Tech Opinion: Vapex Rechargeable Batteries – Embrace the “Generic”

Ever notice that the “best” brands on the market are always the most expensive ones? There’s a good reason for that – all those advertising dollars have to add up to something. The marketing formula is simple: spend a lot of money telling consumers that your product is the best and, for the most part, they start to believe it. This of course leads to higher sales and, once Madison Aveune sends out their advertising invoice, higher prices.

However, it only takes a quick trip to the supermarket to learn how many generic brands often rival the name-brand goods at a fraction of the price. Everything from breakfast cereal to ice cream has a wide range of retail prices, and for the most part, the price gap exists not because of taste or quality, but because Post Cereal spends a heck of a lot more to market “Boo Berry” than the supermarket spends on their own version of blue-coloured rice puffs. Both products gives you that same blue-coloured cereal milk and smooth, sustained sugar rush – it just depends on whether or not you’re a brand snob who likes looking at that goofy ghost on the front of the box.

"Lance" from Pulp Fiction - embracing the generic "Fruit Brute." Not a brand snob.

Batteries, however, are usually a clear exception to this rule. The generic alkaline battery brands typically don’t hold a candle to Duracells or Energizers. If you go with the cheap-o brand at the supermarket, chances are you’ll be tossing them out in half of the time. Even big-name electronics companies like Sanyo, Philips, Sony, and Panasonic opt to contract out their batteries with inexpensive, disposable battery brands, assuming that you, the consumer, won’t hold it against them that their batteries are much crappier than their TVs, stereos, and computers.

It must have been for this reason that, when Sanyo Eneloop decided to get into the NiMH rechargeable battery market, they would invest a great deal of money and marketing effort to springboard their line of rechargeables into the “pole position” of the battery marketplace. (After all, you’re more likely to find their electronics in a dollar store than Radio Shack.)  And their brand is now considered to be the top brand worldwide for NiMH rechargeable batteries, nudging out smaller, lesser-known brands like Vapex.

Who, or what is Vapex, you ask? Good question.

After all, if you type a straightforward search query like “Buy Vapex” into the all-knowing Google, it thinks you meant, “Buy Bapex,” with “Bapex” being the famed watch-making company. And the “Buy Vapex” search results don’t bring up much of anything about NiMH rechargeable batteries — just old posters of discontinued cold remedies, “visual apex” projection screens, and bunch of other things that have nothing to do with keeping your digital camera juiced. The closest thing you get to buying rechargeable batteries online is Vapextech’s humble product homepage.

But just as you might easily pass the generic blue breakfast cereal at the supermarket, Vapex, too, is getting passed over by the world of gadgeteers, electronics stores, and tech-related media outlets. In contrast to other generic disposable batteries, Vapex truly holds it own against Sanyo Eneloop batteries and even exceeds their features and functionality, as I’ve discussed in an earlier article. But where Vapex can really blow you away is with their price point – because they don’t heap mounds of money into their ad budget, their costs remain low, letting the few retailers throughout the world who know and love them offer Vapex at much lower prices than Sanyo Eneloops.

The only drawback to Vapex NiMH rechrgeable batteries? Availability. You’ll be hard-pressed to find packs of Vapex batteries hanging out with Duracells, Energizers, or even Sanyo Eneloops in your local electronics store. And if you’re in the U.S., forget it — Vapex is in dire need of serious business development and market penetration for the U.S. market, which swallows up batteries for their gadgets faster than the robots in The Matrix. I suppose for now, Vapex is content with making really high-quality, reliable NiMH rechargeable batteries, letting the generic-brand bargain hunters of the world find them in their search for the inexpensive yet high-perforning battery. And there is some good news! Many of the leading retailers throughout the world offer competitive overseas shipping prices, which can dish up a set of Vapex rechargeable batteries for you at a lower cost than Sanyo Eneloop, even with the cost of internal shipping.

So when you’re ready to embrace the wonderful world of generic stuff, pick up a cheap box of cereal and a pack of Vapex batteries – they’re both as good as the “real thing.”

Thanks for reading our article! If you’re ready to purchase some rechargeable batteries, battery chargers, or any other electronics accessory, then visit the Electronics Warehouse website and use promo code EWBLOG at checkout for 10% off your entire order, plus FREE shipping Australia wide!

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