Laptop Computer Sale Guide for money-saving options.

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 Laptop Computer Sale Guide

All those flashy laptop computer electronics stores and the big-name dot-coms all have their place when you're shopping for laptop computers and other electronics. Nevertheless, alternatives--some off the beaten path--can give you broader choices and much better prices.

Smaller online stores and other less-traveled marketplaces provide an entirely different laptop computer sale shopping experience. You can also save big money by going with factory re-certified or refurbished products. Plus, you don't have to be a techie to shop at these alternative locations. You just need a sense of shopping adventure and a desire to discover the best deals and products that you might not have known about. It helps to not be in a hurry--some of these alternative shopping methods take more time than just running downtown, but patience can save you some serious dollars.

For every Best Buy, Circuit City and other megastore selling laptops, thousands of smaller shops offer much better laptop computer sale pricing. These small companies include online arms of regional businesses, mom-and-pop operations, and lesser-known Web-only stores. These companies usually offer much better prices than the major hitters and a higher level of personalized service. They may also sell obscure what-cha-ma-call-its that you've given up on finding. Let's take a look at a recent laptop computer sale price comparison.

 Laptop Computer Sale Comparison - IBM Thinkpad X-30

Compare this pricing:
(The same model with identical features & specs.)

  • PC Nation--$1380.94
  • Computers4Sure--$1428.95

That's a price variation of $518.06. It pays to shop around!

 Laptop Computer Sale Merchant Terms

You may encounter some unfamiliar laptop merchant terms while shopping for deals with alternative sites. Here's what they mean.

Gray Market: Merchandise intended for sale outside the United States, but imported into the country for sale by a distributor.

Open-Box Special: This is a new unit that was shipped from the merchant to a customer. For various reasons, the purchaser decided they didn't want the unit and returned it to the merchant. Because the box has been opened, the merchant usually dramatically reduces the price and sells it as an open-box special. It includes all manuals, software and full manufacturers warranty.

New Old Stock (NOS): Equipment that has never been used but wasn't recently manufactured. That is, it's been sitting in a warehouse for months or years.

White Box: Merchandise that doesn't have a brand label attached to it. It may be built by a name-brand company, then sold and warranted by a smaller distributor.

Retail Packaging: A nice box, like you would find on a computer-store shelf, complete with manuals, drivers and warranties.

As Is, Where Is: Merchandise that includes no guarantees, and the purchaser is responsible for moving or shipping.

Off-Lease: Refers to hardware, often desktops and laptops, that was previously leased to a business. At the end of the lease period, the equipment is usually sold as used.

Refurbished / Re-Certified: A product that has been returned to the manufacturer, inspected, repaired and tested and is ready for resale. This sometimes happens with laptops and desktops coming off lease.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM): Equipment originally intended for vendors to build into a PC and resell to end users. As such, it doesn't include fancy packaging, and may not include the same warranty as the retail version of the same product.

No matter where you choose to buy, remember to do your homework. Always know whom you're buying from and understand what you're getting for the money. You could come away with an amazing deal on the system, component, or peripheral you want or thought you could never find.

Computer Shopping Tip: Use a credit card whenever possible to purchase items from merchants. If the product doesn't turn out to be what was represented and the seller won't reconcile the issue, the credit card company can help resolve the dispute or withhold payment to the seller. Debit cards, checks, and money orders do not provide the same level of buyer protection.

 Where To Find Laptop Computer Sales

If possible, focus on smaller family owned and operated venues. Many of these sites offer a very pleasant shopping experience. Although these sites are diverse, they can be found. Most of them have been in business for 30 years or more and although they may have started as a mail-order company, many have developed a strong Web presence. You don't stay in business for 30 or more years unless you provide competitive pricing and exemplary sale options. They offer a great selection, rebates on many models and oftentimes free shipping.

Most of the best tech-shopping sites have a well focused selection. Rather than trying to sell everything from microwaves to sporting goods as many of your online malls do, they focus on laptops, desktops and other electronic specialties. When focusing on a single product group they usually provide more product information and better service.

Also consider the manufacturers' websites. Their clearance and rebate sections do provide significant rebates of up to $250 on selected models. It's a great way to go if you're uncomfortable with purchasing from third-party merchants and prefer to purchase direct from the manufacturer.


Laptop Computer Sale Guide for money-saving options.

All those flashy laptop computer electronics stores and the big-name dot-coms all have their place when you're shopping for laptop computers and other electron





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