Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 are almost here. If you’re planning on buying any new PC hardware, now is the time to prepare.
One of the most common question we are asked is “When is the best time of year to buy PC hardware?” In the U.S., the best time to buy new PC parts is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Outside the U.S., you may do better during the holiday sales around Christmas.
However, you don’t need to venture outside the safety and warmth of your home to find the best PC hardware deals. We at Logical Increments prefer the more civilized method: Gluing yourself to the internet and mashing F5 on your browser until you find the best deals.
Every year, we keep our blog updated to track the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals available online. As we count down to the biggest sales weekend of the year, here are 5 tips for anyone planning to upgrade or build a new PC on Black Friday.
1. Decide what you want beforehand
Make a list of parts you want. I find it helpful to list the part’s normal price, and the price I’d be willing to pay on sale. Choosing what I’m willing to pay beforehand lets me instantly choose whether I want to buy a part when I see it on sale.
Knowing the normal price is helpful for judging how good a sale actually is. Companies often list the sale price compared to the “suggested retail price,” which may be a much higher price than a part ever actually sells for.
If you need any insight on what parts to upgrade, consider comparing your current components to the latest recommendations on the Logical Increments parts guide (wink wink).
2. Be flexible on brand and model
Notice that I didn’t list specific models or brands for the graphics card and power supply on my little list in #1.
Sometimes you can find a great deal on a component, if you’re willing to go with a less well-known brand or a different model. For example, you may want a new RX 480 from ASUS or Gigabyte, but find that a Sapphire model is on sale for significantly cheaper. For the most part, these different brand names will result in an identical experience once you’ve installed it in your PC, although it’s worth checking some reviews.
3. Find some reliable recommendations
Like I said, we’ll be tracking our favorite deals on the Logical Increments blog. For other resources, we also really like the Black Friday forums at Fatwallet and Slickdeals. Reddit’s r/buildapcsales is another good resource for the best deals. Just make sure to read some of the comments, because parts on big sales are occasionally on sale because of poor quality.
4. Follow Black Friday pages for your favorite store (and subscribe to emails!)
Stores sometimes limit the best deals to their email subscribers, so this is one time when it’s definitely worth signing up for an email list.
Newegg’s e-blast newsletter is probably the single best daily email for deals leading up to Black Friday. Just remember that you can always unsubscribe after Cyber Monday!
5. Stay vigilant
Quantities are often limited and the best deals sell out within hours — or even minutes — of being posted online. Stay on top of developments and try to be quick!
Different stores reveal their best deals at different times, often at midnight on Black Friday, or a few hours later in the early morning.
What about rebates? Are they worth it?
The best savings are usually dependent on rebates. Sellers know they can offer bigger discounts without actually having to pay the full amount, because so many of us are lazy and never mail our rebates.
Despite their bad reputation, rebates are reliable. . . as long as you follow the instructions exactly and complete the requirements on time. I have mailed in dozens of rebate forms, and have always received my rebates. If you ever have a problem where you believe you did everything correctly but haven’t received your rebate, call the company and let them know. Mistakes happen — and believe me — they would much rather pay out a little rebate than risk getting sued for fraud!
Now is the perfect time to start planning to catch the best deals of the year. Let us know if you have any Black Friday/Cyber Monday questions that we haven’t addressed here. Happy deal hunting!