Do you expect to bargain for your PC?

  consumerhelp 16:23 09 Mar 2005

This is a question from PC Advisor staff.

We've had reports of a large PC manufacturer giving wildly varying offers for the same computer, on the same day.

One offer came from the online configurator on their website, the other was given by a telephone salesman.

The difference amounted to about £500 - a brilliant deal for the phone caller but something of a smack in the eye for anyone who makes use of the company's convenient online sales system.

Our question is - do you think this is fair?

If a company is willing to haggle, does it not make a mockery their pricing system, and are not those who meekly pay the asking price being penalised?

What do you think?

  Pesala 17:59 09 Mar 2005

It sounds decidely un-British, but then things have changed in recent years. I find it hard to believe that there can be a difference of £500 between the advertised price and the actual price paid. How much was the advertised price? More than £600 I hope.

Anyone buying goods should only pay what they think its worth to them. If the price is too high they can nearly always go elsewhere, so I don't see any need to haggle over price.

Uncertainty over pricing has caused a lot of negative reaction on the Serif Forum, with some people paying significantly higher prices than other customers. For the retailer, I think it is a bad policy, as it looks like dishonesty.

  wiz-king 18:11 09 Mar 2005

I was buying several computers for work at the time and I went to Morgans for some of their refurbished/end of line specials and managed to get about 20% of the listed price and a few free keyboards and mice. It was worth a few minutes of my time. However I often wonder if buying a pc which you have to configure over the phone or online is a recipe for disaster. click here is a case in point.

  R4 18:56 09 Mar 2005

Always try for a discount

  Charence 19:09 09 Mar 2005

I would not have expected there to be a price reduction by phoning a company, instead of buying online. If any, I'd expect it the online purchase to be cheaper since it doesn't require staff or call centre.

If the customer haggled for a lower price and succeeded, I would not think it not fair, since they went to the extra effort of haggling. But when a PC is quite cheap anyway, is it worth the effort of getting a discount of a few pounds?


  961 19:22 09 Mar 2005

I remember a recent thread where someone was buying a xxxx over the phone. She said that everytime she phoned with a question they knocked off another £50

It's obviously worth a haggle. After all, if it doesn't work you can always go back to the on line order form!

  Rigga 20:28 09 Mar 2005

The question, "Do you think this is fair?".

Of course it is fair, all companies will give differing discounts depending on many factors, it's just a part of running a business, small or large.

As for web sales.... You can't haggle with a web site, but you sure can with a salesperson!!!

So hats off to those people who have the good sense to speak to a salesperson and ask for whatever discount they can get.

I've haggled and got major electrical retailers to give me up to 20% discount on the so called screen price!!

I mean asking does not cost a penny and as long as you are prepared, and will not take offence at, NO, then I say go for it!!!


  wee eddie 20:37 09 Mar 2005

Were the specifications identical?

What percentage of the total was the quoted difference?

Were there any qualifications to the negotiated price?

On a day by day basis, maintaining the continuity of a production line may be more important than the profit on an individual unit. This is, I believe, known as the "Opportunity Cost" and refers to the difference in the cost of a a production run at two different volumes. Then there is the parallel economic theory known as "Dumping" in which it is recognised that after production has earned it's cost, the value of extra production is equal to selling price less the cost of, bought in, ingredients.

"Here endeth the first lesson".

  bjh 21:31 09 Mar 2005

I don't think it's unfair - although if the ompany became widely known for it, I suspect they'd lose trade overall. I always barter a bit, but I also price the system up from components sourced from cheap suppliers. I don't expect much price difference between the two - if there was, I'd shop elsewhere.
I don't think there is normally much more than a 10% profit margin on most machines, and it'd have to be a pretty expensive machine to allow a £500 price differential.
What kind of spec was the machine in question??

  Jackcoms 21:35 09 Mar 2005

So now tell us which manufacturer it is so that we can decide whether to buy from them or not.

  bfoc 09:13 10 Mar 2005

Get an on-line quote and then phone to see if they will give me a better price or additional offers.

Sometimes the person can point out a special offer, recently reduced or new 'review' model which are not on the site but meet requirements.

I can't claim to have saved £500 but 10% - 15% is possible.

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