The Wall Street Journal Calls Falling Gadget Prices "Deflation"

There's an article in Wednesday's edition of The Wall Street Journal called Falling Prices Starting to Hit Electronics Retailers. The article speaks of "... rapidly falling prices for televisions, computers and other gadgets that are adding to the woes of recession-scarred retailers."

Apparently there's been a 26.5-percent increase in television sales, but that occurred at the same time as the average selling price of televisions fell by 23.4 percent. A category this significant can't be a loss leader for companies like Best Buy.

Perhaps more ominous is the fact that I don't see a lot of people pushing flat screens on trollies in places like BJ's Wholesale Club. If these things were flying off the shelves, you'd think that thrifty people would be buying them at their local warehouse retailer.

I looked at the TVs at my local BJ's on Sunday and I wasn't impressed. For example, I could have had a Vizio 37-inch LCD for less than $550. The problem is that it's an old model, and on-line reviews complain about standard definition program rendering as well as startup speed issues. Maybe the manufacturers think that putting an older design in a warehouse club at an attractive price will entice people to buy. If that's the strategy, it didn't entice me.

Kathleen and I may be a bit unusual in the sense that we are holding on to our money with the hope that we can find a high performance 40-inch LCD sometime around Christmas at a great price, and we are fully prepared to wait until after December 25 to make the purchase.

What I'm looking for is a 37, 40, or 42-inch LCD that does 1080p at 120Hz or higher, renders 480, 720, and 1080 well, and has lots of inputs in the back. Will we get it? Who knows?

Is anybody else holding out for another price cut? If so, how much of a price cut would make you open your wallet?

What does it mean when publications start referring to price cuts of the nature we're seeing in the LCD television market right now "deflation"? Are we supposed to infer from the use of that term that prices are continuing to fall and not enough people are buying?

Isn't a 26.5 percent increase in flat screen sales volume enough for a year of economic mayhem? Apparently not, because electronics revenues at many retailers are down in spite of the increase in TV sales.