Where there is tech to buy, there is money to save. Whether you’re looking for a new tablet, smartphone, laptop or set of speakers, buying directly from a big-box retailer or Amazon is hardly the only option. Sites such as Newegg.com and LogicBuy promise huge discounts and will send deals straight to your inbox. But are you really getting a steal, or are you better off comparison-shopping elsewhere?
We tracked the offers from four top deals sites—Ben’s Bargains, LogicBuy, Newegg.com and Woot!—to determine whether they’re worth your while.
Deals or Duds?
It goes without saying that these sites offer you discounts, but are we talking about bare-bones configurations or top-of-the-line specs? In our research, we found that most sites are selling middle-of-the-road models, but the discounts are pretty solid. For example, Woot! recently offered the HP Pavilion G7 notebook for $449, while the same configuration (with the same one-year warranty) went for $500 to $600 at sites such as Fry and TigerDirect’s Electronics.
While there’s no shortage of laptop discounts to be found on these sites, some deals on high-profile gadgets are pretty outstanding. In late March, Newegg.com offered the 16GB Samsung Galaxy Note unlocked for $599, a full $200 less than the list price. We found the same smartphone available for $50 less, but that was on eBay, which many consumers prefer to avoid when making important (read: expensive) electronics purchases.
Staying in the Know
Deal sites are the way to go if you’re in the market for a new piece of tech, but they can also keep you in the loop when you don’t have time to visit a store in person. Most sites allow you to configure deal notifications to your liking, so you’ll want to tweak the settings so you only get news on the tech that interests you.
The second thing you’ll have to consider if you go down the deals-site road is which sites you’d like to follow. While Newegg.com is all about original deals, LogicBuy and Ben’s Bargains aggregate offers from several sources, including Amazon and Buy.com along with actual brands such as Dell and HP. If you can deal—har, har—with the deluge of emails, we recommend following sites of both sorts, since you can never predict where a good bargain will turn up.
Don’t expect to be blown away with each new tech deal that lands in your inbox or makes the home page of your site of choice. For every discount on a hot product (such as the 8 percent discount for the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch that we found on LogicBuy), there are many more we would ignore. But provided you have some patience for combing through scores of offers, we say, get to it! Your wallet can thank us later.