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US Internet Component Suppliers


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#1
Metrogirl

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Since Christmas, several of my friends and I have bought PC parts from different on-line suppliers in the US. After talking about our experiences I decided to share them with you all.

It seems that our criteria were simple, we each wanted the best price - obviously - but taking shipping, tax and availability into consideration too. Without exception we each tried to avoid products which relied on a mail-in rebate to sell them. Funny, that, - I guess we each had bad experiences with rebates which so often have too many catches to be worthwhile.

These were our thoughts on the companies we've used this year:

Global (Tiger Direct) - first prize for stock, shipping times and efficiency. Shipping can be expensive but the prices are generally very good. Not one bad experience and they have real people on the phone.

EEBuy - good all-round but the range can be limited. Shipping reasonable. Beware of the price hiding a rebate you must obtain (and are probably not eligible to get - expired, need to buy something else too, etc.).

E-cost - similar to EEBuy, range varies a lot. One friend waited ten days for an 'in stock' item.

ZipZoomFly - good range, prices are great, 2nd-day shipping usually free but they can take several days to 'process' the order before it ships - yes, honestly, that sucks. Telephone support is hopeless.

EndPCNoise - prices are sort of high but they have some 'silent' components which are worth the cost if you hate a PC which sounds like a vacuum cleaner. Shipping is reasonable and stock level are good.

OnSale - God, I wish I'd never been tempted to use this company. They LIE about their stock - I placed an order weeks ago for a bunch of items which were all shown as "In Stock" on the web. Less than half turned up, the rest were mysteriously "back-ordered". If you try calling them you usually get a recording saying their mailbox is full.

Apple - well, my friend gets a discount so it's reasonable for him to to buy directly from them. They can take up to two weeks from receiving an order to shipping it, but they do use FedEx 2-day. Apple charge you sales tax too, which is a bummer.

OtherWorld Computing - great range, some unusual Mac add-ons, high prices if you're not careful and SLOW delivery.

Anyone want to comment on their experiences with these companies? Add a few? Or recommend some so we can all benefit?

#2
Swad

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I've always had good luck with TigerDirect - they have some great sales, although a lot of them require rebates.

NewEgg is just about the best that I've used. I tried them for the last computer I built and I won't go anywhere else now. Fast shipping and just about the cheapest prices anywhere make for a great combination.

I've also used eCost, which sometimes has good deals, but I LOATHE their website. It's the most counter-intuitive UI I've ever seen in my life. Until they fix that, I won't use them very much.

When shopping for stuff, I usually check out Froogle too - sometimes that's the best way to find the range of prices for an object to see if the store you're looking at is competitive.

#3
cyrana

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Good list. ;) I tend to use Zipzoomfly, Newegg, or mwave. Mwave is a good one to consider too, compare their prices (although shipping isn't free). For memory, I also often just try Crucial, which is reliable and they ship quickly...they also have a good online configurator. ;)

zzf has always shipped my stuff the same day I bought it, but if it is your 1st order it will take longer I think. I don't like newegg so much since they like to use UPS now, which is just rubbish where I live.

#4
jbjonas

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Absolutely Mash, Newegg is by far the best (plus they have an east coast distribution point in NJ now too, so no more 5 day wait from CA for most things ;) ...) After them I always check Tiger Direct.
Neither of you mentioned buy.com:
I recently set up a medium sized network for my job... We spent around 40grand on hardware at first deployment... Most went to Dell for Servers and Workstations, but we found that buy.com beat almost everyone's prices for stuff like printers, commercial grade UPSs, Routers, Switches, and Network Cards. They were very easy to deal with, but I would probably still go with Newegg for components like Processors and hard drives and stuff (I love their selection and prices on Seagate drives -> I swear by them now...hard drive failure is akin to a death in the family) ;)

edit: Cyrana, I agree about Crucial, they're just too easy... Newegg still lets you chose FedEx if you prefer, though I don't know if there is any price increase...
Also, I forgot. For cables, especially large orders of ethernet cables of different sizes, colors, etc. I love cablesdirect.com Not the biggest or most advanced site, but easy to use, and an excellent company. They sent me very professional quotes in pdf for a large order, and were very easy to reach on the phone for amendments, etc. A+ :graduated:

#5
Swad

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Indeed Cyrana - UPS just sucks most of the time.

Good call on buy.com, jbjonas - I've always been pretty happy with them (and actually owned stock in them before the bubble burst... ah, the old days...).

I've also found that PriceGrabber will sometimes give you a 5 dollar check if you review a product on their site - if you're looking for components, a search on that site might pay off!

For memory, Crucial is good. I've found it's best to go with name brands for the Mobo and memory. I too won't use anything but seagate (I actually dropped one that I put in an external case on some pavement - it still works!). Oh, and name brand cases are important too - especially if it comes with a power supply. One reason I like NewEgg is that it has pretty good reviews for most products. Between it and Amazon (another great site to buy from) I feel like I can get a fairly good grasp on the quality of the product.

#6
Metrogirl

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Actually Tiger Direct have a sort of Corporate arm - "GlobalGovEd" - since they're part of the Global chain. Last year I ordered a smallish server from them giving my work email and rather surprisingly was offered an account with them - I really don't know quite how I got it - I guess my work address is quite grand. Anyway, now I choose what I want from their website (a mirror of the Tiger Direct website), hit "give me a quote" and someone sends back an email with some nice discounts - really good. Plus I can speak to a real person who can usually match prices rather than lose the sale. If you can persuade them to give you an account, I'd recommend them.

#7
jbjonas

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which begs the question... What is your grand work email address? :hysterical:

#8
Metrogirl

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which begs the question... What is your grand work email address? :dev:


steve.jobs@apple.com - :hysterical: didn't mean to give that away ;)

#9
Fuzzlet

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TigerDirect isn't bad as long as you never try to get a mail in rebate from them. You most likely will never get it.

#10
aberracus

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OR if you live in Florida and they wil charge taxes to you (Tiger Direct)

Zipzoomfly is very good but the back orders justa ppear after i brought something (few ocasions but happens).

Mwave is cool and good

BTW ZZF overnight is cheap

Cheers





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