Cheap PCs from Wal-Mart

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Thu May 29 23:23:27 EDT 2003


> > 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

That's the deal with Walmart.. someone else (Microtel, in this case) has
done the assembly and checkout.

As for Fry's... don't get me started.. just suffice it to say that major
manufacturers (i.e. HP/Compaq/etc)  do not provide Fry's with original mfr
shipping materials to replace packaging that gets dinged in transit. Most
retail outlets get a supply of original mfr packaging so that they can
deliver a "clean looking box" with the new computer, even if somebody in
receiving spills a soda on the pallet on the loading dock (e.g.)

> > - 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 )

That was the default cheap ground shipping.. in my case, the mfr is
reasonably local, so UPS ground will usually get here in 2 days.


>
> > - 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

JPL, and NASA, do have an exemption, for some things (but not as much as you
might think... tax laws aren't "logical").  However, I bought this little
box for my daughter, so I'm on the hook.
>
> some groups of stanford.edu is tax exempt also

Maybe, maybe not.. California is quite enthusiastic about sales tax,
particularly since Prop 13 made property taxes a much smaller source of
revenue for local government.


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