muppet.

"No sale!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sad

Not as bad as the sales assistant (TBH may have been Currys and not Comet) I overheard once who's sales pitch for extended warranty was "buy this and in a couple of years time power a cup of coffee over your computer and because of this warranty you'll get a new computer and as this model won't be available then you'll get a much better spec".

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Re: Sad

To be fair he's onto something. They ge the sale and the insurance company foots the bill.

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Sadly, the fact that this label managed to get onto the display without anyone noticing says all you need to know about Comet.

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Silver badge

Yeah, well - can you think of any reason for the staff member to give a damn at this time? I can't.

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Fair point.

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Fair point indeed

But you see similar howlers from other shops that aren't circling the drain.

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The register in comets closing down sale? Vulture central.

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Bronze badge

Best (stolen from the internet) Comet joke so far:

Massive sale on at Comet.

Items are now only a bit more expensive than on Amazon.

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Re: Best (stolen from the internet) Comet joke so far:

Yup.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-iPod-nano-16GB-Generation/dp/B009A5E976/ref=br_lf_m_1000671153_1_8_ttl?ie=UTF8&s=network-media&pf_rd_p=327377467&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_i=1000671153&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=1ZBGN25FVQ9H2Y9DBVK0

124.39 for the exact same device delivered to your door.

Pitiful attempt at a sale.

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Coat

Re: Best (stolen from the internet) Comet joke so far:

It doesn't matter what the price is, they simply never had the right products in the first place. Went in last weekend ahead of any sale and looked at laptops, tablets, printers, cameras, TVs, washing machines, cookers, fridge/freezers, vacuum cleaners, deep-fat fryers, can openers,.... didn't have the right brand/model or was old stock -- three year old MacBook Pro anyone?

That said, to prove us both wrong, parents went back after their kettle died and bought a new (good) one cheaper than anywhere online. There again, it had been marked down multiple times and never underestimate my mum's ability to spot a genuine bargain.

But the reality is more like one potential customer I overheard complaining that he'd previously seen a TV for sale for less then the new sale price just a month or so ago. Staff couldn't help - 'Sorry, I can't help you -- I only work here' and walked off. Perhaps understandable in the circumstances but sadly no change from how they behaved anyway. Not to mention the deceptive "30% off RETAIL PRICE" posters - when on earth were the items offered at that price and who would have bought them anyway?

<-- Yep, wallet still firmly in pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Best (stolen from the internet) Comet joke so far:

You might get someone to haggle down the price. They won't care if the company makes a loss.

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Happy

god riddens to them

I remember when I went into Besy Buy in the states for the first time : my god - a store that has reasonably prices and cares for its customers.. hell, it even has knowledgable staff! And the damaged stock/etc section has prices to SELL not 10% off with no power supply, manual or box like Comet/Currys/PCWorld/etall.

15 years on, and Best Buy tried to come to Britain and failed, and the high street retailers are still every bit as shit as they ever were. The different now, is that its not just geeks like me that buy stuff from the internet -so long Comet - you will not be missed.

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Pirate

Re: god riddens to them

Best Buy in Britain was never like your US experience. I went there a couple of times and it was another shed-on-the-bypass staffed by grunting nuckle-draggers and stocked with junk at concorde prices.

Maybe they got their UK management from Comet & Currys?

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Joke

Don't feel bad about Comet

It'll be back in another hundred years or so as a herald of doom to the IT sales sector.

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"Would you like the extended warranty Sir? Only £1837.54."

"But the sale price is only £129!"

"Exactly Sir. You won't find one this cheap anywhere else."

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< of two evils

I always preferred Comet rather then PC world or Currys, as soon as you step in to our local Currys / PC world mega store your harressed by people who have memorised a script asking if you need help.

They continue to hound you even if you just walk in for a browse, in fact this comment has nothing to do with comet but to just point out that I hate the Currys sales method.

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Facepalm

Re: < of two evils

And after you have successfully fended them off, when you actually want them, they are all huddled together with no interest in you...

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Coat

Oh dear, how sad, never mind

they're still desperately hoping to be bought out and so don't want to give away all their stock at silly prices. Problem is, their prices were never that competitive so 10% off brings them in line with their competetors and isn't an attention grabber, especially when they not even doing 10% of everything, just a few selected items, at least thats what the shop-boy told my friend when he went to buy a laptop last week and charged the full (more ecpensive than most places) price - good ridance !!

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Anonymous Coward

I bought a laptop there about a month ago, Ivy Bridge i7, 750GB HDD, Full HD 1080p screen and it was the cheapest price I could find it on the internet, in fact I think I saw a review on it here which prompted me to buy it. I doubt i'll get the £17 topcashback from this transaction though lol.

