Nationwide pricing differences for the Ryobi cordless inflator, Edifier MP230 Bluetooth speaker (Week 8, 2022)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 8, 2022

Q. I was excited to read your column about portable tire inflators. I often have to add air to my bike tires, so the idea of getting a $20 inflator I could use with my Ryobi battery system was very attractive. Yesterday I went to my local Home Depot and saw that the $20 inflator was for inflating air mattresses. The high pressure inflator was $45. My enthusiasm was sufficiently dampened that I did not buy it and went back to my old guy philosophy of using the hand pump. I wanted you to know this regarding the product, price and availability.

-K.H., Los Gatos, CA

A. There are 3 Ryobi cordless inflators that work with their 18V ONE+ battery system. There is the high pressure version (P737D) I reviewed and had purchased for $19.97, a $30.57 high volume model for air mattresses and pool toys, and a $54.98 dual function inflator/deflator. All prices were taken from the Home Depot website on February 15th, 2022, using a Western Pennsylvania ZIP code. The high pressure inflator SKU is 1003944762, the high volume inflator SKU is 1002309571 and the dual function inflator SKU is 1004139218. Searching for the SKU on the Home Depot website should pull up the appropriate product.

I received emails from readers nationwide regarding the pricing variations. Before I submitted the column with the initial review I reached out to both Ryobi and Home Depot several times, asking for high resolution images for publication and to discuss the features and pricing. Neither company responded. Reader K.S. of Manchester, N.H. contacted me after the column ran, sending a screenshot from the Home Depot website with a $36.98 price for the inflator. He wrote, “I don’t think I’ll be able to get the Ryobi P737D inflator for $19.97. Evidently, Home Depot (among others) changes online prices to match what I would pay at the local store. The Consumer Reports website stated, ‘A Wall Street Journal report found that some online retailers charge differently based on ZIP codes. Home Depot, one of the retailers studied, told us it sets its online pricing based on the price at the walk-in store closest to the consumer. (Stores prices can differ by location.)’ That’s news to me, and complicates things when you want to tell folks how much stuff costs!”

That is news to me also and does indeed complicate things. In the case of the P737D inflator, for reader K.S. Home Depot is charging almost double what I paid, and I would not recommend the P737D for $36.98. The Ryobi P747 Dual Function Inflator is $59.98 in his ZIP code ($5 more than the $54.98 they charge me) and it has a digital air pressure control with automatic shut-off just like the fancy machines at gas stations. For $23 more the P747 makes more sense than the P737D, but you may want to consider different brands and retailers if you do not approve of them inflating prices where you live.

Edifier MP230 Bluetooth speaker: I have another great portable speaker to add to my recommended list! The Edifier MP230 combines a wood-finish MDF cabinet, gold piano-key controls and a woven mesh grill for classy vintage style. It features USB-C charging and Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs and a TF card slot. The sound lacks some of the high-end sonic purity of the Soundcore Flare series, but the MP230 has a very dynamic character and satisfying bass that makes it a great choice for larger rooms that need an unobtrusive, yet stylish speaker. The Edifier MP230 sells for $129.99.