Wifi for "free*"

Posted on November 14, 2004 by Steve

In a sign of the times, a local computer shop was giving away 802.11b receivers for "FREE*" this weekend. They were disappearing from the shelf like restaurant mints, but I passed, not willing to trust a discredited company with my rebate cash.

How do the economics of these rebates work? It's hard enough to figure out how electronics get commodified this quickly, but someone must be taking a loss on a full rebate. Even after 6-8 weeks, the float would barely cover the postage.


In another marketing outlier, the same store was selling replacement mouse balls for $1.99.