While I was in I looked at the tv's as I was considering a newer bigger one and was hounded by one member of staff to buy. A quick google search revealed it could be bought online at £300 which I pointed out and he then went away.

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Happy

Kettles one fifth off ?!?? BRILLIANT...

...I know what my missus is getting for Christmas

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Re: Kettles one fifth off ?!?? BRILLIANT...

Good luck with that one !! :)

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Anonymous Coward

£4,444 ipod

Daft as it sounds...that £4,444 price was probably correct on their systems. They tend to mark display Apple products at that price to stop store staff from selling the display model. Assuming they are selling everything then this is the correct price their system would have generated.

I still wouldn't have bought it even if gold plated though.

I've lived and worked both sides of the pond and in my experience of this kind of store I too have come across poorly trained staff in many outlets. In some stores you do actually find the odd gem of a sales person who actually cares and knows what they are talking about. It's rare but they are out there.

I just wish someone would trawl all the outlets, find the best and put them all in one store. There are probably only enough good ones for just the one store. Lol.

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Anonymous Coward

The price is likely to have been like that because that's the price the system automatically generates whenever a new line is expected in but is not available for sale yet, or is a display item. In this case it would have been set as that whilst they waited for the iPod to be delivered, and the system would have sent out what it believed to be correct in terms of pricing.

The higher prices are also due to the overheads, Amazon has a warehouse with a few staff to pay for, as well as some people to run their website. It doesn't cost much. Comet has 240 stores to pay rent and bills for, as well as the wages to pay. Higher prices are expected.

Quite frankly reading comments like the majority of these is insulting. 6500 employees are set to lose their jobs, and 330 already have. Think about the effect this is having on the staff before you go around making jokes and taking the mic out of everyone. Just think, when all highstreet stores like this are gone and you're stuck looking at tiny pictures online with no idea what the item actually looks like, you'll regret what you've said.

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Prices

Went in to comet during their sale - saw a pair of headphones with 50% off plus another 10% due to closing down. As i was in the market decided to take the risk and buy these. They were still £5 more expensive than the identical item on amazon (from Amazon not a reseller).

That says it all for me - they just dont know how to compete in the real world...

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It is a bit regrettable that ticket made it to the shelf, but many of my colleagues like myself are shocked and dismayed to be losing our jobs and laregley given up hope.

The £4444 price would have been when sale of that item was embargoed, unfortunately when the price is reduced the 'saving' is generated automatically. To those who mock, take a look round Tesco and you will see such howlers all the time. 74p each 2 for £2.00... 99p each 3 for £3.00, they are always there if you look for them.

I note that many of those commenting on service received at Comet go on to say that service at DSG stores is even worse, so you get to keep the worst of all worlds. For it will indeed be a PC World that remains for those who don't buy on the Internet.

The majority of my colleagues, like myself, have strived to give good service and the best advice to customers who prefer to talk to a real person rather than click a button. There will always be a few sales people and stores that give a poor experience and people love a chance to complain but rarely take time to praise the good. How many people can honestly say they have taken time to compliment good service anywhere (shops, meals out, hotels)? But we will all have complained...

The truth is that Comet is a good business, with the potential to do well, that has been let down by greedy get rich investors at the top. Once again banks and Insurers have shown that they have the power to save or destroy buisnesses at will. Those who know what is required by customers have been forced to work with one hand tied behind their back because the company was being drained of the cash flow needed to put the right stock in place at the right price.

When Op Capita brought Comet, we employees were uneasy having seen what they had down to MFI but chose to be confident and look ahead. Initially signs were encouraging, but slowly we could see less and less stock as the money was slowly drained away. And with it the life blood of a company that has been around nearly 80 years.

This Christmas Henry Jackson will no doubt be a few million richer, 4000 people will have lost their jobs during Op Capita 'investment' and the High Street will be poorer.

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Anonymous Coward

I work for Comet and the reason for the original price showing up at £4,444 is because in the Comet stock system all Apple display stock shows up at £4,444 so they don't get stupid employees accidentally selling their display stock; some of which belongs to apple.

Also all these people saying that their sale offerings are not enough, does the company have any obligation to YOU to give you loads of money off? No, you haven't done anything to deserve money off and if they want to give 10, 20 or 30 percent off their stock that is ultimately their decision to make and in my opinion you should be grateful for it...

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Silver badge

That's all very well, but an ex display model for exactly the same price as you can get a boxed item from your local Apple store, and Apple will probably have it cheaper tomorrow?

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