Thursday, January 5, 2012

Going Down: Pricing Trends for 2012

Dealnews has an interesting piece titled "12 Things That Will Be Less Expensive in 2012," which suggests that prices are going down on the following products. I'm also adding my two cents to this list:

  1. Apple iPad 2. Of course, given the inevitability that iPad 3 is on the way. And this will also affect pricing of other digital gadgets that retailers want to clear before the iPad 3 is introduced, notes Time.
  2. Wine. In particular, bottles priced over $30 are likely to be marked down, because economically-challenged consumers have barely bought at this price range. Visits to local wine stores bear this out.
  3. Laptops. Out with desktop PCs, in with replacement laptops, at new low, low prices.
  4. Android tablets. Kindle Fire, $199--Android tablets have to come down to compete. Without question.
  5. Solid state drives. Demand is growing for solid state drives as prices drop. The cycle will feed on itself, says Dealnews, and I agree.
  6. Car rentals. I'm skeptical, but if rental firms have lots of inventory sitting idle, they'll have to budge on price to get people to their lots. Last time I priced a rental, however, prices were still way above 2010.
  7. E-book readers. Ordinary Kindles are getting cheaper and better, not to mention the Kindle Fire's huge popularity. To play in this marketplace, competitors will have to reduce prices. Buzz over e-books is growing, and the higher-priced readers will be shut out if they don't find a way to compete quickly.
  8. Apple MacBook Air refurbished models. Enough said, especially with a new MacBook on the way in 2012.
  9. GPS units. Those individual units with "lifetime" maps are going, going, gone as smartphones and other connected gadgets give us up-to-the-minute map info. Definitely.
  10. Media streamers. Think Roku and similar standalone boxes, which are competing with ever-cheaper DVD players (and TVs) capable of streaming without a separate gadget. Again, this makes sense.
  11. 3D TVs. Not a lot of demand yet, especially at the currently high price points, and stock is starting to pile up. Watch for super deals at Superbowl time!
  12. Homes. Dealnews says downward pricing pressure will continue into 2012, but I'm seeing prices start to plateau. My view is that areas with a glut of empty homes (much of Florida, much of Cleveland) will see lower prices, while areas with less of a glut will see slowly rising prices through the year.

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