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What bargains did you find at CompUSA?

Many CompUSA stores had their final sales within the past week or two. Did you go and, if so, what deals did you pick up?

I figure that most of us who write code for a living are probably gadget geeks at heart, so I assume that many of you went to your local CompUSA during its closing days.

Sunday was the final sale at the two stores here in the Nashville area. I'll admit that I went a couple of times over the last few weeks. Most of the stuff I got was early on -- by last weekend, there wasn't much but junk left.

I haven't done my taxes yet, but the store had tons of copies of TaxCut for 60% off the retail price, so I snatched one up. CompUSA was also selling off its office supplies and, amongst the boxes of file folders and time-card punches, I found a nice little solar calculator for 75 cents. It might come in handy when I'm doing my taxes; sometimes a physical calculator is easier to use than the Windows calculator.

I also bought a brand new PS2 for about $90, which is 30% off the retail price. They had a few Xbox 360s with a similar discount, but most games for that system seem to be shooters of one sort or another. I get horribly motion sick playing first-person games, so I'll stick with the old PS2 for now.

The one great find was a Neuros MPEG recorder, which I picked up for $60. It's not the best technology, but it is handy in certain scenarios. For instance, you can plug in your PlayStation to the Neuros and then record a video-game session to MPEG4 format on SD cards. You can also play your DVDs thru the recorder to transfer them into iPod-compatible format. It is like a VCR in that the recording is done real-time; this means that, to transfer a two-hour DVD, you'll have to play the full two hours of the DVD into the Neuros recorder. But for $60, I will definitely use it enough to make it worthwhile. I'd never have bought it at the regular retail price.

What treasures did you pick up from the final days of CompUSA?

38 comments
Blackbeagle2
Blackbeagle2

On the last days here, they dropped everything to 60-80% off. I bought a 8 port switch for $9, a PCI desktop NIC, a laptop NIC, and a USB wireless NIC (for troubleshooting) for $12 total, and a 24 port switch for home (yep, I guarantee I have an open port) for $50.

rtmtech
rtmtech

I boycotted CompUSA since they they did a "bait and switch" on me a few years back. Wireless antenna that was supposed to be free after rebate cost me $40. Good riddance CompUSA!

newsplan1
newsplan1

The CompUSA's near me had good repair departments, especially for Mac's. This concludes my positive comments about CompUSA. Otherwise, the company treated customers like suckers and annoyances. I ordered more RAM for a laptop and got RAM for a desktop instead. CompUSA shipped one of my laptops to the manufacturer for repairs, lost the shipping information, then hung up on me when I demanded action. I did get a loaner laptop but only after I called the manager and channeled Luca Brasi. Some people near me bought a monitor there. It didn't work. They brought it back to the store and the management called the cops on them. It seems that someone in the back switched a returned faulty monitor for the new one. The people had to go to small claims court to get satisfaction. When the store announced it was closing I finally did get some bargains, I bought a bunch of ink cartridges for my portable printer. It's a pity because at one time CompUSA was a good place. The company management just decided that scamming was an acceptable business plan.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

I had excellent service out of our repair shop, at least until the only good - read respects the fact that the equipment belongs to a real person who worked hard for the money to buy it - left for greener pastures. After he disappeared, even our store's repair shop went down the tubes. And fast.

aep528
aep528

Netgear 200Mbps powerline networking set for $60. At that price it's at least worth a try.

micd47
micd47

I waited till the last week of their being opened to buy a Sound Blaster Fatal1ty XtremeGamer sound card @ 50% off Gamer

rustyhorn
rustyhorn

I got a digital camera, a digital picture frame, some dvds and cdrs, and that's about all I can remember. You're right it was mostly crap this week, but the bargains were finally pretty good.

