When to Buy Computers: The Best Computer Prices Throughout the Year

When to Buy Computers: The Best Computer Prices Throughout the Year

Posted 07.13.2012 in Articles by Neil-Denny

Saving money relies not only on where and what to buy, but also when to buy. The research and development of new computer models is as consistent as the ebb-and-flow of the tide. We've kept our eyes on the tides and have compiled a list of the best times to make your computer purchase.

Knowing when a manufacturer will release a new product can save you 10 to 20% off the retail price, independent of other retail incentives. Prior to the release of new products, distributors and retailers will have excess stock of their older models. The goal is to diminish that inventory as manufacturers start shipping in new hardware. Products in the surplus inventory will be offered at discounted prices so that supply chains can reduce their inventory and make way for the next cycle of products. 

A prime example of a consistent production cycle is Apple. Apple products typically have a consistent 12-month cycle. This predictability allows you to plan your purchase more strategically. MacRumors.com provides a guide to the production cycle of every Apple product and offers suggestions for when to buy based on the likelihood of a new update. According to research conducted by Dealnews.com, it’s also a good idea to keep your eye out for price drops a few months after the release of an Apple product before rushing to make your purchase. The MacBook Pro, for example, is on average $299 cheaper three months after the release date. 

The product cycle for Windows-based computers is less predictable than Apple. Since launch dates for new products tend to differ among the many different vendors, it's difficult to pinpoint a specific day to buy a PC. However, this also means pricing isn’t as strict as Apple, so you are more likely to find exclusive discounts on a PC throughout the year.

Keeping your eye on the cycle of new products is an excellent way to save a couple hundred bucks on a new computer if you want to avoid the pandemonium of the more widely known retail shopping seasons: Back-to-School and Famous Black Friday. 

They say to strike while the iron is hot. When it comes to shopping for computers, the iron is hottest in the summer between the months of July and August, in the wake of the Back-to-School shopping season. Retailers and manufacturers alike slash prices this time of year. If you are a current college student, or a parent of a college student, and you love Apple, this is precisely the time to snatch up a new Mac. The Apple promotion for 2012 runs until September 21, and grants qualified customers a $100 Back to School Gift Card with the purchase of a new Mac, or a $50 gift card with the purchase of a new iPad. Dell is also offering a similar deal to eligible college students in 2012. With the purchase of select PCs, qualified customers can also get a free XBox 360 4GB, or a $200 Dell promo eGift card.

If you miss out on all the hot summer deals, have no fear, because the best time to set sail in search of big savings is drawing near. Thanksgiving’s not only great for football and turkey. It also marks the eve of “Black Friday.” The day after Thanksgiving is the Super Bowl of American consumerism. It’s Christmas come early as thousands of eager souls line up outside their favorite retail store, mall, or outlet, cash or credit in hand, ready to strike hard and save big on that new pair of skinny jeans, that Friends DVD collection, or in our case, a shiny new laptop and a two-terabyte external hard drive. 

Traditionally, (and yes, it is now a tradition as American as apple pie) retailers have opened just a few hours earlier than usual on Black Friday. As of late, however, stores including Target and Best Buy have started opening at midnight, some stores even as early as 10pm, so you can expect shoppers to start camping out before the sun goes down. Black Friday is particularly exciting if you’re a fan of Apple, since the cost of their products remain relatively fixed year-round.

With its heavy presence in the media, Black Friday almost goes without saying. The reason it’s worth mentioning here is that not too many people know about its online counterpart “Cyber Monday.” On the Monday following Black Friday, you’ll find excellent deals on desktop computers, laptops, and computer parts on sites like Amazon.com, Newegg.com, Dell, and HP Direct. If you aren’t up to bumping elbows with the hordes of midnight shoppers you’re bound to find on Black Friday, the discounts are just as great if not better online during Cyber Monday.

When it comes down to it, the best time to buy a computer depends on how badly you need it. If you need a computer right away, then you really have no choice but to buy right away, and should look to refurbished goods if you’re crunched financially. But if you’re computer is capable and up to par with your current needs, then patience is key. Keep your wallet at bay, and if your timing is right, it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out.


Image (CC) Scott.Patterson 


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Posts: 1
Re: When to Buy Computers: The Best Computer Prices Throughout the Year
Reply #1 on : Tue October 16, 2012, 07:17:30
yeah done with black friday. gets to hectic and people literally die because of the heavy traffic of people. cyber mondays a safer easier way to get the best deals on computers. not worth it to camp out anywhere.

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