Never get the warranty. It's usually a rip-off. The salesman will try to convince you that the second you walk out the door, the product is going to explode in your hands, and the only recourse you'll have is that warranty.
(Whenever they're doing this, I can't help but wonder if they really think their product is so bad they really, really need to sell me on a promise to fix it.)
Well, four years ago, I got the warranty for my video camera. I don't know why did it, except that I was stupid. If my four-years-younger self wasn't stupid, there wouldn't be a need for a turnaround.
So for about the last year, this video camera hasn't worked right. It works fine if it's plugged in, but if you try to run it off the battery, you get nothing. I kind of need a video camera, so I figured that would be one of my first purchases once this debt payoff thing's done.
Except as I was going through my desk looking for index cards, I discovered this fortuitous gift from my stupid past--a full, four year warranty from Best Buy from November of 2001--two months after my first daughter was born, and she was starting to do cute stuff I figured I'd want to see years and years later.
Apparently I wasn't a total moron--based on the last four digits of the card on the receipt, I didn't go into debt for the camera--I just let the guy bully me into an $80 warranty. Which means I now don't have to pay for a new battery that probably doesn't cost half that.
Either way, it was a nice bit of luck. Look for some of the results of my working camera to pop up soon over at mildlyamusing.com.
Now if I can just discover I left $5,000 in a good growth stock mutual fund and forgot about it.