ITSecurityGuy
ITSecurityGuy

Our store closed last year, in the first round. None of the prices were any better than normal sale prices, until the last week. Even as they escalated the maximum discount from 10 to 20 to 30%, it applied to very few items, and the bulk of the inventory was being scooped up by idiots for only 5-10% off. By the final week, only the junk remained. During the early weeks, I bought some blank DVDs at decent sale prices, but nothing you couldn't find without a closeout. On the final day, I picked up 4 bins of miscellaneous power adapters (wall warts) AS IS - about 100 of them for $25. Just the red plastic stackable bins were probably worth $20. After I test and identify them, I'll probably sell them on eBay for $5-10 each. Not a bad ROI.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I went to our local when it was closing, even at sale prices, they were a ripoff. I made exactly TWO purchases from them the entire time they were open, both took over an hour to complete.

aep528
aep528

Even at the very end, they treated everyone like criminals. Some poor girl was setting off the alarm, three goons made her take her jacket off and empty her pockets. She was stick thin and wearing fitted clothes... it was pretty obvious to every other male non-CompUSA employee that she wasn't hiding anthing. But they still hassled her while blocking anyone else from leaving.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I told them I wasn't taking anything off for them, and if they liked, they could call the police, after which I'd own the place. They backed down REAL QUICK,

RexWorld
RexWorld

I never had that bad an experience, but I will grant that they had pretty erratic service. Sometimes things would go well, sometimes it could go badly. Usually a sign that the store isn't spending any focus on operations, since keeping staff properly trained is a core part of operations. To be fair though, I don't think any of the electronics chains do very well with the customer service side of things. If you want Nordstrom-level service you'd have to pay extra for it. And in the electronics business consumers have shown no willingness to pay extra for that. They'll do it with clothing, which is why Nordstrom's does so well. But not with electronics.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

and giving service so bad it would make K-mart blush.

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

I had planned on finding some good deals on some obscure minor items and then selling them on eBay. Turns out the store had been closed for 6 months or so. I guess that's why they went out of business. I never went there enough to even know they were already closed.

Justin James
Justin James

Either the CompUSA in Columbia SC suffered the same way, or we didn't have one. Considering how much effort I put into looking for a few computer parts locally about a year ago, I would say that we just never had one here. :) J.Ja

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

Once upon a time, "ChumpUSA" as I came to call it wasn't such a bad place. In most markets, it carried an inventory that couldn't be matched by the hole-in-the-wall type Mom & Pop computer stores that were still prevalent at the time. But at some point about 7 or 8 years ago, it got taken over by a bunch of MBA geniuses who seemed to know little of personal computing, but lots about inventory control. They implemented the computer-controlled fast-turnover philosophy that was becoming feasible and popular. This inventory control methodology would see to it that only merchandise that would turn over in quantity in very short order would be stocked, and anything that didn?t would be replaced by something that did. The result was that shelf space would get taken over by 3 different brands of identical printer cables, but you could no longer find a SCSI terminator or other less common components. In the end, their inventory pretty much resembled that of a Best Buy or any OfficeDepotStaplesMax, but without knowledgeable salespeople or competitive prices. I had 2 stores within 5 miles of me, but I?d usually rather drive the 15 miles to the nearest MicroCenter or Fry?s. Oh, and their shelf merchandising sucked. Like many places today, nothing was price-tagged, and you had to rely upon a hard-to-read tag on the shelf to see what something cost. More often than not, when I?d have something scanned, a different price than what I thought I?d be paying would appear, and then it would turn out that the items on the shelf were not properly aligned with the price labels. I?d frequently chew out managers about their poor merchandising. Often, they?d make the mistake of blaming the mess on customers who move stuff around. I?d then counter that if they were going to use this method of not tagging merchandise, then it was THEIR responsibility to see to it that their shelves were kept in order to eliminate this time wasting confusion. They won?t be missed.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

While I was working IT at the time, it was only part of my duties. I worked in construction and would as often as not, be doing dirty grunt work as well. My supervisor needed a computer, so we gave comp USSR a try. We walked in during lunch in our work clothes, and I played the part of dumb construction worker to the hilt. They tried to sell him an expensive piece of CRAP and every extra they could. Tsk tsk. needless to say, we went elsewhere.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Rude, uninformed sales people, long lines, overpriced software, big-ticket items under lock and key that you have to wait 1/2 hour for before anyone came to help you.....

