Cheap PCs from Wal-Mart

Alvin Oga alvin at Maggie.Linux-Consulting.com
Thu May 29 20:23:09 EDT 2003


hi ya jim

On Thu, 29 May 2003, Jim Lux wrote:

> However, allow me to point out the following:
> - $200 for a Linux machine is cheaper than $280, albeit for less 
> performance.  I have shopped around the local stores looking for a similar 
> pricepoint, and nobody is interested in stocking components that provide 
> the low level of performance at the low price point Wal-Mart is selling at.

some local pc stores carry the parts .. off the shelf ...
	- you will have a hard time finding a $30 pc case though
	and rest of the components are easy to find 
	( even at frys(fries) )

its probably better to buy a cpu/mb/disk/memory/ps that you know and like
vs experimenting with "cheap parts" ... i always get burnt trying to save
$5 - $10 by buying generic  but buying "bad" name-brand stuff doesnt help
either
 
> - The Walmart special requires ZERO labor to assemble and test, and is 
> guaranteed good out of the box (they'll pay return shipping)...As far as 
> DOA rates go... I'll bet Walmart wouldn't tolerate a 5% DOA rate, since 
> their corporate reputation rests on "non-sophisticated users" who "take it 
> out of the box and plug it in"

yes... a good thing about buying a complete box
 
> - One probably cannot buy a *LEGAL* copy of WinXP for $25 as an end user. 
> One might be able to negotiate such a price from a dealer, but I'll bet the 
> OEM License agreement *REQUIRES* the dealer to install it on a working 
> system.  Microsoft is no fool when it comes to extracting money, which is 
> probably why WalMart is charging $100+ for the WinXP

those ms OEM deals are tightly controlled based on number of systems
one sells vs number of ms cdrom only sold, etc...etc..
	- most of the pc stores selling w/ windoze xp preinstalled are
	just paying for the rights to sell n-machines ... and their
	ms license fee is significantly discounted...
	( ask for a copy of ms xp cdrom and watch them squirm and 
	( turn red ...  same for laptops

> - Buying locally over the counter merely moves the shipping cost from the 
> vendor to you.  How much is your time worth?  FWIW, Walmart charged me $14 
> for shipping, which is quite reasonable.

shipping for large entities is cheap ...

shipping for 1 system from small 1-z and 2-z companies is "regular
pricing"  .. roughly  $5/lb of shipping .. ( ground shipping is little
less about 1/2 but takes 7 days in transit )

> - Legally, you have to pay sales tax (or, alternately use tax) in 
> California regardless.  Sure, some out of state vendors may be remiss in 
> collecting it, but, then, you're then *legally responsible* for paying the 
> use tax.  Likewise, if you use your "resale permit" to claim you're buying 
> for resale as an OEM (probably also how you'd finagle the oem Windows 
> license), you're responsible for the tax. When it comes to tax, the 
> government is amazingly tenacious...

nasa.gov should be tax exempt, even if a cali corp sells a bunch of pc to
nasa.gov 

some groups of stanford.edu is tax exempt also

and yes, collecting and paying on sales tax is important..

we say resale permit vs paperwork needed is not worth the hassle.. 
its 10x cheaper to pay the 8.25% cali sales tax for 1-z 2-z orders

> And, of course, if you were buying a low-buck Beowulf for an educational 
> purpose (i.e. to give a local middle school a chance to work with a 
> cluster), they're not going to hassle the shady tax and/or shipping and/or 
> licensing issues.

those are probably can all be tax exempt except for MS part of it

have fun
alvin

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