In response to a recent Technobabble article on CompUSA, a Gnomie gnamed Stan sent the following tale of success. It pays to read every bit of Lockergnome:

I saw your article for the “CompUSA Midnight Madness” sale late Friday afternoon. I had been really busy at work Friday, and hadn’t had much of a chance to read any non-work related email till about quitting time. At just about 6pm, I read the article. I’m trying to get out soon, BUT I just had to go for the $29 200G Seagate and the $39 laser printer. “Maybe even the 1G USB stick and a camera… I’ll pursue the ad in the store.” When I got the CompUSA, there was a line winding maybe 150 feet out the door. I thought I could just come back later on, maybe around 10:30 or 11:00. But that’d be difficult…

Then, I saw my mother-in-law wheeling a cart towards the door – and my dad-in-law in line, just 2 or 3 places to the door! She’s waving me over. I park, and get in line with them. We talk a bit, and then we’re inside the store. It’s not a full house. No pandemonium here. I’ve been in CompUSA before and it’s usually pretty wild. Not this time! The line enters the doors, and goes up to the registers. Right there is all the big sale stuff stacked up. I told the salesman at the head of the line what I wanted, and he said to pick up a laser printer from that stack – the cashier will get the drive and USB stick for me. They had 4 or 5 cashiers open, and were moving customers in & out pretty efficiently.

The cashier had the drive & USB stick within a minute. Rang me up, and even explained the rebates. I was out of the store within 30 minutes, and home in another 10. Later the next day, I went online and learned about the laser printer, that it has no regular printer port. Also that it is a bit noisy and takes a couple of minutes after use to go into it’s power saving mode. I’ll have to buy a USB print server. I’ll probably find one on sale either at CompUSA or Fry’s; they’re within blocks of each other.

My only thought on the drive is that it’s not really that much of a deal. It cost $129 plus 8.25% tax which makes it $139.64. I get $100 in rebates (two 40s and a 20) whick makes it $39.64. I bought the same drive at Fry’s two months ago for $89.95 with a $50 rebate. That was $97.37 with tax. After the rebate, it comes to $47.37. Not even an $8 difference.

A few years ago, I was going to Fry’s for a ‘real good deal’ on what was then a big drive. I stopped at Office Depot to pick up something else, and noticed they had the same drive for a very large price. I also noticed a banner in the store advertising they’ll beat any other advertised price by 10%. I had the Fry’s ad in my pocket, and did the math in my head. I paid under $10 for the drive. I told a co-worker about it and he did the same. Later someone else tried it, and they’d lowered the price much closer to Fry’s and it wasn’t such a good deal anymore!

Okay, so… by reading Lockergnome, Stan saved how much money?! Not bad for a free service. Can’t always count on the weekly circulars to tell you what’s good and what’s not. Might I also recommend our Bargain Hunter newsletter? Yeah, it’s a good one, too. Then, there’s our separate Deals site. Have you run across any cool bargains lately?

[tags]deal,laser printer,rebate,coupon,seagate,compusa,bargain,frys,computer store,usb stick,midnight madness,technobabble[/tags]