Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black Friday - Cyber Monday: 90% Hype, 10% Great Deals, Some Of Which Continue for a New Computer

I did a large amount of research over the past week in determining if there were any real computer deals during the very hyped up 4-day period in the United States for electronic sales which ended last night.

These four days, anchored by Black Friday, the name given to the day after Thanksgiving (which always falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States) through Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after black Friday are touted as the time to buy electronics and other high-end consumer items. The Christmas shopping season begins on Black Friday, which is the busiest retail day of the year in the United States. Black Friday earned it's name since retailers could "go in the black and out of the red" if they sell enough that day to earn an annual profit. 

Here is what I learned from observing sales over the past week on just about every major computer retailing site in the United States including:

  • Dell / Alienware (the gaming division of Dell)
  • HP (Hewlett Packard)
  • Newegg
  • Tiger Direct
  • Lenovo
  • Best Buy
  • Costco
  • Walmart
  • Cyberpowerpc
  • Sears
  • Amazon
My parameters:

  • My budget was $1,000 U.S. including shipping 
  • I did not look at Macs, only Windows based systems
  • I had to be able to purchase a computer through mail order
  • I only looked at desktop computers (I do not think laptops are a good choice for gaming applications)
  • I must have an NVDIA graphics card. ATI cards do not work as well with Second Life.
  • A minimum one-year warranty must be included in the price. 
Here is what I learned:

The only online retailer which offered consistent deals during the 4 days that meant anything were the custom gaming PC company Cyberpowerpc. I am now kicking myself because I did not purchase a great computer from them on Sunday for $917 after rebates that now costs over $250 more.

(note from Eddi: See comment, Chad Baxton is someone I have known in Second Life for over 4 years and has had a bad experience with this company). 

Of the major manufacturers which sell direct, only Dell had a good deal going on an Alienware X51 mini desktop which is good for gaming and Second Life. They offered $100 off, and a nice one could have been had for $899. The price today is $50 higher, since they are now only offering $50 off. I think though, that if you search for online coupons for Dell you will be able to match the prices of this weekend. 

Costco, my U.S. retailer of choice, had nothing of interest in terms of a gaming computer I wanted. Someone in the buying department over there does not understand why a gamer needs a graphics card. They were calling systems without discrete graphics cards "gaming computers" -- which is simply not the case. 

Tiger Direct and Newegg, the huge online retailers that stock a large amount of inventory, had some good deals which seem to be continuing. I am not sure they did much in terms of additional deals over this past weekend, and they are both advertising ongoing savings over the next month.  I can personally recommend Tiger Direct to you, I had to return a defective graphics card to them and they could not have been nicer 
and easier to deal with in getting out a replacement.

One more thing - the best deal I found is this great $800 gaming computer over at Tiger Direct with a high end new NVDIA graphics card.  You can read my review of the offer here. As of this morning, it is still available. Remember, you will need a monitor to work with this. 


  1. OMG do not make a purchase with Cyber-power PC. Let me tell you just a little about my experiences with this company. On Sept. the 18th I purchased a gaming PC from this company. The PC contained a Intel I7 16 gig of ram, 2 Terra bite of hard drive I very capable video card, When I ordered I was told that could expect the system to arrive in approx. four Weeks it did not arrive until almost eight weeks later. Keep in mind I payed 1600.00 usd for the system. Cyber-power is located in CA. The system was build there and then shipped to the Midwest 2100 miles. When it arrived I discovered that the video card was defective. What kind of company builds a system of that cost and ships it that far without downloading the drivers on it or testing it. Cyber-power PC that is who. When I told them that I wanted to return it for a refund I was informed I would half to pay the 111.00 usd for the return shipping. I have never had a company require me to pay for return shipping on their defective product in all of the time that I have been buying most my consumer goods from the internet. What made this even worst is that I just got the refund to my card on Nov. the 19 and was lied to three times by two different employs about when my credit was issued. After all of this I was shorted on my return by over 100.00 usd. I would never do business with this company again EVER and will warn anytime I hear their name for everyone to stay clear. Bought a Mac pro after all hope this helps with anyone looking for a computer over the holidays. Hugs Chad1 Baxton.

  2. Thanks for this. I am putting in a caveat in the main copy and asking people to look at the comment.


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