Long one of our favorite sources for ceiling fans and camcorders is a chain called Discount Sales, with 10 locations throughout Southern California. In this report, I will deal only with the Sun Valley, Woodland Hills and West Los Angeles stores.
Each store, part of a franchised chain, seems to have a little flavor of its own. Whereas all locations carry ceiling fans and camcorders at excellent prices, and all carry televisions and VCRs at competitive prices, certain stores have an added specialty.
At the Woodland Hills branch, it's high-end lighting fixtures. A contemporary chandelier by Forecast with Murano glass and polished brass that is selling at many lighting stores for $600 to $700 is $485.95 here. An outdoor fixture, Georgian in style, with \o7 verde \f7 finish and clear glass that retails for $200 to $300 is priced at $150.
The Sun Valley Discount Sales boasts a product that none of the others have. It's called a Karaoke, which is an electronic sing-along device that hooks into a television set. While an instrumental background plays the selected song, the words are projected onto the screen, providing a visual sing-along--great fun for parties and family songfests. These run from $550 all the way to $1,500.
You'll find very low prices on vacuums at the West L.A. store, the only one of the three locations discussed here that carries vacuums. I checked the popular Panasonic Jet Flow that retails for $200 to $225, and it's tagged here at $150. A small Eureka model is $59.95.
Where Discount Sales outshines the competition is in camcorders and ceiling fans. Not only are the prices just about the best in town on camcorders, the service is hard to beat. No matter how inept one might be at using a camera, the personnel at Discount Sales will guide and instruct you until you've got camcorder use down pat.
Panasonic, Sony, Minolta and Canon are the chief brands, and you can pay as little as $599 for either a Panasonic or Sony with a minimum of gadgets.
Sony makes the lightest model, which is fully automatic (magic words), has hi-fi stereo and low light . . . meaning you can get a picture using only a candle.
Panasonic's $599 model is a little heavier but has the advantage of slipping into your home VCR for replay. The folks at Discount Sales are experts at fitting you with the camcorder that is right for you. The Minolta, which runs from $799 to $1,299, carries a better warranty than the others and has, of course, the years of expertise from this manufacturer of quality cameras.
Three or four times a year, all the Discount Sales locations have a special on ceiling fans that's foolish to ignore. It's a Two-Fer sale, meaning that when you buy one fan, you get the second one free. Their prices on ceiling fans are already good, but during the special, which will last through June, the prices are amazing. The most popular model is California Breeze, which comes in white or brass. With five wood blades, three-speed forward and reverse, and a lifetime warranty on the motor, this is priced at $159--so at sale time it's TWO for $159.
\o7 Discount Sales is at 22876 Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills (818) 340-4677; at 8438 Sunland Blvd. in Sun Valley (818) 768-6636, and at 12004 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles (213) 473-5015. The Woodland Hills and Sun Valley stores are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturdays, 10 to 7 on Fridays, and 10 to 5 on Sundays. The West L.A. store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 to 5 on Sundays. Other locations: Arcadia, Anaheim, Carson, Covina, Huntington Beach, Lancaster and Upland.