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...as I usually got disgusted or offended within the first 10 minutes, gave the manager a piece of my mind, and left.

Joe_R
Joe_R

A local CompUSA store closed its doors last June, and during their close-out sale, I picked up Windows Vista upgrade at half-off - a little more than half-off, actually. Normal retail price of Vista Ultimate upgrade is (was) around $260. After I bought about thirty (30) of them at $125, they raised their sale price to just over $200. I love doing that kind of thing. After talking to the CompUSA clerk behind the counter about Vista and such, he asked me if I wanted one of them. I said that I'll take 30! That was fun. It saved the company a lot of $$ as well!

meryllogue
meryllogue

Heck, I didn't even know they were closing! lol

karen
karen

I got a $30 USB video camera on the last day as well as some odds and ends like monitor wipes. Our stores are reopening under another name in this state...a local company bought them out and plans on offering the same sort of merchandise, which is good because it's often hard to find some of the more obscure things (like a 9-pin male to female DB9 cable) at the other chains. CompUSA often had things that geeks need rather than just what end users will buy.

jnmartin
jnmartin

CompUSA, poor price competitiveness and bad customer service, right up to the end. I just hope TigerDirect doesn't adopt any of those business practices.

Ben Iron Damper
Ben Iron Damper

Same situation here in the Fort Worth-Dallas area which happens to be the home base for Comp USA. Poor customer service and high prices right up to the end. All of the Comp stores that I was aware of in this area have been closed for a while.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Poor customer service and high prices right up to the end.

aep528
aep528

The last week had the best deals, and the last two days almost everything was 70% off.

DrMa
DrMa

Here in MD I picked up a decent CompUSA external SATA HDD enclosure (USB + eSATA) which is working well. I am facing off with the inevitable Vista on an Acer Aspire M5620 - (Q6600 quadcore +500GB +3GB ...) for around $630. Remarkably quiet and compact desktop. Just what I needed. Some problems with drivers for older peripherals.

CG IT
CG IT

bargins my butt The one here in So Cal had prices that were higher than best buy and this was close out sales.... one HP laser printer priced at $275.00 was available at Best Buy for $235.00 and at Frys Electronics $220.00 HP had it for $225.00 Bargins my butt

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...why they went out of business.

s-shuster
s-shuster

is that the company that bought them out specifically raised the prices so that they could "mark them down" without losing any money. They were counting on the psychological effect of the closeout and the percentage discounts to cloud people's judgment.

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

But it only works in a market where people are not very well educated in the price of things. I think most tech shoppers are better educated than most.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Our CompUSA stores closed last spring. I picked up a nice little Acer Travelmate 4220 for $565.00. The only reason I bought it was because it was the only WinXP anything I had seen since January of the same year, and knowing MS I figured I had better get it while the gettin' is good. I've been quite happy with it, it behaves nicely (after removing that Acer Empowering Technology crap), travels well, and is a whole lot faster that the HP it replaced.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

If you want the latest and greatest components on the cheap without doing alot of surfing, go for Newegg. Especially with memory! They carry GSkill which you can get at insane clock speeds for very cheap...Tiger doesn't even carry it. Slightly older technology (p4, ddr2 sub 800 and the like), stick with TigerDirect.

RexWorld
RexWorld

I too own an Acer laptop, and could not agree more about that Acer Empowering Technology. All those components seem to do is slow down the laptop, things work much better after removing it.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

if a user has no clue as to how to get into the actual BIOS, why should s/he be given the access to it via the GUI? So if they don't know the key combination to go in and royally eff it up that way, Acer gives them access via GUI so now they can eff it up anyway. Oh wait... Sell more service???

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