Something out of the blue to help some of the newbies.Factoring rebates into your build
When a part goes for $230 with a $20 rebate, it's $250, no matter what. The problem with these rebates and websites (or other places) is they entice you to buy it by showing the price minus rebate. While rebates are nice, keep in mind...
Ordering from multiple vendors
- They're good for a limited time, check the date before buying online and see if it'll get to you on time. I don't know if rebates are honored based on postage date or purchase date.
- You can't return the product once you've submitted the rebate. Part of applying for one is sending the application with the UPC code... which is what the merchants need. No UPC code? No return/RMA.
- Rebates take at least 3-4 weeks to process
- Rebates are not guaranteed.
- You may not even get a check. Some rebates come in the form of a gift card or something like that.
So you go on PC Part Picker
and select your dream machine and see that all the parts there are from different vendors. But whatever, you're getting the best deal! Why is this a pitfall? The problem with multiple vendors is your shipping charges are more than likely going to increase. You also have multiple shipments to track and all of them may not arrive on time (probably not a big deal depending on how patient you are). Some vendors may not have the best service, especially on Amazon. On that note about Amazon, I've seen sellers will try to lower a part's price to jaw-dropping levels... only to nail you on the shipping cost so it works out you're paying the same as the competitor, if not more.
Keep in mind that some vendors may just be pennies cheaper than the next one that may be a common vendor you could purchase from.
I don't know if there's a rule, but for me, order from no more than two vendors.Not factoring other costs
This is sort of a doozy for everyone, because none of us can really predict this. But when planning a build with a budget, be prepared to spend another $50 on shipping and whatever your tax rate is. The average sales tax in the US is 9.6%, which at $1000 in parts is $96. Keep this in mind.Buying a low-end item where spending a little more would be a good upgrade
If you're bottoming out on hardware, for instance, getting a hard drive for budget computer, check to see if spending say even $10 or $20 will get you a nice upgrade. This is usually the case for storage. For instance, $70 may get you a 1TB drive, but for $90 or so, you can get 1.5TB or 2TB.When building, throwing away packaging right away
When you are building and unpacking your computer, never ever
throw away the packaging until after the return period (30 days usually). If anything goes wrong with your hardware and you want to return it, often times the vendor will not accept returns unless you have the original packaging and everything that came wit hit. After the return period, then you're free to do whatever you want.
For hardware that comes bare (hard drives and power supplies can come like this), still, save the packaging. Even if the power supply is covered in bubble wrap, save that!
(And that's about all I can think of)Edited by nsafreak
Stickied as requested since I think this is a good supplement to a few of the stickies at the top of this forum. I'm sure there are more pitfalls that can be avoided when planning out a build.