With Black Friday 2020 deals on the horizon, we take a look at how to find the best deals on hardware online in Covid times. With new and previous-generation hardware likely up for grabs, now is the time to prepare your buying plans.
Black Friday 2020: When will the best deals go live? Soon.
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.
This year is particularly interesting for builders, as we have had new CPUs and GPUs recently released. So, alongside the usual sales, we might end up with the ‘double whammy’ of promotions to encourage purchasing of new products as well as promotions from retailers wanting to sell off excess stock of previous-generation hardware.
With the current Covid-19 climate, a lot of us are not wanting to venture outside, preferring to enjoy the safety and warmth of our homes to find the best PC hardware deals. We at Logical Increments also prefer that civilized Black Friday online shopping method of gluing yourself to the internet and mashing F5 on your browser until you find the best deals. In fact, if you stick with us, your F5 key may be spared.
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 2020:
1. Decide what you want beforehand
|Item||Normal Price||Willing to Pay|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||$279-309||$240|
|Radeon RX 5700XT||$375-400||$350|
|500GB M.2 NVMe Drive||$60-80||$50|
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 NVMe drive in my example list above!
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.
With there being both new and previous-generation hardware out there now, you might find a better deal switching from a RX 5700 XT to an RTX 2070 Super, for instance, if they’re being sold off cheaply.
Likewise, with the 500GB NVMe drive, I might find a good deal on a less-established M.2 drive manufacturer like ADATA, Team Group, or Sabrent, instead of just sitting on the Samsung 970 EVO page and hoping for a deal which might never come.
For the most part, these different brand names will result in a near-identical experience once you’ve installed it in your PC, although it’s worth checking some reviews.
3. Find some reliable recommendations
We at Logical Increments will be tracking our favorite deals right here on the Logical Increments blog, so make sure to check back here during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
For other resources, we also really like the Black Friday forums at 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 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. And do not forget: Cyber Monday is a day specifically designated for online shopping discounts, so if you do not find something on Black Friday, checking again on Cyber Monday is a good idea.
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 take the full hit, 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 2020 questions that we haven’t addressed here. Happy deal hunting!