Cheap PC stores in US?

By Doctor_hv ยท 21 replies
Mar 11, 2008
  1. My friend is going to US in April and he will visit Washington and Philadelphia.
    He is interested in buying some laptop and some other hardware, so I just want to ask you guys, are there some cheap stores in these towns where he could buy some good used laptop or a new one up to 250-300$.
    Are there any websites where I could see the prices of these stores (no online ordering since he stays in a hotel, he can only go there and buy for cash), so I might tell him to bring me an 8800GT or something ;)
    thanks a lot
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,335   +101

    I realize you said no online orders, however, you might save yourself quite a bit of money by ordering it online rather than going to a BestBuy for instance.

    Since he will be in major cities, order them online and perhaps have them held at a processing facility? Maybe he can just pick them up there.

    Just a thought anyway :p.
  3. Doctor_hv

    Doctor_hv TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Well, that would be cool, but he is a student (in Bosnia, very poor country) as well as I am, and we don't have credit cards that we could use to order online, so it is the only possible way...
    so if there is some link to those shops who sell the hardware directly for cash, it would be great... anyway thanks...
  4. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 373

    Visa gift card....

    You can get a visa gift card at just about any bank or wal-mart store give them the money and they put it on the plastic for ya.....Then place an order from an online retailer with it.

    Then he can have it shipped to just about any where, or held at the shippers local facility for pick up.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Doctor_hv, what you propose is likely not a good idea. Used laptops are trouble, due to failing hard drives, failing LCD screen inverters, and such.
    Get someone local who can work with you... someone who knows sources... Perhaps a good repair technician, or a reseller that needs to help a buyer sell a good used unit.
    Something out of a store offers a high risk of trouble.
    There are many on this forum that can come up with what you need, but that is not good form here.
    Something with a reputation for excellence, such as an IBM Thinkpad, Dell Latitude, Toshiba Satellite... Certain Gateway and HP laptops... You can get further by knowing what to avoid, and if you don't know, don't do this.
    In this environment, you need someone who knows. Both Washington and Philadelphia tech repair shops would be better than a store, methinks.
  6. Recoil00

    Recoil00 TS Rookie

    i would say u order it online alot easier :)
  7. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Agreed, you will typically find better pricing online.

    However as JimShady suggested you can turn cash into a VISA gift card, which can be used online.

    I'd have it shipped to your hotel where you are staying.

    Also, the US dollar is VERY weak compared to other denominations right now, so you might be paying more than you would buying elsewhere.
  8. spxnerd

    spxnerd TS Rookie

    Online is the best place to find deals, but if you would insist on buying one in person I say visit Delaware, theres no tax :D.
  9. Doctor_hv

    Doctor_hv TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    thanks for suggestions guys,
    he will not go for a used one, and the best we could find from your posts is some $499 laptop at bestbuy.
    Heh, what ****ty country we are, I mean, I own a Visa card, I can use it to take many on ATM's throughout Europe, pay in stores, but I cannot use it online... :(
    Thanks @spxnerd, he might as well go to China and buy their homemade laptops... ;)
    If there are some useful weblinks, would be great...
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    Use a temporary credit card for online. Although I have no idea why your Visa Card won't work as is.
  11. Swordey

    Swordey TS Rookie

    Online might be a better way to go then a store =/

    idk though
  12. Doctor_hv

    Doctor_hv TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Well SNGX1275, you wouldn't believe how crappy this country is... I have a Visa Electron because I am a student and I can only spend what I pay to my bank, while those receiving their salaries in the bank have Visa Classic and they can pay online... Believe, I've tried several times and it won't work...
    and the problem with online ordering for my friend is that he is staying in a hotel, so I don't think he can order it to a hotel?
    Anyway, thanks everyone, hopefully he'll find something to fit his needs once he gets to US in 15 days.
  13. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Shouldn't have a hard time ordering to a hotel, as long as he orders it soon enough that the shipping will put it to his hotel before he leaves. That would be the only concern with that.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,356   +2,850

    I always thought a low exchange rate would allow you to buy MORE with foreign currency! No, actually it WILL allow to buy more with foreign currency!
  15. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    You are indeed correct. I was bass ackwards. Thanks for the correction.
  16. Doctor_hv

    Doctor_hv TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Ok, he leavs this weekend, and he will be able to order online, so what is the cheapest online store?
    and another question, does anyone know will he have any problems with the customs or the airport security if he buys a graphics card and a CPU for me... Is it better to carry them unpacked, or to carry the boxes separately from the parts...
    And is there any chance that if, God forbids, something fails, would I be able to use warranty in Europe, or would I have to ship it back?
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,356   +2,850

    First the Bad News ......?

    Mechandise bought in another marketing "region" (read "country"), is usually considered "gray market" and the warranties are not honored. A great deal of camera product is brought into the US from the Pacific Rim and Japan by US retailers, and the foreign warranties are not honored. However, there generally is a reduced price on these items. Major manufacturers have representing branches which import the same (for the most part) goods to be sold domestically, with full USA warranty. I think the same rules apply when the reverse is true and you are then an "exporter" of these goods. Mamiya has actually managed to make it illegal to present their goods as "gray market".

    OK the good news,

    Newegg, is by in large the cheapest and certainly the most reliable of online marketers for computer parts and whatnot.
    If you're going after stereo equipment, my first choice is J&R in New York City.

    If you're going to try having this stuff sent to your hotel I would absolutely discuss it with the staff FIRST.
    One thing about J&R, if you're staying in New York you will be nailed with an 8% NYC sales tax.
  18. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Have you never purchased anything before? Online? Computer Store.
    Methings you are risking a slip down the slippery slope.
    Why not have someone you know well, and trust, buy it for you.
  19. Doctor_hv

    Doctor_hv TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Well, he won't buy it himself, but he will have a person from the organization he is travelling with buy it and order it to their office address, and he'll only give him the cache and take the laptop.
    as for these parts, I don't know, no warranty seems quite risky to me, and though 8800GT is 150$ cheaper in US than in Bosnia (8800GTS 512MB worths an average monthly payment) :D, I wouldn't like to get a paperholder in my hands, so I will probably buy one much more expensive here, but go legally and without risks...
    How lucky you are people, having so cheap stores and so much money... ;)
  20. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    Didou recently inquired to Canon about warranty in Europe if he purchased the camera in the US. They said they would honor its warranty. So might be worth checking with the maker.

    I have no idea how customs and other countries work for bringing items back with you though. I would imagine you might run into some trouble/taxes.

    Might be worth looking into what types of taxes and fees you'd have to pay to have it shipped back. As long as its less than $150 you can still save money by buying that card in the US and shipping it back to your home.
  21. jairus

    jairus TS Rookie

    Just ask locals.
  22. Doctor_hv

    Doctor_hv TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

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