PC hardware can be expensive. Or, if you know how to shop, it can be really cheap. Today, I’m going to show you some of the best ways to save money on PC parts:
Step 1) Research the parts you need for your PC and collect those parts in a spreadsheet
Your PC parts likely address some need for your PC. Maybe you’re trying to solve a bottleneck problem. Or maybe you’re building an entirely new PC. Whatever you’re doing, it’s important to research the parts you need for your PC and add those parts to a list.
Create a spreadsheet in Google Drive or Excel and list the lowest price for all your necessary components. Save that list and check it regularly over the next few days.
Step 2) Know the best times of the year to buy PC parts
Here are some good times of the year to buy PC parts:
-Black Friday/Cyber Monday
-Weekly deals at your local electronics retailer
-Any time but the holidays, which is when the price of almost anything increases
-Right around when the next generation of hardware is announced, so buy a GTX 780 graphics card when Nvidia announced the GTX 880. In most cases, Nvidia drops the price of the last generation by $100 or so just before they release the next generation.
By looking at deal websites and comparing pricing at multiple retailers, you can make sure to get the best possible deal on all your parts. Keep track of all part pricing using the simple spreadsheet.
With electronics, many of today’s retailers also price match, which means you can easily order all your components from a single retailer while still enjoying excellent pricing.
Step 3) Use web apps and extensions to compare shopping purchases
There are all sorts of different price comparison tools available online. CamelCamelCamel is one popular app that can be used to compare Amazon and Best Buy prices on all sorts of different products. Other web apps include The Camelizer, Traktor, or Invisible Hand.
In fact, there’s one app that is designed specifically to compare the price of PC parts over time while also helping you put together a system. That app is PCPartPicker and it’s one of the most user friendly ways to build an awesome computer.
Step 4) Compare pricing over the next few weeks
Reference your spreadsheet on a regular basis. When you see a low price, order the part.
After you’ve ordered a few parts, be sure to check back for new pricing information over the next 30 days. Many retailers have a price drop policy where they’ll refund the difference on items purchased within a 30 day period.
Ultimately, saving money on PC parts is a waiting game: if you don’t need to order brand new PC parts today, then keeping track of pricing over a few weeks is an excellent way to save several hundred dollars. Whether you’re building a new PC or just buying a new video card, these tips will help you get the most out of your money when shopping for PC parts online.