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Shopping - Online
Written by Omie Ismail   
Friday, 02 October 2009 16:57
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Most electronic equipment today has a very short shelf life, anywhere from 3 months for some computer models to a year at most.  Once an item gets replaced, it's your golden opportunity to get a ridiculous deal.  Think about it, if you are buying an HDTV that is going to last you 8 to 12 years, does it really matter that you bought it at the tail end of its cycle.  Once a new model hits the showroom floor, the old models are put on fire sale for bargain hunters.

Many manufacturers and retailers have no choice but to cut prices or pass their inventory to an auction.  Sometimes there is perfectly good merchandise but it comes in an "open box" or with some cosmetic damage.  One of the best ways I know to pick up dirt cheap electronics is by looking for auctions from the retailers themselves.

For instance, Best Buy auctions many of their "leftovers" through Overstock Auctions.  The merchandise ranges from damaged to completely new in the box with full warranty.  Looking for a Samsung 22 inch widescreen monitor?  You could pay $180 at to buy one new or you could snag one for about $80 that's missing a monitor cable at  You probably already have the cable.  Typically, at any given time, the auction item has just been discontinued but in reality is nearly identical to the newer model.

Same thing goes from digital cameras where you can pick one up as low as $10 plus shipping.  A good strategy on cameras is to get a second one that you already have.  Typically the biggest discount goes to the cameras without chargers.  If you have a similar model, you will already have the charger.  If you have kids that always want to snap photos with your $250 digital camera, you can let them destroy the $10 model or drop it into the water when they are taking pictures of Niagara Falls.


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cheaparse  - Question for livecheap experts... |2009-10-21 07:45:00
For big ticket electronics (e.g. HP computers), it's always seemed logical to me that mfrs will introduce the sweetest deals towards the end of their fiscal quarters to move inventory and hit their Wall Street #'s. However, I don't have any proof of's just a hunch. Anyone have some evidence or experiences to prove/disprove this?
Omiewon  - Used to be stuffing the channel! |2009-10-21 11:35:21
It used to be that some of the manufacturers would stuff the channel towards the end of the quarter and fiscal year. Ultimately the SEC went after some companies and made sure that there was sell through in the retail channel to consider it sold. Not sure how much wiggle room there is today, but I don't hear much about that any more.

In terms of specials, I think its very difficult to tell with a vendor like HP due to size and number of products. The other complicating factor is that they may be dropping the wholesale price to the Best Buy's of the world to get more moved and Best Buy may or may not lower the price. So you would have to look for manufacturer sponsored discounts like instant rebates. For someone like Dell though, not so hard to look at since they are the primary retailer also.

It would be interesting to take the top 10 manufacturers and note their fiscal year ends and then look at their discounting and see if there is a correlation. Would be great advice if you could tell the Cheapos of the world when you are likely to get a annual or quarterly induced discount.
Yasmin104  - Electronics: Buying Cheap |2009-10-19 12:34:41
There must be a good way to manage/store the old recordings and get rid of the old Camera before it has zero value. It is already too late for 3 of my 4 movie cameras.

What about renting a camera 2-3 times a year instead of buying? For everything else my cell phone can record.

Omiewon  - Renting and old technology |2009-10-19 14:26:25
The technology evolution stuff is really a pain to deal with. All those VCR tapes that were taken in the 80s and 90s sit idly unless you are willing to have them changed over to DVDs which of course now are giving way to Blu-ray.
Same thing with the cameras. Compact flash was all the rage a few years ago and then SD took off. Seems like SD has had a decent life with tons of space and a really small form factor. But I am sure that something new will come along. Does seem like we buy a new digital camera every two years.
Unfortunately with kids, I think we snap pictures every day so renting isn't an option. But I completely agree with the video camera. We bought one a few years ago for $450 or so and we might have used it for a year. Not very cheap.
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