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Black Friday at a Big Box: Big Bust?

As the sun set on Halloween, the fresh air of November ushered in the breathless anticipation for Black Friday deals, with many retailers divulging their sales for the day after Thanksgiving already. Even people who don’t really need electronics can’t help but be wooed by the prices on tech.

While there’s still a little time before you need to pitch a tent outside of a big box store, we wanted to give you a few things to think about before you think you’re making a sound financial decision.

This holiday season, do you want to be in the center of a crowd, or the center of attention?

Tech is an investment, and should meet your needs to be a smart investment.

Even if you can score a laptop for $99, it’s worthless if it doesn’t meet your needs. Do your homework ahead of time, and examine the offer carefully. Chances are the device will be lacking in a few key areas — RAM, features and screen resolution among them — which will leave you with a little buyer’s remorse to swallow along with turkey leftovers.

In addition, in the crush of hundreds of shoppers, you might have questions that the online ad didn’t spell out, and by the time you get them answered by a clerk who is being barraged by dozens of other customers’ questions, the device will be sold out. In fact, most “in-store exclusives” won’t offer rain checks, and the number of devices available (usually in tiny print somewhere on the page) can hover in the single digits. Your odds to get answers or your laptop are therefore slim. Bottom line: tech should never be a "grab n' go" purchase, especially if you're not clear on what you need.

Brand-loyal? They don’t come cheap.

Prices also reflect the quality and brand of the device, and 50 percent off a laptop that has been made by a company you’ve never heard of is a gamble at best. And sales on devices from the most popular brands, like Dell, HP or Lenovo, may be a more cheaply made model.

In fact, most tech experts say that the “season” for new tech is often just after a new model is introduced, bringing the cost of the current models down. That doesn’t happen the day after Thanksgiving, unfortunately for bargain hunters.

Service after the sale

Big box stores sell computers. Lots of them. However, what type of help you will get in either upgrading or repairing your computer is dicey at best. Often, customers are told that, especially after a certain period from the sale, they simply don’t work on the tech they were so eager to sell you. The options you’re left with include attempting to exchange the device that likely may have been purchased just for Black Friday and is no longer being sold; shopping for a local repair place that may or may not have authorized parts to replace your worn out or insufficient components, or to ship it out to the original manufacturer. (ReviveIT sees many of these types of customers who are happy to see that we work on their computer using OEM parts.)

A better alternative

With that thought, maybe we can make a suggestion that instead of buying from a big box, and then trying to maintenance your computer somewhere else, you purchase newly refurbished from a retailer that specializes in all of the name brand computers, builds custom devices to your needs, and sells them at Black Friday prices on any day ending in y.

In addition, the devices we refurbish are enterprise quality, meaning that they often outperform their brand new counterparts that are sold for a commercial market. Large companies don’t walk into the Apple Store or a Best Buy to outfit their offices, but instead work more directly with the manufacturer to provide equipment that will withstand the increased demands of a workspace environment. It’s this grade of equipment we are placing on our website, in our retail store and in your hands.

Don’t worry, if you enjoy the excitement of the Black Friday frenzy, Revive IT plans on matching it with our own in-store promotions. We also come with knowledgeable sales people that you won’t have to fight 10 other customers to talk to. No sales lottery tickets to stand in line for, no disappointment in being told you can’t add anything to your device to customize it.

Best of all, no need to bring a tent and sleep out on the concrete for a purchase you may very well regret a few months later.

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