Don't let 30-second pitch sway you to buy warranty at checkout

firstful of dollars
firstful of dollars

Back in the day when Circuit City ruled the electronics market, I always braced myself for the salesman's strong suggestion to buy an extended warranty on whatever gadget I was buying. Circuit City is long gone, but other retailers -- Best Buy, Staples, etc. -- also offer the sales pitch at the checkout counter, when lines are backed up behind you and the 30-second explanation sounds like a deal but doesn't offer enough details.

It's amazing the number of questions that whiz through my brain as I stand at the checkout counter: Is it worth $30 or whatever for a warranty I may never use? Am I covered if I drop it by accident? How fast will it get fixed? Is the extended warranty through Staples better than what the manufacturer offers? I've never bought one, mainly because I don't like being pressured into a purchase so quickly.