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Nickle and Dime Toward Maximum Savings

Contributed by mm | May 17, 2005 7:12 AM PST

When it comes to low-cost computer provider, Dell is surely the brand that comes to mind. A lesser known fact is dell is also offering best value on LCD TVs, printers, handheld computers, digital cameras and alike. An even lesser known fact is: if you want to get the best deal at Dell, don't go to Dell first.

During the weekend I was hunting for an entry level SLR digital camera (SLR stands for single-lens reflex). I had done some homework before so I knew I was looking for a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT SLR with 18-55 mm Lens included. Search result from Shopping.com indicated I can get a price of $858.80 including tax and S&H. Can I do better?

If you go to Dell.com, the model is selling for the full MSRP of $999.00. Adding the 8.8% sales tax for Washingtonians, my total price would be $1,086.90. Since I am a smart shopper, here is what I did to reduce the price by almost a third.

First thing first, search for coupons. It is always a good habit to spend 5 minutes to search for some coupons when you decide to shop at a certain online store. Believe me, this 5 minutes can easily pay off itself, and then more. In my case, I found two amazing coupons from Dealsea:null

15% on select Canon Digital Cameras Code: 8ZJL9PZCQBWVC2
Stackable $90 off $750 Code: C621VV5TS$75M9

Applying both coupons to my order, and Dell reduced my price to $759.15 + sales tax of $66.80 = 825.95 with no shipping cost. Hey, this is already better than the best Shopping.com search result. (If you happen to live in a state that Dell does not charge sales tax, your price will be more than 10% better than the $858.80 best price from Shopping.com.)

This is not the end. Don't forget our best friend: the Citi Driver's Edge card, which gives you an easy 5% off on every purchase for the 9 months. This way, you will get another $41.30 coming your way at a later date.

Moreover, you can call Upromise to help. Following the Dell link at Upromise.com before you place your order, and you can secure another 2% cashback to your Upomise account, which can either be deposited to your 529 account or redeemed for cash. Another $15.18!

All in all, my effective price becomes $759.18 + $66.80 - $41.30 - $15.18 = $769.50. See, nickle and dime is yielding a great deal!

How should you think about these lesser known coupons for Dell? Think about them as hidden price discrimination against less informed customers. Dell needs to get the fattest margin from those customers before it can pass over the savings to you and me. The practice, actually, is not too much different from credit card issuers milking the last dollar of penalties and interests from people who are not careful at financials while giving out huge rewards to the rest.

This Post Has Received 11 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


Otis Commented on May 17, 2005

I just discovered fatwallet.com in relation to a Dell purchase today. It gives cash back similar to Upromise (w/no education savings element - just straight cash back via Paypal or check). For Dell they currently have a 3% rebate listed.


Steve Mertz Commented on May 18, 2005

Nicely done, thanks for the info on dealsea!


Steve Mertz Commented on May 18, 2005

Nicely done, thanks for the info on dealsea!


mbhunter Commented on May 24, 2005

A couple of other good click-through rebate sites are Butterflymall and Ebates:

http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/butterflymall.htm
http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/ebates.htm

Butterflymall is cool because you get a fraction of the rebates of people you refer. It can't beat fatwallet's rebate on Dell, but it does better than most on a lot of companies.

Ebates has a $5 signup bonus!

mbhunter


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