One should not simply just buy a Dell computer PC system without checking out the previous offers and also comparing the system on offer with other branded computer system. You may end up with a system that is more expensive and not quite what you want. However, if the offer is a good one, you should make the decision quickly or miss out on their offer.
Dell is very aggressive in its promotion of its range of PC offering. However, they like to confuse people with their offer at hand. The price goes up and down for a particular model. What looks like a drop in price is actually a drop in specification. And when you customize the configuration back to the same configuration of a previous offer, you will notice the price is no longer so attractive.
That does not mean Dell does not have good offer. They do. But they play sneaky, by confusing the consumer with their roller coaster prices and up and down specification of the computer; you may end up with a good deal or a bad deal.
So how do you know whether what Dell is offering is a good deal or a bad deal? If you are not in any real hurry to buy a computer system and can afford to wait, this is what you should do. Dell has fortnightly offers being thrown around all the time. They are very aggressive in their promotion that you will receive their flyers in the newspaper, in your letterbox, direct mailings, advertisement in the papers, even right in your inbox! Once you are in their mailing list, it is very difficult to remove your name and address from their database. It took me a few calls before I managed to remove a name or change their database.
Comparison of previous Dell offers
First, bear in mind what kind of system you would like to acquire, whether it is an Intel system or an AMD system. Note the particular model and keep the promotional flyers for future reference and comparison. The promotional offers that are offered in each of the above delivery method may or may not be the same so you will need to study the offers. Check the specification that is on offer for the model that you have your eye on.
For example the Dell Inspiron 1501 model that I got was an AMD Turion system. Sometimes they offer a cheaper version, and I noticed they gave an AMD Sempron CPU which is the lowest end of the CPU offering. So a cheaper price offer is not necessary a better deal.
Free upgrades and changes in Dell offers
Keep an eye out for free upgrades. The upgrade offered can actually make the purchase a good value buy. The free upgrades can be small upgrade or a big upgrade. Dell’s usual upgrade offer was the upgrading of DVD drive. To me this just a small upgrade offering. The upgrade that I felt was good when I made my decision to purchase was free DDR2-RAM upgrade to 2GB. No other brand was offering this amount of RAM memory; most were just giving only 512MB at the same price range. DDR2-RAM are not cheap for laptop so this was definitely good value.
As you keep the flyers and advertisement, you will notice the free upgrade varies, and the specification offered also varies. One way to see whether the current offer is good or poor is to go the Dell website and configure the current system to match the previous offering. If the final price is more expensive, then the offering is poor and vice versa.
The latest offering of Dell Inspiron 1501 in early July’07 looks cheaper, but upon closer inspection, the CPU was an AMD Sempron and a standard 512MB DDR-RAM was offered. After customizing back to the specification of June offer, the price was totally unattractive. You have to pay an additional 20% to get back the same specification.
Another point to note is the warranty period. It changes too. Sometimes they give only 90 days for a cheap system offer, or one year for a higher price system offer. In fact, by taking the higher price system offer and customizing it whether by downgrading or upgrading the components, you can actually get a better deal out of it than trying to take a cheap system and customizing it.
Dell offers are deceptive, but if you play it smart and have the time to study their various offers, you can pick up a computer system that is really a good value buy. Sometime it is so good that even to build an OEM system from scratch is still not as good as that from buying it from Dell.