I spent some time looking through magazines and newspapers (no internet!) and found a place that had a good price in New York (I think it probably was Brooklyn actually). We lived in central New Jersey so my father offered to drive up with me to get it. I believe I called the place and they had the calculator in stock (a Ti-58 if I remember).
We get there and the place looked like any other electronics or camera store in the area... windows covered with painted on "sale" "discount" signs, lots of equipment on display in the front window, etc.
We go inside and happily I see the calculator on display behind the counter for the price advertised... or so I thought.
The guy goes into the back room to get it, and is back there for some time. Finally he comes out with the box. He starts ringing it up, and then asks me if I want an AC adapter with that. Doesn't it come with an adapter? Ohhh no, that's $40 extra. Now I knew damn well that the calculator must have come with an adapter (it had a rechargeable battery pack) but I was so stunned by the bald face lie I didn't know what to say. Also we had driven for an hour to get there, and I wasn't about to go back without the calculator, so we actually did buy it. With the $40 extra it was about list price, so I can't say it was a total ripoff, but it was no good deal, and man did I feel played for a fool... I couldn't figure out what had happened, was I too eager to buy it? Could he tell we were from out of town? Did I look like a particularly gullible customer? It really bothered me.
From that point on I've been very wary about buying anything mail order (or now via internet) from firms in the New York city or northern New Jersey area that claim discounted prices. The only place I've ever done any mail order or internet business with from that area is J&R.
I see I was right to be wary...