What to Know Before Clicking 'Buy'

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We all want to find the best deals when buying things online. Although buying online is usually cheaper, before clicking buy it is important to be aware of currently running deals both online and off.

If you want to buy a motherboard or CPU check if you live near a Microcenter or Fry’s Electronics before you buy online. Fry’s often runs combo deals where you can buy both a CPU and a motherboard for the same price the CPU would cost you online, however these deals often run for a few days at most but are frequent in nature. These deals are easy to find by web searching “Fry’s ad”. On the other hand, Microcenter has great CPU deals and will often match Fry’s prices. One of the advantages of buying locally is ease of the return process compared to an online RMA. If you live near either of these stores it may be worth your time to take a look.

If you decide to buy online you often have to pay for shipping which can widely vary from site to site. Amazon offers a great service called amazon prime that results in free shipping on all product shipped through amazon, and a low $3.99 flat rate for one day shipping. They often offer a free three month trial, which can be canceled at any time. This service costs $79 a year so be sure to cancel your trial if you don’t find yourself buying a ton of products from Amazon. This option can be selected when going through the checkout process on an Amazon order.

Once you decide where to buy check if Bing cashback can save you some money where you are buying. At the very least you can often save a few percent on the order you where about to place.

Most importantly when buying online, check if the company is on the up and up. Resellerratings.com is a great place to look up customer reviews of online stores.

Last but not least, before clicking buy you should know that the products you are going to buy are both good components and cost effective compared to other similar products. There a tons of helpful people over on our forums that would be glad to assist you in finding the right product for your needs.

Daniel Lundberg

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Discussion
  1. I usually try to buy locally at Microcenter before I buy on-line for those very reasons. Microcenter has a nice selection of most items but I find my self buying my performance RAM and motherboards from the Egg due to more variety. With video cards I'm about 50/50.
    Last night, I checked at Fry's before getting everything online. The area where they had the cases looked like a used swapmeet. The cpu and memory wall had mostly sku decals to look at. It wasn't inviting at all. You would think they could have a cool cpu display of some kind. I found a decal describing the cpu from my build list. I like the convenience of a store, but what's the point if there is nothing to buy. Online is so much better b/c I get a lot from the user reviews. I was able to come up with a solid system with good value in just a couple of days of looking around online. Amazing for someone who hasn't built a pc in over a decade.
    However, if I was into building a budget pc, I'd definitely wait for one of their combo deals. My i7 micro gamer pc came out to $1300. I wonder how long the radeon 5850 will be good for? Or maybe I should have just bought an xbox, lol.
    I normally would jump at the chance of picking up parts locally for a good deal. I've been reading the deals on the internet about Fry's having pick up only specials. I wish I had one near me.
    For me it's cheaper to buy online. There is no Fry's close to me, and nearest Microcenter is more than 2 hours into Detroit Metro area. It's not the cost of gas that keeps me from going there, it's the cost of new hub caps.
    Meh, I tend to go through UMart Online for everything. Gives me a full purchase history of everything I've bought. They tend to be one of the cheapest places in Brisbane anyway.
    Love my new Corsair H50 cooler :rock:
    4GHZ_or_bust
    It's not the cost of gas that keeps me from going there, it's the cost of new hub caps.
    Thats about the dumbest thing I've read in a while.:blah::rolleyes:
    Frys is famous for rotten customer service and clerks who know much less than you do. And when people return things, they are just re-shrink-wrapped and put back on the shelf. More than once, I bought something "new" that was missing parts, or the user manual had handwriting all over it, etc.
    I find that newegg's prices are as good as or even better than Frys. And their user community ratings can be very helpful.
    Lucky for me I live in Silicon Valley. Fry's actually has a very good return policy where they usually dont question you and allow you to return open box items with NO restocking fee. But you are right, they just shrink wrap it and place it back on the shelf and just lower the price by a few bucks.
    Microcenter has like a 15% one, same with most etailers unless you are a long time customer.
    For pricing it varies, sometimes Fry's has better prices on select products compared to newegg.
    microcenter has a price matching policy anyway, so i always check newegg/tigerdirect/circuit city etc etc before i go. if there is a better price somewhere, print it out and take it to microcenter 15 min away. there i can get it for cheap, don't have to pay for/worry about shipping, and i can have it right away.
    You must pay for the first month of amazon prime if you actually use it to ship anything. And the price for a month's service is much more than shipping an item. Essentially there is no free trial.