A couple of weekends back I picked up a Sony PRS-505 Reader from the Argos store in Oxford Street for the fantastic price of £169.99.
If you’re not familiar with Sony’s reader range, the PRS-505 is the model Waterstones and John Lewis were selling until a few months ago when Sony changed their range and introduced two new models, consigning the PRS-505 to history.
It’s a great device which played an important part in bringing the eBook format to the UK and we’re often asked where would-be owners might be able to still find one.
The reader I bought was an early Christmas present for a friend who liked my PRS-505, has no use for Sony’s touchscreen model and didn’t want the 5″ pocket edition. The recipient is delighted with the gift and I’m relieved my usual uselessness at picking presents wasn’t highlighted yet again.
Intending to write a slightly different post to the one you’re reading, I checked the Argos.co.uk website to grab the link to direct readers to the one national store still selling this excellent reader, only to discover the asking price is now £199.99 – a saving of £25 on a previous sales price of £224.99.
Before anyone leaps to conclusions, the purpose of this article isn’t to bash Argos – the footnotes on the item page clearly state the device has previously sold for the lower £169.99 price and the firm is also offering the COOL-ER for £174.99 for those looking to spend less than the asked-for £199.99. Buyers who take time to properly read the Argos site will have no cause to complain.
Instead the point I originally set out to make was that just because manufacturers opt to withdraw models, this doesn’t stop them remaining desirable purchases and shoppers should look beyond the newness and ‘bragging rights’ of a model and consider their own usability needs when parting with their cash.
At £199 the PRS-505 is roughly what I paid for mine some time ago and on the basis that you want a Sony reader with a useably large screen (anyone with iffy eyes who purchases the 5″ pocket edition and then increases font size can look forward to ‘turning’ the page pretty often) the price represents a significant saving on the £249 both Waterstones and John Lewis want for Sony’s 6″ touch edition.
For £50 less than the touch you can grab yourself a solidly built reader which supports not only the popular ePub format but also MP3s, enabling you to listen to audiobooks or music on the move, a 6″ screen and decent battery life. In short, a great buy at £199 but an even better better bargain a couple of weeks ago at £169.99
Update: In response to an enquiry about the reader’s pricing Argos have sent the following statement:
The Argos Autumn/Winter catalogue launched in July 2009, and has the price of the reader at £224.99. The Special Offer price of £169.99 was from 25th November to 8th December 2009.
We constantly review and adjust our prices throughout the life of a catalogue. All our latest deals and new prices are reflected on the website and in-store.