VALUE FOR MONEY? (9 june 2005)
Six weeks ago, an advertisement at eBay for "the world's best portable chess computer" caught my eye.
As self-appointed curator of the Overtom Chess Computer Collection, I saw a chance to buy a good computer for not too much money. After all, "For Your Desk", the firm that sold the computer, offered it for no more than 72 US dollars.
"Seventy-two dollars, that's not much money!", I thought naively ...
Instead of 72 dollars, I had to pay 120 dollars, the difference was what they charged for shipping.
For that sum you would expect lightning-fast transport, wouldn't you? After all, this was a portable computer, not a big one. Forty-seven dollars is quite a lot of money to send a portable device.
For so many dollars, I thought I would have the computer in no more than two weeks.
After thirty days the packet arrived, and with it ... came a bill for more than forty dollars for customs clearance.
In other words: a 72-dollar computer had in fact cost me almost 170 dollars, more than twice as much!!
But for this money, you will say, I now have the world's best portable computer.