I bought a new printer today. This is my first printer that has come in a box since around 1998 or 1999. I did buy one new in 1996, then that one at the end of the decade. I have acquired a few here and there since then, but nothing new. The one bought at the end of the century is still in use at my parent’s house. I have been using a printer that they bought in 1997. The one I had did not support Linux and their’s did. So I switched printers with them and they were never the wiser. They ended up with a newer machine anyway, so it was a good deal for them.
Today I purchased an Epson Stylus C67. It is sold in Latin America, not in the US. The price at Office Depot was $549 pesos. That is about $50 US Dollars. The cheapest I have seen that printer for online is $66 (USD). I feel like I got a good deal.
In the process of buying the printer the cashier asked me if I wanted to charge the printer on a 12 month interest free plan they were offering. Hmm, that would work out to less than $4.25 a month. What an idiotic program this is. It is an infection. I can see “12 months same as cash” on a $500 product, but $50? The disease of credit (which is wicked and why so many people are in financial trouble today) has infected MÃ©xico as badly as, or maybe worse than, the US. You can get credit to buy almost anything here. There is one store whose whole business model is selling stuff on credit.
Well, I certainly was not interested in buying a $50 printer on credit. If I cannot pay $50 for a printer, then I don’t need the printer. If it were a pressing issue and I had to do some printing, I could easily go to any one of the thousands of Internet cafÃ©s here and print my paper for a few cents. Then save my money for a few months and buy the thing with cash. That is what our grandparents used to do. They did not buy stuff if they did not have the money for it.
So, I told the cashier that I would not buy the printer on credit, but that I wanted to pay for it all at once. “And, furthermore,” I told her, “credit is an invention of the Devil” (in Spanish of course).
Then something interesting took place. She had to call a manager over. Because I was not buying with credit, the manager had to override the purchase. Huh? Why? Well, the “no interest for 12 months” is not entirely true. I found out that if you pay cash, then the printer only costs $494 pesos (about $45 US Dollars). There was nothing on the display saying that it cost less if you pay cash than if you do their credit. I saved $5 (USD), simply because I used cash and not credit. So how do they get by saying that there is not interest if you use their credit? I guess it is not interest if you charge the extra $5 up front.
Anyway, I am pleased with my purchase. This is the first time I have bought something other than food or clothing here in MÃ©xico where I feel like I have gotten a good deal. Normally we would pay much more for something like a printer than the equivelant in the US. The cheapest Epson printer I currently see at Office Depot in the US is $90. That is twice what I paid for my printer here. Never mind the fact that the one at the US Office Depot website has a scanner. It is still the cheapest you can buy from them.
This one works perfectly in Linux too. Or at least as much as I have tested so far.